If 'L' plates and nylon veils aren't going to do it for the hen in your life, a fun original plan for a hen party could be a trip to Eckington Manor Cookery School. As well as fuelling the Best Man's speech with plenty of wifely-duty jokes, you can spend a relaxing weekend with the girls enjoying the beautiful scenery, great accommodation (the manor's luxurious set of converted barns), a gastro pub nearby and a brilliant, unpretentious cooking course that - after just four hours - will have you producing the perfect soufflé with a flourish.

Eight cooking stations mean that you all have your own chance to show off (four Agas and four gas convection cookers - this is the real deal); all the weighing and measuring has been done for you so you just get to watch, learn - oh, and eat amazing food. And there's no hard work about it - you're encouraged to enjoy wine as you cook, just like a proper hostess.

If it's not the hen party you've always dreamed of, it makes for a wonderful couple's weekend away instead - a great pre-marriage idea to forget the stress of wedding arrangements and enjoy yourselves, it's by no means only for girls.

Eckington Manor Cookery School, Manor Road, Eckington, Worcestershire, WR10 3BH. For more information, visit www.eckingtonmanor.co.uk.