One of my friends from when I studied at the University of Kent, Sarah, is getting married in March this year and so I was invited to her hen weekend in good old Brighton, East Sussex. The hen weekend had a Harry Potter theme and we had great fun splitting into teams under the names of each of the houses at Hogwarts and competing against each other throughout the weekend. I only knew one other person at the hen weekend – our mutual friend Emily who also studied with us, but we were welcomed by Sarah’s lovely family, in laws and school friends. The sorting hat told me I was in Gryffindor, along with Sarah, Emily and Sarah’s cousin Roxy. We were each given bags with our house emblem on which were full of fun bits for the weekend and a ton of sweets!
I’ve visited Brighton many times and even lived and worked there for a year so I know a little about the area and have many fond memories. However, two things I haven’t done before in Brighton is attend a pottery painting session or attempt an escape room.
Playing Secret Agents
As a group of 16 we made our way through Brighton town centre to Escape Room Brighton. At first, we were a little unsure what it was going to be like as we were led down to the basement to check in and divide into our teams. We had three different escape rooms booked – Secret Agent: The Black Box, Return of the Mad Scientist and Murder at the Pier Revenge. I was a little nervous about attempting the escape room – I was worried I would feel trapped in the room and this would lead me to panic – however I needn’t have worried!
I was assigned to the Secret Agent room and we had such a good time! We had a room full of clues and different puzzles to solve and codes to crack to unlock a load of padlocks. It took us a little while to get started and we might have needed to ask for a little help with knowing where to start but once we got going we were on a roll! We were even the first room to finish first and we were delighted! I won’t say too much more about the rooms or how to solve them in case any readers are planning and visit – I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone! All I will say is give these rooms a go – I know there’s lots of them popping up all over the place and it’s a good hour of fun. Don’t worry if you feel a bit nervous or like you will feel trapped – I knew I was able to get out literally by walking through the unlocked door; but I was having too much fun and was too engrossed in solving the puzzles to worry!
Pottery Painting Pleasure
After the fast paced and competitive vibe at the escape room we moved onto the Brighton Pottery Painting Cafe for a more sedate afternoon painting ceramic mugs. We were sat downstairs in our own little area on four tables of four. We were shown a selection of different types and shapes of mugs and then told how to prepare them to paint.
We were given free reign over the paints and stencils of which to use to create our unique designs. I was aiming for an underwater / seaside theme however once I started to try and draw a ship’s anchor I realised how the design I had chosen was too detailed and I could barely trace it with a pencil let alone paint it! I decided to change track and painted some very simple looking flowers. I wasn’t too impressed with my work (I think a five-year-old could have done better) but I enjoyed the process and think everyone else did too. You have to leave your painted items there to be fired and glazed and then pick them up at a later date. I believe ours are all being sent (on mass) to Sarah’s mums house and then we will each collect our finished products at the wedding – something extra to look forward too!
All Things Hen
Aside from these two fun activities there were lots of other exciting hen related shenanigans. We played loads of fun games, had lovely food and engaged in a photo competition where each team had to get as many photos as they could off a list of photo challenges. These included giving a piggy back to a stranger, paddling in the sea and dancing on a table. The rules stipulated that you had to make sure you had all of your team mates in the picture and to get as many as you could. We had a fun time rushing around Brighton and the pier trying to get as many of the photos as possible – the piggy back with a stranger and a photo with a police officer eluded us though!
At the end of the weekend, the points from all the challenges and games were added up and the winning team was Gryffindor – the team both I and the bride to be were in! Whooop! We were each presented with a certificate, wand and huge bar of galaxy – yum!
I had such a lovely weekend for Sarah’s hen; her family and friends were so lovely and welcoming and the activities felt like they suited her perfectly. I’m looking forward to the upcoming wedding now (and getting my mug!).