“Are you going to blog about this Mil?” Well, obviously.
The weekend just gone, I got up bright and early on a Saturday morning to hop aboard a train to Cambridge for a hen do. Not just any hen do. The bride-to-be is one of my all-time favourite people, who also happens to be called Milly. The best friendships are the kind where you share a name…and learning lots of life lessons while growing up as Buffy-obsessed scene kids.
I’d been to Cambridge before, kinda. As in, when I was in college we went to a cinema there, and I once went to a gig at a venue I can’t even remember the name of, it was that long ago. That, right there, is my full experience of Cambridge. But oh boy, is is a lovely town. Beautiful buildings and so much green everywhere you look. We were blessed with the sunniest of days to enjoy our adventures – and even though we weren’t there that long, I realised it’s somewhere I definitely need to head back to again.
If you do a lil’ Google Image Search for Cambridge, a hell of a lotta snaps of punting on the river pop up. And for good reason – it’s probably one of the most awesome things you can do there.
I’d never actually been punting before, but being a bit of a water baby I was pretty hyped over it. That and hoping I didn’t fall in, because that’s a standard Milly move. We split into two groups, and hopped aboard our boats powered by two (rather good looking, sorry Conor) dudes with poles, Ed and Rory. Because they were top guys, they managed to spend most of the ride with our boats side by side – perfect for passing the Cava back and forth.
A couple of us had a go at punting (although I declined as responsible Cava distributor), which was brilliant. We might have hit a few walls and went a bit wonky, but it was a really fun experience. Despite the fact it looked REALLY tiring – how do these guys do it all day?! The ride took us past so much of Cambridge’s stunning architecture, and is pretty much the perfect thing to do on a sunny day. I didn’t even flinch at the ducks when they got quite near the boat…
After a fabulous cruise around the river, we took a stroll through the teeming streets of Cambridge (srsly, SO busy) towards good ol’ Pizza Express. Except, we nearly missed it, because it was in a gorgeous white pillared building. Not your average Pizza Express for sure.
Inside was just as impressive – we were sent through to our table in the back room, which was high-ceilinged and filled with books. The perfect restaurant location for a literary bride-to-be. Speaking of books, the wonderful bridesmaids presented us all with goody bags. Inside were novels, cute little acessories and, obviously…willy straws. Cause hens gonna hen.
Pizza Express were doing a deal where you could get yourself a starter and main for just £9.95. Which, considering most of their mains are £10+ anyway, is a pretty sweet offer. I did the classic dough balls starter – and as usual, they delivered. After shovelling my face with dough and butter, I opted to go sort of healthy for my main, with a Leggera American Hot. I really do love the Leggera pizzas, because the salad is actually super nice. Definitely a great alternative to a full on carbfest on a sunny day.
To round off our meal, we took part in a ‘Milly quiz’ about the bride-to-be. Thankfully for our friendship, I landed a respectable 9/10…
After sunning ourselves and doing precisely zero hard work, it was time for…even more relaxing. The hotel for the weekend was The Cambridge Belfry. The hotel was so lovely – actually in Cambourne, outside of Cambridge itself, with lots of countryside-y-ness (yeah, I’m making that a word) and a stunning lake.
Once we’d had dinner, it was time to start living it up for the ‘party’ bit of the hen party. Rather than heading out, we took full advantage of the hotel’s lush outdoor spaces and well-stocked bar. I’d tell you about what went down, but what happens on hen dos most definitely stays on hen dos.
(We did play shot roulette and sing/dance to what was probably the majority of the Buffy musical episode though. There’s a tidbit…)
Waking up on the Sunday morning with only a minor headache (score!), it was time for breakfast and pampering. Two things I rather like. After munching on sausage and bacon and beans, we soaked up the stunning surroundings and took a dip (not in the lake). My freshly dyed pink hair tied up HIGH on my head so it didn’t get wet, I chilled in the jacuzzi and pool until it was time for my treatments.
Having started my new job last week, it was definitely the perfect time to reward myself with some chill vibes and a relaxing massage. And it was so very good. I pretty much made ‘nnguuuh’ noises the whole time. In my head, obviously, I’m not that weird. As well as a tension relieving back and shoulder massage, I also got my feet and ankles seen to. Cue me having such a spring in my step on the way to work on Monday morning, I almost bounced off into the road.
Although all four ‘p’ words were pretty good, what absolutely made the weekend was another ‘p’ – the people. A mixture of ladies I adore but don’t get to see very often and a couple of wonderful mostly-new faces, it was just amazing to share such a happy weekend with such strong, caring and all-out-fun women. And of course, the amazing bride-to-be, who I couldn’t be more proud of.
Got a bit gushy there eh? To summarise: Cambridge was lush. I like pizza. Massages are brill. Women rock. What a weekend.
Have you ever visited Cambridge? Did you go punting?!