Kat’s Nottingham Hen Weekend!

Another weekend..Another Hen Party! See I told you they were taking over 😉

For this hen weekend, a trip to Nottingham was in order. Somewhere I had never been before, so I was a bit excited to visit somewhere new.

I left work early on the Friday and began my journey from South London to North London dragging my jam packed suitcase with me. For those who don’t know London very well getting from one place to another can be a bit of a nightmare, especially on a Friday afternoon and a very hot afternoon at that!

Two train changes, One Tube journey, a quick pit stop to grab bottles of bubbles and asking a stranger for directions (I don’t know North London at all) and I had finally made it to Emma’s house.

Emma is one of Kat’s bridesmaid’s and other than communicating over email about the hen party I hadn’t actually met her in person before. But she was lovely, she must have taken pity on me and my bedraggled look and offered me a large glass of water before we spent the rest of the afternoon decorating the car with pink ribbon, getting all the hen bits together and chatting about how we knew Kat and what was in store for the hen weekend.

I actually met Kat, through Matt. Her then boyfriend now fiancé Ant, works with Matt and so ever since I have been with Matt I have known Kat. Wow that all sounds a bit of a tongue twister ha I apologise but hopefully it makes sense! We bonded over bubbles at the boys work do and have been great friends ever since. Kat and Ant got engaged in April 2014 and I must admit she has been one chilled bride to be! The hen weekend was organised by her 4 bridesmaids and was a total surprise for Kat.

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^^ Kat & Ant

With the car packed up and ready to go, Emma and I drove to the station to pick up Kat, ready for the weekend to begin! Kat was super excited but also a bit nervous considering she had no idea where she was going or what we had in-store for her.

We knew it was going to be a bit of a drive, especially with Friday traffic. So Emma had stocked the car with goodies including chocolate and can’s of Pimms, something Kat and I might have gotten stuck into a little bit quickly! 😉 Unfortunately the weather decided to take a turn for the worst when we hit The Midlands and so we didn’t see the sunshine again until Sunday! But it didn’t matter the good tunes, Summery drinks and company were more than making up for it.

We were staying in a quaint area in the Derwent Valley, in the Derbyshire countryside for the weekend and Emma had found a lovely house to fit all of us in for the weekend.

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We were actually the last to arrive at the house! But that was nice for Kat, as all her friends and family were there ready to surprise her. Plus they had done a great job of decorating the house, the walls were filled with photos of Kat, balloons had been blown, banners and streamers were everywhere and a goody bag had been left for everyone at their place setting. It was cosy, friendly and everyone was super excited for the weekend ahead.

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^^ My lovely goody bag, made by Miranda, one of the Bridesmaids

We had a quick explore and were shown our bedrooms and then headed back down to help with dinner. Well that was my intention, what really happened.. I was given a large glass of bubbles which was constantly topped up and mingled with some of the other girls in the lounge area. Oops! The bridesmaids all did a great job of looking after everyone and making sure everyone was fed and watered though, they couldn’t have done a better job.

For dinner we all sat around the large table and ate a feast of pizzas, salads, dips, doritos etc. Drinking lots of bubbles and hearing how everyone had met Kat and our favourite memories with her. Lots of gossip and girlie giggles just what hen weekends should be about!

Even more giggles erupted when Miranda, presented Kat with this…

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I think it’s pretty amazing and Miranda did such a good job. As you can see she is the creative one of the group! ha. We even lit candles and made Kat blow them out and make a wish of course 😉 The cake was actually a delicious chocolate creation.

After a quick tidy up and top up of bubbles, we all made our way to the lounge area and spent the rest of the evening playing games. A fun tipsy start to the weekend.

Saturday we had to wake up pretty early for the first of the days activities. After a quick breakfast, we all piled into cars and headed to Sherwood Forest for Go Ape! This activity had mixed reactions from the group. Some had done it before, some were super excited and ready for the challenge and the rest were just pretty scared about what was ahead! I was a mixture of the last two!

It was still chucking it down with rain and a little chilly but Go Ape! Still goes ahead, they claim that the weather makes it even more fun. So after our full safety briefing we were left to our own devices. Eek!

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You start off by climbing a rope ladder to the first base and then from there you face a few challenges through the trees until you reach the zip wire at the end. There are 6 areas to cover and the time it takes purely depends on your group size, weather conditions and how fit/brave you are!

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11227529_774664756188_8315093548359799877_n^^ The Bride to Be not looking very happy!

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11401519_774665045608_7990244743648435077_n^^ Yes this is me..the mud will make it fun they said ;-p

It took us about 2.5 hours to complete, but there were a lot of us, plus we had a few freak outs in the beginning but you get quicker/more confident as you move along. Plus the weather made it super slippery so we were being extra cautious and a bit slower!

At the time I said I would never do it again. But I think I probably would, as long as the weather was sunny! By the end we were all wet through, shivering cold and covered in mud. But we completed it! 🙂

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After a very quick change and dry under the hand dryer in the toilets!! We headed to a pub for lunch. I’m sorry I didn’t get the name, but we had our own private room and the food was generous and delicious. I had fish and chips and it was just what I needed to warm up!!

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We then headed back to the house, where the bridesmaid’s set up creative tables for everyone to enjoy and chill out a bit after the excitement of the morning!

First up were DIY Face Masks – We had instructions and all the ingredients we needed and proceeded to chop, whisk and mash until they were ready to use. Who needs a spa?

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^^ Helen (Bridesmaid) enjoying her creation

Next up was the Cupcake station – Pre made cupcakes ready to be decorated with all the icing and glittery bit’s you could ever need. Cute and yummy!!

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And lastly further in the background you may just see that we had photo booth props and masks to use for funny group photos. Unfortunately I had popped upstairs for a shower when these came out to play, so no photos from me I’m afraid.

We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling, chatting, eating, decorating and getting ready for the evenings events.

We were asked to be glam and ready in the lounge for 7.30pm and of course were greeted with more bubbles, vodka jelly and home made buckets of cocktails! We then played a couple more games, ate a few nibbles and then all jumped into the mini bus to take us to Nottingham Town Centre for the evening.

We started off with a table in Pitcher and Piano being civilised with cocktails and bubbles, before heading to Revolution for trays of shots and dirty dancing and then finally ending up in Coco Tang, drinking more cocktails, doing shots of Jäger and dancing until our feet hurt.

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It was such a fun night. When we got back we all sat around the table and ate the nibbles and cakes left over from earlier, laughed about the nights events and finally went to bed around 4am.

The next morning some people *no names mentioned* were suffering ever so slightly, but we all managed to have breakfast and tidied up the house before saying our goodbyes and sharing excitement over the next time we would all be together…The Wedding!

I finally got home about 5pm, crashed out on the sofa and ordered dominos, oops! But what a fun weekend, thanks for inviting me Kat and I can’t wait to see you walk down the aisle in 3.5 weeks time!!

Lots of Love, Chloe xxx

A Rainy Day at Twickenham!

Before I met Matt, I knew nothing about the World of Rugby.

My dad is a football Man, and living in a house full of women he barely got a chance to watch that!

I had never seen rugby on TV, let alone watched from the sidelines or visited the The Home of Rugby….Twickenham.

The first time I went to see Matt play, I wore heels, moaned that it was too cold and spent most of my time sat in the clubhouse with a cup of tea!

Fast forward nearly 5 years and OK..rugby wouldn’t be my Mastermind subject…but I’d like to think I know an awful lot more than I did back then! I’ve seen Matt change teams, be promoted twice, play for his County at Twickenham 3 years in a row and we even went to Australia to see the Lion’s Tour!

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Now if that doesn’t make me a good girlfriend, I don’t know what does 😉

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And so a couple of Sunday’s ago, I travelled to Twickenham at 8.30am! (I am NOT a morning person!) to see Surrey play in the Bill Beaumont Cup Final against Eastern Counties.

Myself, Hattie, Danielle and Emily – fellow rugby widows, arrived just in time to grab our tickets before the game began at 10am. We had great seats on the lower tier, looking at the centre of the pitch and settled in ready to watch the game.

REIS20150531A © Ian Stratton 07860 490841 Twickenham.
Surrey Rugby vs Eastern Counties, County Championship Division 2 Plate Final.
Surrey in Navy shirts with Maroon trim. Picture shows:
Action

Well if I’m honest, that lasted all of 10 minutes before we began chatting, showing each other cute pictures of puppies and walking off for tea trips as the weather was soo cold, windy and miserable. Well we are girls girls after all! You really thought we could be engrossed in a game for 80 whole minutes?! 😉

We did stop to be quiet while watching the conversions (see I do know something!) and we congratulated each other if one of our men scored a try or helped assist a try.

REIS20150531A © Ian Stratton 07860 490841 Twickenham.
Surrey Rugby vs Eastern Counties, County Championship Division 2 Plate Final.
Surrey in Navy shirts with Maroon trim. Picture shows:
Action

REIS20150531A © Ian Stratton 07860 490841 Twickenham.
Surrey Rugby vs Eastern Counties, County Championship Division 2 Plate Final.
Surrey in Navy shirts with Maroon trim. Picture shows:
Action

Before we knew it it was half time and we wandered off in search of food and more tea. By this point it was pretty cold and wet! We ended up with chocolate muffins which were looking very sorry for themselves surrounded by the big fast food stalls and ice cream vans.

Settling in for the second half, we tried to take more notice of the game, but instead got distracted about where we should go for lunch. We all decided that due to the weather, we had to find somewhere with a good roast dinner! This was easier said then done, we googled, we phoned and eventually found a place 25 minutes away willing to take us in.

Back to the game and Surrey had pretty much dominated the first half and with Eastern Counties not catching them up, Surrey eventually won, for the 4th year in a row, with a final score of 17-3. If you would like to read a more in-depth account of the game, please click on this link http://www.dorkingandleatherheadadvertiser.co.uk/Super-Surrey-Twickenham-home/story-26606198-detail/story.html

After the game had finished, the boys accepted their medals, posed for photo’s and then mingled with their friends and family who had come to watch before heading off for showers and food.

REIS20150531A © Ian Stratton 07860 490841 Twickenham.
Surrey Rugby vs Eastern Counties, County Championship Division 2 Plate Final.
Surrey in Navy shirts with Maroon trim. Picture shows:
Celebration

REIS20150531A © Ian Stratton 07860 490841 Twickenham.
Surrey Rugby vs Eastern Counties, County Championship Division 2 Plate Final.
Surrey in Navy shirts with Maroon trim. Picture shows:
Celebrations

Now it was officially lunch time. We met up with a few other girlfriends who had come along and some of the rugby team who weren’t playing and discussed our options. Some were heading back home, some wanted to stay and watch the next game, others already had plans for lunch and some just wanted to hang around a bit longer before joining us for lunch. So in the end Matt and I set off by ourselves in search of a pub that had been recommended and the others agreed to join us a bit later.

We battled the wind and rain – I was very glad I had gone for the sensible option of boots and a pac-a-mac! Until we found the pub, unfortunately it was pretty small, already full of people and due to the games at Twickenham they had stopped their usual pub menu and were only serving BBQ food…in the garden…in the rain.. Umm no thank you.

Matt mentioned a pub he knew in St Margarets called St Margarets Tavern, so he gave them a quick call and luckily they said they had room to squeeze us in. We walked back to Twickenham, picked up Emily and Hattie and started our walk to the pub. 15 Minutes he said…it’s not that far he said…It’s just the next town along he said. Ha. The Heaven’s opened, Emily was moaning and 5ft nothing ladies we’re struggling to keep up with Matt’s 6ft 6 strides. We tried to see the funny side of it knowing we would arrive looking like drowned rats and tried to skip/walk a little faster.

I must admit Matt knows a good pub and luckily the walk in the storm, was worth it!

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Finally in the warm and dry, we perused the menu and ordered some wine.

I already knew I wanted a roast and when we saw someone else’s arrive next to us, I knew I wanted it even more. It was huge! The Yorkshire pudding must have been as big as my head.

Emily and I went for the roasts, Hattie and Matt both went for the burger. It was all delicious!

While we were eating, we noticed the rain had stopped. Typical! Even so, we all insisted to Matt that we couldn’t walk back and so we ordered a cab to pick us all up ha. He probably thinks we are so lazy!

Toasty and full of yummy food, we headed back to Twickenham to meet up with everyone else to watch the England Game.

Once again the boys all sat together so they could talk and watch the game properly. Us girls sat the row behind them and got told off by them for talking about cats too much! Ha yes really.

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^^ Me and Hattie

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^^ Emily, Hattie and Myself

The England game was pretty boring, they were winning by miles and even the boys were getting fed up. It must have been slow! So we decided to leave the game early and head back home, before the crazy rush started.

It was a shame about the weather, as every other time I have visited it has been glorious sunshine and that makes the day so much more enjoyable. But if you haven’t had a day out at Twickenham I definitely recommend going. There’s seriously something for everyone and ladies if you’re being dragged along by your man, just remember you can drink wine and ogle hot hunky men in short shorts all day 😉

Love, Chloe xx