Of all the fun antics to be had on a hen party, it's the 'getting ready' part that we look forward to the most. Painting your nails with a flute of Champagne in hand is quite possibly the loveliest part of the day, so why not step it up a gear and host a proper tea party with all the trimmings? Serve baby éclairs, crustless sandwiches, a pot of tea and pink Champagne on ice, with a tray of pretty nail polishes for your girls to play with.
For an authentic experience, hire some vintage crockery from Idyllic Days - a gorgeous props rental company who also style events and weddings. It won't cost a fortune: a ditsy floral cup with saucer is just £2, while cake stands are from £5. You'll also find cake knives, milk jugs, glassware, birdcages and candelabras - and if you fall in love with the collection they have enough in stock for a 500-guest wedding!
We also found out that if you host your hen tea-party throughout the month of September, Idyllic Days will donate 10 per cent of their sales to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. It's in support of the Brides at Work day (September 17) in association with the National Wedding Show, which encourages employees to wear their wedding outfits to raise funds for the charity.
So gather your chicks, get out the pearls and feast on a glorious tea whilst doing your bit for charity: getting ready is the new going out.
Head to www.idyllicdays.com for more information.

Mel Yates