A Windsor hen party – the girls weekend away and river cruise

This summer has involved a lot of travel for me, mostly due to the number of weddings (back in the UK and overseas) that I have been invited to attend. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I wrote about the hen weekend in Goa that I organised for one of my best friends. The months have flown since then and I was soon meeting all of her oldest friends from the UK for a lovely hen weekend spent in Windsor, the week before the wedding. Being the caring, sharing soul that I am,  I thought I’d share some of the (non-juicy) details for those looking to organise a similar girlie weekend away.

I wasnt responsible for organising this one, so I’ll save the hen party organisation tips for another post, and keep this one focussed on Windsor itself.

The destination was a perfect choice for us, it’s central location meant that it wasn’t too far for anyone to reach (including myself who flew in to Heathrow that very weekend!) The town has the perfect mix of history, culture, character and greenery to satisfy those looking to get out of a hectic city environment, but still have plenty of entertainment.

We had arranged an afternoon’s river cruise, which we themed as a quintessential English afternoon tea, decorating the boat in bunting and bringing our own sandwiches, cakes and other tasty treats, as well as several bottles of fizzy and a jug of Pimms. We created a playlist for the occasion (think dance-inducing beats and singalong hits) and brought the bride-to-be a captain’s hat to wear for the day! The boat (Sula) was a modern Dutch river cruiser with a very charming skipper and we hired her for three hours on a Saturday afternoon by contacting the company directly here.

We were staying at The Sir Christopher Wren Hotel, a gorgeous four star property located right on the riverbank, making it very easy for us to set up the boat, and a perfect place to retreat onto dry land afterwards for a drink with a view. The rooms were lovely with plenty of character and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The bar stayed open late for us when we returned in the evening, which was much appreciated, however it seemed they struggled a little with breakfast the following day, not having enough tables for the number of guests, which resulted in some people having a very long wait to start their day.

We went out for dinner to the lovely Gilbey’s restaurant, just a short walk over the bridge from the hotel, where we had a private dining room and enjoyed a delicious three course dinner, helped along with plenty more wine, before commencing a full exploration of Windsor by night – which was much busier than we had anticipated, and not so easy to navigate once the sun (and wine) went down!

The next morning (luckily, and somewhat surprisingly) we were saved any breakfast queues by being up fairly early. The food was good and there was plenty of it, fuelling us all for our onward journeys, although we did make the time for a morning stroll along the river to say goodbye to the swans (and grab a cheeky recovery Bloody Mary beside the river in the sunshine).

As girls weekends away in England go, I would definitely put Windsor high on the list of potential destinations (alongside Bath, Oxford and Brighton for me personally) and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the hotel to anyone who does decide to visit. As for more details of the hen party itself, I’m afraid those stay with the girls!