TRAVEL REVIEW: Hen weekend a Steel City treat - SLIDESHOW

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My best friend’s hen weekend went off like a dream - much to my relief!

Sipping wine in the sunshine, pole dancing, afternoon tea, massages in the spa, cocktail-making and cuban dancing...



The location of this dream hen weekend? Why, right here in Sheffield of course!

As Maid of Honour it was my job to make sure the single lady was seen off in style and as I began my planning, months before, trawling the internet for ideas, I couldn’t believe the array of activities on offer right here in our fair city.

And so began the busiest and best weekend my friends and I have ever spent together.

We met at St Paul’s Mercure Hotel on Friday morning where we’d booked two luxurious - and spacious rooms - for five of us for the weekend.

After sneaking in early to decorate up with bunting and balloons, there was barely time for a quick toast to the bride before we hopped in a taxi to St Mary’s Community Hall in Walkey. Here we met our Pole Mission instructor Stacey, who spent the next hour showing us how to bend our bodies into hilarious shapes and perform impressive twists and turns on poles secured around the room. We left, a little sore and stiff, but with some great photos and videos - a truly great, giggly and girly icebreaker to the weekend.

After a quick change into our ‘ladies that lunch’ dresses, it was time for a gorgeous afternoon tea at Eten, opposite the cathedral, where our reserved table was decorated with delicate sandwiches, beautiful cakes, pots of tea served in vintage china and glasses of champagne.

Back in the hotel, our two-night break included a complimentary spa treatment, so the rest of the afternoon was taken up wearing fluffy white robes and gossiping between treatments in the hotel spa’s gorgeous relaxation rooms.

For the first evening of our city break, we’d booked a private cocktail masterclass at Vodka Revolution on West Street - it would turn out to be one of our fantastic weekend’s highlights.

We arrived to find a private bar area set up for us and, clearly skilled in the handling of hens, our barman Jack expertly demonstrated the creation of a number of classics before letting us each behind the bar to try out our new-found talents.

In true hen party style, there were dares, shots, games, delicious platters of fried food and even a sing-off between ourselves and the barmen. Which we won.

We topped the night off with a visit to Cuba De Revolution, just down the street, where we danced, banged bongos with the live band and the bride led a conga-line around the bar before we insisted on dragging her back to the hotel for a well-earned rest.

Saturday we woke to a beautiful view of the city and a delicious full English in the hotel’s fabulous dining area. After breakfast, we headed to the Jury’s Inn on Eyre Street for some nude fun - every hen weekend needs some - at a Life Drawing class. This was our second activity of the weekend organised by the fantastic and we couldn’t have been more thrilled with the activities we booked through them. Our model was a great sport and 90 minutes of drawing, giggling, sketching and blushing later we were issued with our certificates of course completion. Who knew learning could be such fun?

For lunch we headed to Harland Works Cafe where we met with Emma from Running With Scissors. After hearty sandwiches and mugs of hot chocolate, we headed up to Emma’s studio where we spent a lovely and relaxing two hours creating our very own Sock Monsters.

We honestly had no idea what to expect from this activity, but our bride insists this was one of her favourite parts of the whole two days. We picked our own materials and patterns, before hand-stitching and creating our very own souvenir of the trip. It also gave us a chance to unwind and laugh together, chatting back over our crazy weekend so far. Finally it was time to get our hen dolled up in her L-Plates and veil for a night on the tiles. As a special treat we’d reserved the private karaoke room, upstairs in ‘Varsity’ on West Street, and when we arrived at 8.30pm, 40 of the bride’s friends were there waiting with champagne to sing and dance the night away in our own private gigantic booth.

Our hen weekend in Sheffield was one of the best we’ve ever spent together anywhere - a real treat with plenty of escapism.

It was easy to forget we were just 20 minutes from our own front doors. And after it was all over, there was no early morning flight or long bumpy train ride back home. Fantastic.