Let me translate that for you, Batchelorette Bash in Bath is Katie’s Hen Do in the beautiful City of Bath. Katie is our eldest son, Shaun’s, fiance. The months of detailed planning for this adventure by the bridesmaids, Britt, Chi, Jane and Tabitha were finally over and ten hens plus our daughter-in-law to be, Katie all headed for our secret destination. Amazingly, we had managed to keep her guessing for months despite the constant fishing for clues.
The Groom, Shaun, and seven Bucks were heading for another secret location, Munich. Luckily Katie had her suspicions about Shaun’s destination and with a little slight of hand managed to give Jon his passport.
On the road
The first leg was to get from Hitchin to Bromley to meet Tabitha. A two hour journey took just under three due to a road closure. We had to break out the emergency M&Ms but they powered us through until we were presented with a delicious Brunch at Tabitha’s.
After fixing up some bunting of the hen variety in the car, Stage II began.
Thanks to the enigma of the M25 on a Friday, the three hour journey took five and a half. I think Katie started to wonder what was going on – such a mammoth journey and no other hens in sight. This all changed as soon as we entered the drive to Conygre House about 20 minutes from the centre of Bath. It certainly has the “wow” factor and we were greeted by a brood of hens who had eagerly been awaiting our arrival.
The house was stunning in it’s Georgian splendour with luxurious fixtures and fittings. It was booked via Airbnb and what a stunner it was. Not to mention all the hen bunting, photographs, balloons, games, confetti! After a quick tour, we had some catching up to do with the Prosecco. We didn’t need to be told twice and merrily joined in with a couple of games. This was followed by pizza, lasagne and Actimel. Yes, Actimel. Weirdly when the pre-ordered groceries arrived we had two extra bags one of which was full of Actimel. Anyone for a pro-biotic cocktail?
One of the games we played was “What do you know about the Bride?” I teamed up with Sue, Katie’s Mum, thinking I was on a sure winner. We had the extra detail of not only knowing where Katie was born but we had the Ward Number. Katie, however, is a slippery fish and seems to change her answers depending on who she is talking to. With one set of friends her favourite food is Chinese, with us it has always been fishcakes and gravy. A love of gravy is something Katie and Shaun definitely have in common, maybe it will be used to toast the Bride and Groom. Once again, with friends her favourite drink is Tequila but we had been told only two hours ago on said horrendous journey that it was Cherry Sours. All I can say is that we came last. Poor show from the Mum and Mum-in-law to be.
Around 2am the PJs came out and hens were heading for their respective coops. I was sharing with Tabitha. We had a huge red four poster bed and a single, plus a beautiful rocking horse. I insisted Tabitha had the four poster. We have always called her our Princess so it only seemed right. (Plus I was afraid I would fall into a journey from hell and Prosecco coma and snore all night.)
Bare in Bath
To greet us in the morning there was a feast of a breakfast. Full English no less to build us up for a day of unknown activities in Bath. The first stop was a little walk away from the centre of Bath. It was Widcombe Social Club. Many a raised eyebrow – if hen’s have such a thing. We were shown to a meeting room where chairs were set out in front of a small stage. By this time, Katie was looking extremely apprehensive. This ramped up another level when a young man came into the room in a very short silk dressing gown. Don’t panic – it was all in the name of art. We were to take part in a Still Life drawing class (with just a little bit of audience participation). We had a couple of minutes to sketch said model in a couple of different poses. One in a robe, one in boxers, one with his back to us with no boxers before there was suddenly a whole lot more to draw! For modesty’s sake, I have used a tasteful photo. If you want to know more go to a Still Life class. Considering what some hens would get up to, we were a very well behaved bunch and the chalk and pencil drawings ranged from artistically great to pornographic. We discovered that our well endowed model was indeed a circus performer – no not anything perverse. He was a mini bike clown. Strange but true.
The Wife of Bath
Fresh air was needed by all following the intense concentration required during the last hour so we headed off to the centre of Bath for a Scavenger Hunt. Split into two teams we needed to collect a variety of items. One of which was a piece of Wife of Bath cheese as well as a wimpole, red socks, photos of churches, a large hat. We had a real giggle collecting the items but did wish there were a couple of alcohol based clues…especially as there was a Pimms stall right in the middle of the shopping mall. It was a great way to see some of Bath which is a very vibrant place with lots of street entertainers and a passion for colourful umbrellas.
Conygre Capers (and more Buttocks)
Suitably rested from our day out. We had instructions to stay in our rooms until we were called at 7.30pm. Some of the hens got up to high jinks and all got in a bath. It was all good “clean” fun, especially when someone accidentally turned the shower head on.
On cue we arrived to find the whole kitchen, seating and dining area had been changed into a Mexican themed room complete with inflatable cactus plants, inflatable bananas, sombreros and enough Tequila and Margaritas to pickle someone.
Katie had her own special costume which she was asked to wear for at least 20 minutes. The time limit was partly because it was such a warm weekend and partly because she had done her hair beautifully. 7 hours later she had to be forced to take it off before bed.
Once I had taken in all the party decorations, I realised there was a rooster amongst the hens. Those naughty hens had hired a Butler in the Buff to serve drinks and organise some games. Even he ended up in a sombrero which I think was an improvement on the bald head!
Once again there was a feast to eat. Chilli chicken and con carne, rice, tacos, fajitas, salads, dips. We hardly had time to eat before we were onto some round robin games and Mr and Mrs. This was Katie’s undoing. She was doing so well to this point and her answers were so close to Shaun’s but she had a few forfeits and had to down a succession of drinks which made for one very wobbly bottle of Tequila. Whilst under the influence she did do the most amazing speech so beat that Best Men. I must add, biased as I am, that Shaun, although wordy with his answers in the Mr and Mrs game, wrote some very lovely things from the heart. One proud Mum.
The games and drinking continued and I think Tabitha and I switched the lights off around 3am. Just enough time for a few hours shut eye before undecking the decorations, clearing up and braving the long drive home. It was such a loving tribute to Katie from all our closest friends and I felt privileged to be invited. My understanding is that not all Mums and Mum-in-laws to be get to go. So heartfelt thanks to Brittany, Chi, Jane, Tabitha (for the organisation), Vikki, Cara, Laura, Claire, Sue (for making me so welcome) and most of all Katie. Without you there wouldn’t have been a weekend and the countdown to the wedding has seriously begun. There is one apology to make and that is to the owner of the property, Alison, who along with her husband accidentally got a rear view of our Butler in the Buff on their return home late in the evening. We did explain in the morning that there was an apron round the front!
What do you need to finish off any drink infused hangover after another 7 hour journey. A full roast dinner of course – with extra gravy.
02/06 – 04/06/2017