Edinburgh is an amazing city and an excellent choice for a weekend hen party. But what to do and where to go if you want to party like a celebrity?
First of all, how to travel to Edinburgh in style.
Train is one stress-free option, Its just 4 hours from London to Edinburgh, grab a good book, a stack of magazines, some champagne and smoked salmon sandwiches from Marks and Spencer and “let the train take the strain”
Or, you could really take living like a celebrity to the next level and hire a private jet. It may sound extravagant but it is a very special weekend. Western Aviation can provide jets from Gloucestershire or Manchester airport from £6,000.00 for 6 people. Yes, we know it is a lot compared to the train, but it really does add more than a touch of glamour to your hen weekend, which, is after all, something you only do once in a lifetime (we hope!).
So you’ve arrived in Edinburgh what are you going to do for the next 48 hours?
A successful hen weekend is all in the planning. Whilst Edinburgh offers so much to see and do, it’s important to ensure your group gets time to relax as well. After all there’s no point in hiring a beautiful Grade 1 Georgian mansion if you’re not going to spend some time chilling like a celebrity.
Unless you have some wannabe Nigella’s or Lorraine Pascales in the group, its probably a good idea to hire a private chef for one evening and explore the bars and restaurants on the other night. You’re going to need supplies for the weekend so make sure you order what you need (all major supermarkets deliver) and have it delivered just after you arrive on Friday afternoon.
You’ve arrived in Edinburgh, time for a wander around, but first a pit stop for tea and cake. It’s a special weekend and this calls for a proper patisserie. Chose from the delicious selection at Labarantine, its hard to choose from their selection of classic french cakes which all look irresistible, from a macaron framboise to a citron meringue. Whilst you’re there, why not take home a selection of their french artisan breads for a leisurely breakfast on Saturday morning. There are four branches in Edinburgh to choose from.
If you are searching for something a bit different as a gift for your bridesmaids, how about visiting perfumer Lelabo
Known for its cruelty-free ethos, pared-back stores decorated with vintage finds, it is loved by celebrities. You can have a custom printed label for your perfume which is mixed on the premises to ensure total freshness. A lovely way to remember an amazing weekend.
A recent attraction to Edinburgh is the Chocolatarium which opened in September 2019. They offer tours lasting 90 minutes and not only do you get to sample lots of chocolate, but you can also make your own.
Make your way back to Drylaw House and relax in the hot tub with a glass of something bubbly before you head out for the evening. You could even order some bespoke mini vintage champagne bottles each with their own label for something very special. Download our classic hen party songs playlist below, which, of course, includes all our favourites including Ellie’s track from Bridget Jones Baby.
Scotland is the home of whisky, but it also has a numerous amount of gin distilleries, including Edinburgh Gin. Why not start your evening out at the Heads and Tails Bar, the home of Edinburgh Gin, they have an extensive Gin menu and as you would expect as well as Cocktails from £8.50.
The Cauldron in Edinburgh offers an experience like no other, almost a “Harry Porter like cocktail experience”. Darning a robe and wand (we said It was very Harry Porter) after 1 hour and 45 minutes you will have created drinks that change colour, bubble and even smoke!
From a dungeon to a bar with a view. The Bar at Harvey Nichols is situated on the 4th floor. As you would expect from Harvey Nichols, the drinks menu is extensive. Enjoy a cocktail or glass of champagne and take in views over the north of Edinburgh and The Fourth Estuary. Another bonus for chocolate lovers is The Harvey Nichols Chocolate Lounge, everything ‘Chocolate’ you can imagine including cocktails, go wild, you can get back to the gym on Monday!
Continuing with the theme of great views, The Outlook does not disapoint. Built on a cantilever, the restaurant is partially suspended over Calton Hill. Designed with floor to ceiling windows the views are spectacular and so is the food. They offer breakfast, an a la Carte menu, a daily market menu (at lunch only), a tasting menu and also a vegan tasting menu
For a Brasserie with exceptional style, try The Honours, owned by multi award wining chef Martin Wishart, both food and interiors will not disapoint.
It’s Saturday! Enjoy a leisurely start to the day with the papers or watching Saturday Kitchen whilst you enjoy some of the pastries and sourdough you picked up yesterday.
There is so much to see and do in Edinburgh (check out our other blogs on things to do in the city) but you can find some of the worlds’ greatest art at The Scottish National Gallery and The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
The list of artists exhibits is extensive but includes works by Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, Damien Hurst and David Hockney.
There’s not much point renting a stunning Grade 1 listed house set in beautiful walled gardens, with huge rooms and floor to ceiling windows if you’re not going to spend some time relaxing in its’ splendour. So for Saturday night how about dressing up and staying in?
House Party guests have been experiencing the culinary delights offered by Private Chef, Mark Heirs, for several years now and recommendations are always glowing!
Choose from a three course meal to as many courses as you like.
Whilst Mark prepares your feast, why not enjoy some cocktails in the drawing room.
With an amazing feast to look forward to you might want a healthier and lighter option for lunch after you’ve taken in some exhibitions at the art galleries.
Hula was Edinburgh’s first juice bar, opening in 2007. Not only do they offer a great selection of juices. they alos offer a selection of wraps, salads, poke and hula bowls. There is a lot of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu and the restaurant is plastic free.
Sushi is a great light lunch option. Head to Umi for some Tuna tartare, truffle edamame beans, sushi, sashimi or ramen dishes.
A trip to Edinburgh wouldn’t be complete without some shopping. Edinburgh not only offers all the big name stores and luxury brands you’d expect, but also a great selection of independent shops.
Head to Alc for womenswear, they specialise in denim but also have a selection of more unique designers. Covet have a great selection of bags, scarfs and jewellery and if you really want to splash out you will find designs such as Roland Mouret, Diane von Furstenberg and Goat adorning the rails at Jane Davidson and then further down Thistle Street is Pam Jenkins with some Jimmy Choo’s or Louboutins to finish off the look.
Hopefully you’ll still just have enough time to nip for a quick drink at The Bon Vivant Bar and if you need supplies for your evening, then The Bon Vivant’s Companion right next door stocks over 300 wines, 100 whiskies, 40 gins as well as an excellent selection of beers. They also offer in house tastings and master classes.
After a full day exploring head back, enjoy a dip in the hot tub and then look forward to an amazing dinner.
Before you depart Edinburgh on Sunday, blow the cobwebs away with a walk up Calton Hill or Arthurs Seat. Should you be feeling a little worse for wear, then the Scots traditional hangover cure is IrnBru-but we really don’t recommend that! With 3 shops in Edinburgh Oink Hog Roast offers delicious hog roast rolls in three sizes, piglet, oink and grunter! All served with the choice of stuffing or haggis, a perfect alternative to a burger or bacon sarnie with a Scottish twist.