Afternoon tea has long been a cultural institution in Britain, first favoured by the aristocracy before becoming a popular and luxurious pastime for everyone who enjoys the finer things in life.
Likewise, hen nights are a particularly important event for brides and the people who love them. Brides increasingly want to make their event extra-special, and organising an afternoon tea hen party can be the perfect way to do just that.
Here’re a few top tips on getting your own event just right…
Set the date
This should be the first stage of your planning, as with a wedding to organise and plenty of other things on your mind, the hen party is still one of the most important events leading to the big day.
You’ll need to know your date so you can assess which venues can cater to your requirements, and so you can check who will be available to attend. Before choosing the date, it’s wise to quickly ask anyone you’d like to be there – bridesmaids, family members, co-workers, close friends – if there are any days they definitely can’t join in.
This not only helps with your planning, but it will allow you to whittle down days which do work for all (or at least most) of the people you want to be at your hen party.
Decide on your theme
Afternoon tea might sound like a theme in itself, but you’ll soon discover while carrying out your research that there are lots more themes which lend themselves to afternoon tea.
Some venues choose to keep it traditional, with delicious cakes and finger sandwiches in elegant surroundings. Others get creative, either offering a more unconventional themed menu or even encouraging guests to take part in fancy dress.
Think about the kind of wedding you’re planning, and the kind of hen party you’re in the mood for. Is it a refined party, or something more raucous? All of these factors will help you to decide if an additional theme is needed to plan your dream hen party.
Organise your guest list
By now, you should have a clearer idea of both the theme and who will be able to make your hen party – so now it’s time to write up the guest list. This is another important step, as before you book a venue you’ll need to check whether they can accommodate the size of the gathering.
Book the perfect venue
Our in-house restaurant, Plate at M by Montcalm, offers a delicious traditional afternoon tea in Shoreditch – with staff who are happy to discuss any special requirements prior to the event. Our experienced staff are professional and friendly, happy to help ensure everything runs smoothly. For visitors who want to experience afternoon tea at its finest, this is a great place to host your hen party!
Other afternoon tea venues can be found throughout the city, providing different twists on this classic British mainstay, at a variety of different price points.
We recommend visiting at least three of the venues on your shortlist before you book, and asking to speak to a senior member of staff (or in-house event planner). This will help to put your mind at ease, and also gives you the chance to decide whether you like the look and feel of the space.
Decorate the venue
Depending on the kind of afternoon tea you have booked, you may wish to assist with or oversee any decorating which happens at the venue. Perhaps you’ve booked a private room, or simply want to add something unique to the menu? Discuss all of these aspects with the event planner/venue staff and consider how long it will take to customise the space to your requirements.
For simpler afternoon teas (or particularly stunning locations) you may be able to skip this, as the staff will already be hard at work ensuring your day at M Shoreditch hotel is perfect.
Add something extra
Why simply stop at having an afternoon tea? If you’re already in the city, this is the ideal time to bond over some other fun activities. The Beauty & Melody Spa at M by Montcalm provides a range of incredible treatments to soothe and revitalise, which will help guests relax and feel truly pampered during the trip.
This is a grown-up new take on the traditional hen party, and is already becoming increasingly popular. After you’ve enjoyed your afternoon tea and a trip to the spa, you could even consider heading into the city for a night out – knowing you look and feel your best.
Go on a shopping spree
If you’re meeting your guests before the afternoon tea event, why not indulge in some local shopping? Brick Lane Market isn’t far away from your hotel, and provides lots of incredible finds which you won’t be able to get anywhere else. This is also a great opportunity for guests to buy the bride a few gifts, as well as being a great spot to walk around and experience true London culture.
Send your invitations
There are lots of different ways to send your hen party afternoon tea invitations. Some people prefer to send them on paper, often creating decorative, memorable invitations which give guests a taster of what to expect from the day.
Be sure to include the date and time of your event on the invitations, as well as anything guests need to know about the dress code (if applicable). Once you’ve booked your venye and decided on all the other aspects which help you plan the event, then this is the final piece of the puzzle.
If you’d prefer to keep your invitations digital, then they can be as friendly and informal as sending a few e-mails or even contacting your guests in a group chat. Remember to ask for an RSVP to ensure you know exactly who to expect on the day.