2) I had no involvement in the planning - which was AWESOME!
My bestest friend and my sister sorted the whole thing, from the location to the accommodation to the food to the activities to everything. And, it was the best ever. I couldn't have asked for anymore. Add into that all the help from my other bestest friends and you had the recipe for an amazing weekend.
We went to Manchester - my favourite city in the world. Since being there as a student, it is one of those places that just has everything for me and is always the place I choose to go for an idle (or not so idle) weekend. We stayed in a great apartment in the Northern Quarter - perfect for the purpose.
Friday night was the typically perfect start of Hen, the snacking, drinking and chatting. No going out, just getting to know everyone and telling awful stories (they had a wonderful game where they had all written down a memory of me and I had to guess who had said what - on the plus I got them all right, on the minus, it forced me into telling some AWFUL stories. Poor Bent George is all I have to say - who knew that nickname would stick?
Saturday we started with a champagne breakfast (all hen planners - do this! It completely got us over any sore heads and set us up for the day. Will the doctor approve? No. But you are doing this once - do it right!), followed by a trip on the Manchester eye and another quick drink in the markets (Apfelwein, how I love you...). Then on to the funnest thing ever: our cocktail making class.
Yep, all eight of us descended on Obsidian on Prince's Street (if you go, ask for Tom - don't mention my name, I have a feeling he was not overly fond of us in the end...) and had a private cocktail class. It was fabulous. We all got a cocktail of our choice to start with (French Kiss = yummy) and then got to (attempt to) make three more. I had assumed that this would involve trying a mouthful of each one.
Nope - we all got one each of the three we tried and, in addition, the 'makers' got the one they made, meaning that we all got five cocktails each. Plus a shot of champagne. And various other shots given for correct answers in the 'History of Cocktails quiz'.
Fast forward two hours and we all, very tipsily, left the bar. Three of us headed off to the shops to buy false eyelash glue and ended up getting thrown out of Debenhams for taking photos of a man doing a knife demonstration (I was so close to getting my free cuts-through-steel-knife)...
You can just see Mr Knife Man
Just as we were being told to leave
That evening we went out for a delicious meal at a restaurant run by a Peter Andre obsessed man and then on to a club to see the superstars that are.......
Yep, the girl group who were in X Factor. Whether it was through pity that their tickets were only £6 or the fact we were running on a lot of alcohol, we all cheered wildly as they performed the same three songs they did on X Factor along with the same dance routines...
And then all that was left was for us to stumble home to sleep and then pour our sorry, hungover selves, onto trains the next day.
All in all, the best weekend ever. A massive thanks to my brilliant friends - they really made it a fabulous time.