Doing the do

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Go retro

Vintage-themed weddings are big news, so why not translate the trend into a stylish 1950s hen party?  The kitsch Powderpuff Girls (pictured above right, tel: 0844 879 4928) specialise in hair and beauty makeovers, all while dressed in pink 1950s-style uniforms. They can travel to you, or welcome hen parties at their east London shop, The Powder Room. Gathering in a London milliner’s studio, Ooh La La! Vintage (tel: 0033 6 8476 5865) founder Tara takes her guests through a three-hour masterclass with afternoon tea. Guests are invited to rifle through a customised collection of clothes that Tara has put together especially for the party. Makeover complete, all that’s left is to show the whole look off at the Saturday Night Swing Club (tel: 01895 613703) at City Firefly Bar, where DJs spin numbers from the 1920s to the 50s. Drop-in swing classes include lindy hop for beginners and groups of 10 or more can reserve a private area. For a more genteel atmos, Harvey Nichols’ afternoon tea dances at Prism brasserie (tel: 020 7256 3888) hark back to the 1920s – partners can be whistled up to teach the basics of a waltz or foxtrot.  

Make, do and hen

A shared activity usually forms the basis of a good hen party. Shake up the traditional format with something a little more off-piste.If your fillies are the go-getting type, saddle them up for a polo class at Ham Polo Club (tel: 020 8334 0000). You’ll hit the field with a group of expert Argentinian polo players before a well-deserved lunch in the clubhouse. All riding levels are welcome, even total beginners. For arty parties with an edge, book a group graffiti lesson with Andy Seize (tel: 07967 879421), whose space in Waterloo can cater for small or large groups. Equally colourful but a little more couture are the ‘Mad Hatters and Make-up’ parties (main picture, tel: 07866 552818) run by milliner Katherine Elizabeth and Benefit Cosmetics. Guests will make hats and headpieces and enjoy makeovers by Benefit beauticians. 

Keep it simple

Sometimes all that’s needed is a great restaurant (preferably with a private room) and some good food and wine.Soho’s Bob Bob Ricard (tel: 020 3145 1000) has a curtained art deco room with a ‘press for Champagne’ button, which is either a stroke of genius or ruinously tempting, depending on how trigger-happy the hens are. The space seats 10.Film buffs, meanwhile, can kick back in the media room at 45 Park Lane (tel: 020 7319 7081), with a 103-inch 3D television and 10 plush armchairs to curl up in. We recommend ordering in cocktails and food from the top-notch Bar 45. 

This was first published in Square Meal Weddings 2012 

Say no to tacky hen-night clichés with our high-end entertainment suggestions. Have a vintage makeover, learn to swing dance, take a polo lesson or get your Banksy on at a graffiti class.