We had agreed to meet all of the group about 12 midday, with the intention of checking in to our chosen venue, Hotel Indigo, situated in a brand new and rather futuristic looking building the Cube, fairly early so we could get on with the celebrations.
For some it may seem an unusual decision to have our hen party together, but for us it seemed like the obvious choice. Far from wanting a "last day of freedom" from each other, we wanted the chance to spend a wonderful day together. We share the same friends, we share the same tastes, we share every aspect of our lives, so why not share our hen party? We decided instead to use our hen party as a chance for our bridal parties to meet before the big day - for people to put the faces to the names we talk about so much, and to get to know each other a little. Therefore on the big day a sense of familiarity with others will help the day to flow a little easier, we hope.
Anyone who has spent a day in a spa will agree with me, I'm sure, when I say I honestly do not know where the time goes. You seem to spend what appears to be about ten minutes in the pool having lots of giggles with your friends, sit in the steam room for a couple of minutes and have an afternoon tea, and all of a sudden 5 hours has gone by! It was a wonderful day, it was lovely to see all of the people we care most about meet the other people we care most about, and everybody definitely got on wonderfully. We even learnt a thing or two too - like a steam room isn't really a steam room unless you spray the sensor that tell it to make steam. I was sat there thinking this steam room business wasn't too bad after all - until a stranger pointed out there wasn't actually any steam in there, we were actually just sitting in a warm room! The spa was beautiful, luxurious, and like the rest of the Cube, felt very 'us' - the reason we picked it!
We had afternoon tea after a few hours in the spa, which was definitely the right decision, by the time it came we were all in need of some fuel - relaxing is surprisingly hard work! And the volume of gorgeous sandwiches and amazing cakes was quite impressive, we (almost struggled to finish them!)
This was followed by the treatments that people had chosen to take - for me it was the chocolate body wrap and dry floatation tank. I thought it sounded unusual, but the promise that 20 minutes in there was the equivalent to 4 hours of sleep sounded exactly what I needed after working so many night shifts. And an experience it certainly was, it was lovely being wrapped up in warm soft blankets and lying on what felt like a giant water bed, and I did indeed feel like I'd been to sleep when it had finished! Sarah chose to have a manicure in the Laurent Perrier champagne nail bar, so after us all spending some time in the pods - a teepee like structure suspended from the ceiling that allowed you to curl and up and feel safe and warm and calm - Sarah went off to have her nails done whilst 4 others in the party tried out the Rassul mud room. The spa truly was amazing! My only regret was that we didn't get to spend longer in there. Although I fear we could've been there for about 3 days and it still wouldn't have felt long enough!
After returning to our rooms and getting showered and dressed, we were all ready for the evening part of our hen party. Our hotel rooms were pretty incredible, and the views over the city in particular were amazing. Sarah and I had a corner suite - an enormous room with super king size bed, a huge walk-in rain shower and a balcony offering a view quite unlike one I've ever seen.
It seemed the perfect option therefore for the rest of the party to meet us here for a few photos prior to us leaving for the restaurant.
Adamant we wanted an evening far from the usual night associated with British hens - getting drunk, wearing sashes, plastic tiaras and anything penis shaped - we wanted to eat some good food and drink some good cocktails.
For this reason, Red Peppers in Birmingham's Mailbox was our venue of choice. We were met by Sarah's other bridesmaid and Aunty, and group of colleagues and friends, and spent the night sampling quite a few different cocktails, along with eating a gorgeous meal! The night went without a hitch; conversation flowed, much laughter ensued and we drank more cocktails than I can remember!
Finishing the night, those of us who were staying at Hotel Indigo visited the Laurent-Perrier champagne bar, which occupies the top floor of the Cube.
25 floors up it boasts the best and most beautiful view of Birmingham, and with a glass of pink champagne we rounded off an incredible night with our very closest friends; listening to a very talented singer and her band, singing along to the songs we knew, being chatted up by a few people who clearly weren't getting that this was our hen party and we were getting married - to each other! And literally feeling as though we were on top of the world.
After the best night's sleep and waking up feeling surprisingly OK given my surprising ability to consume large quantities of red wine, a talent I only discovered the night before, we all met for breakfast. Marco Pierre White's steakhouse occupies the other half of the top floor of the Cube, and offered us the most amazing panoramic view of our home city. We can honestly say it is the most amazing view we have ever seen at breakfast time! The breakfast was pretty amazing too.
As we checked out of Hotel Indigo it was with a great sense of sadness. Our hen party was one of the best days of my life, and none of us could quite believe it was over so quickly! Do you think we could get away with saying that was my hen party and we are yet to celebrate Sarah's?!