The Active Hen Project

The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
A couple of weekends ago, I headed up to London to be part of a very exciting project called The Active Hen. In collaboration with Maximise and a small group of lovely UK bloggers, we set out to help create the perfect Active Hen Weekend. The weekend was the first test run to see what we thought and now they are looking into tweaking bits with our recommendation before it goes up for sale!

Maximise have over 15 years of experience in hen and stag weekend organisation which has helped them to keep ahead of the trends. Recently, they have seen more women becoming interested in hen parties that have a more active theme to them. They already offer lots of energetic activities for hens (Assault course anyone?!), but are looking to go one step further and create a unique Active Hen package for the hens that want to try something a little different which has a strong fitness element to it but, keeping it fun and enjoyable at the same time. 

Now, you may have seen my Twitter and Instagram feeds go into overdrive with all the things we got up to but, I wanted to share my thoughts and experience on here. 
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
Elle, Sian, Christine, Georgina and I stayed in the lovely Marlin Apartments in East London for the duration of the weekend and, when we arrived we found our very own personalised onesies on our beds plus, a few bottles of Prosecco to whet our whistle. 

Our first acticity of the weekend was one I've always wanted to try so I was very excited! Alastair from the School of Food arrived at the apartment and we got straight down to learning the skills needed for sushi making.
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
Are those Chopsticks? or are you just happy to Sashimi?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

The next morning, we were up bright and early for a Yoga class with Martina from BreatheYoga. Although I was a bit dubious having never done Yoga before, I found it to be a relaxing way to start a busy Saturday, especially as we had a couple of activities planned for the afternoon.  
After Yoga, we had a some time to chill out at the apartment, grab a light lunch and then mosey on over to Shoreditch Park for our next activity - Old school sports day! 
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
For this, the team from Maximise joined us for a little bit of competitive fun! Gail, from North London Fitness put us through our paces with five-legged races, egg and spoon, welly wanging, sack racing, and, Tyre relay and, my favourite, a game of British Bulldog. 

Who knew exercise could be so much fun?!

(Words that I never thought would come out of my mouth)

Shooting back to the apartment, we showered, swapped our trainers for heels and took off into the sunny evening for a bit of cocktail making at Jewel bar in Piccadilly. 

It all got a little competitive and, slightly drunken (as cocktail making classes do)

 and, things started to heat up...
One down side was that the class was only an hour long and, mainly focused on us drinking as much as we could in that space of time. I know that this sort of activity is mainly for that but, it was a little rushed and I was looking forward to learning a little more on *how* to make the cocktails. I'm not a huge drinker anyways so, drinking lots of cocktails in the space of an hour is a little too much for me! Plus, we ended up with about ten cocktails that we couldn't really tuck in to as we had to dash off for dinner. 
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
And, I don't like seeing cocktails go to waste!

Dinner was at Grace which is located in Soho. I think we were all pleased that we had our own private room as there were so many hen parties in the restaurant - inflatable willies and 'L' plates galore! After our two courses, we decided to skip dessert, head to Whole Foods to grab some yummy treats, grab some face packs and head back to the apartment to get into our personalised onesies and have a girls night in complete with pampering! 

Which turned out to be a great idea as we were all so knackered from the Yoga and sports day!

This was only a trial run of the package, so tweaks can be made before it's launched on their site. Speaking from experience (I used to work for a company that organised stag and hen weekends) I feel that some changes need to be made to the Saturday evening aspect of it as it was very much like your typical hen party (Cocktail making was the most popular activity when I used to organise hen weekends!) with no sort of fitness/healthy-related activities in the evening.

Overall, I had a great time on the weekend and, have been talking about it non-stop since! Lot's of people I've spoken to have been really interested in the package as it seems different to your sterotypical stripper-drunken-cupcake making weekend. Inflatable willies, and L plates optional. 
Maximise are offering a special promotion for my readers – the bride goes free when you book a hen package. You just need to quote the code: ACTIVEHEN when booking online or over the phone (0208 236 0111).