I know it doesn’t really come accross this way through my posts, but anyone who has met me will tell you I am very shy in person, I hate being the centre of attention and having all eyes on me, people singing happy birthday around a birthday cake is bad enough, so the whole wedding process, including dress fittings and hen-do was always going to make me nervous! Me and mum narrowed down the hen party options to two things, a meal in a Turkish restaurant or afternoon tea, and settled on the latter.
I went to the Orsett Hall over in Essex, joined by mum, aunt, nan, stepmum and three friends. It’s a really nice place and has lovely grounds, it’s quite popular too and whenever I’ve been it’s always busy and booked up in advance, there’s always a lot of baby showers there too!
The tables were nicely decorated and my aunt had bought me along a special balloon as well as the little favours my mum had organised – personalised chocolates and sweet bags. Mum also got me the customary ‘bride to be’ sash with ‘The Future Mrs Degirmenci’ and our wedding date written on it which I loved, it all made everything feel so real!
I’ve been to afternoon tea at the Orsett Hall 3 times before and each time it has been lovely, mostly similar food items but always a slightly different mix. This time we had 4 small finger sandwiches each – smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber, ham and mustard and egg and cress, which were nice (apart from the smoked salmon.. yuck) but let’s be honest, the real reason anyone goes to afternoon tea is for the cake, right? We had scones, jam and cream, pistachio cupcakes, macaroons, battenberg cake, chocolate covered strawberries and some kind of lemon and fruit dish in a mini jar which I’ve forgotten the name of! Of course the other main component of afternoon tea is the actual tea, and we had unlimited tea of every variety and flavour, fruit or otherwise, as well as water and coffee. I had strawberry and mango tea, lovely! Mum had booked the champagne afternoon tea so we all got a glass of champagne too which made the afternoon even more of a celebration, and the staff bought out a plate with ‘happy hen’ written on in chocolate for me which was a nice touch.
After the lovely food, I opened a few ‘hen’ presents, including these two bride and groom rubber duckies, my friends know me so well! Everyone that came all signed a special personalised plate that mum had found on the internet. I love this idea, everyone writes a message and then you put it in the oven for half an hour and the writing sets into the porcelain plate and becomes permanent and washproof. Definitely something good to keep and display on a special stand when we ever have our own house.
We spent a couple of hours sat at our table eating and chatting and then when outside into the grounds to take some photos, it was quite cold and it started to rain so we just rushed a few snapshots with everyone.
The funniest thing for me was taking a photo in the throne-like chair inside the Orsett Hall. Back in 2008, I had my senior school prom at this venue and had a photo taken of me sitting in the same exact chair. After a bit of digging through old photos I found that photo, and its quite scary when comparing them side by side, I don’t look too much different (although a bit fatter..). Who would have thought that 8 years later I’d be sitting in that same chair at my hen celebration, eh?
We all (I think..) had a lovely afternoon, and in the words of my friend “it was nice to have afternoon tea for a hen do, something different, everyone else just drinks through penis straws!’ which is totally true. Strippers, straws and cakes shaped like body parts and crude things are just not me, and it was lovely to have a nice quiet celebration with a few of my closest family and friends.
Now I have just 10 days left as a ‘Miss Smith’!!!