An Independent Hen Do in Oxford

 In Inspiration

Yesterday morning my Mum, sister and I made a very exciting trip up to Summertown to pick up my sister’s gorgeous wedding dress from The Bridal Box (via a quick ogle at all the gorgeousness in Vanilla!) The guys at The Bridal Box have been so helpful, friendly and professional, plus it’s such an added bonus to have in-house seamstresses. It’s now under a month until her wedding so I’m looking forward to a month full of making, crafting, planning and creating to make their day a really unique and special one!

As part of my role as Maid of Honour I have not only been working away making hundreds of pom poms (!!) I was also in charge of planning the hen do too, and being the Indie Oxford fan that I am, it had to include some of the wonderful independent businesses in our city. We had quite a large group of hens at 23 people so I had to think of activities and places that would accommodate us all, but be lovely, chilled and great for people to dip in and out of too.

It was a bright day in April, which was lovely as we started the day by gathering in Broad Street for a mini Oxford walking tour. This was a great way to get people mixing and mingling, and to show off our awesome city to everyone who had travelled here for the day. We wandered through century old streets taking in the Sheldonian, Trinity College, the Bodleian, Radcliffe Camera and an obligatory detour through to the Turf before meandering down Queen’s Lane towards Cowley.

Bridge of Sighs Oxford group shot

Our next activity took us up Iffley Road to The Magdalen Arms. I had arranged to be there mid afternoon so Flo at the Magdalen had very kindly booked out a load of tables in the bar so we could have drinks and snacks while getting creative with Lucy from Petite Fleur.

Lucy Petite Fleur workshop

Lucy is an amazing local florist who often sells her gorgeous bouquets at The Annie Sloan Shop on Cowley Road, and had, on this day, set up a beautiful flower crown workshop for us all in the pub. She had styled up the tables, so we were greeted with a whole host of beautiful flowers on arrival, which looked perfect in the Magdalen and really went with the pub’s eclectic, vintage look, as she had thoughtfully brought pretty mismatched vases and jugs for the flowers.

Petite Fleur flower crown workshop

Lucy had set out equipment for everyone including a length of ivy for the basis of the flower crowns. As we were such a big group she moved around the table teaching smaller numbers the process, which worked really well, meaning that people could go to the bar, chat and dip back into the workshop when they needed some more guidance.

Lucy Petite Fleur

It was such a fun, relaxing and communal activity with everyone helping each other out, giving advice and inspiration, while sipping a glass of Prosecco or two! The flowers that Lucy had selected were perfect for flower crowns and each of us came away with our own unique crown to wear for the rest of the day!

Flower fairies

Flower fairies!

The Magdalen Arms was the perfect venue to while away a Saturday afternoon, and it’s our go to place for a laid back lunch too. This Saturday (7th May) The Magdalen Flea Market is back with an exciting selection of traders and dealers selling everything from junk and bric a brac to vintage, retro and awesome auction room finds. The Market kicks off at 9.30 and runs until 3.30 so why not explore whats on offer and stay for lunch. You can now even buy the delicious signature Magdalen Focaccia from the bar to take away too!

Magdalen Arms Flea Market

To find out more about Lucy’s flower crown workshops or to speak to her about wedding flowers, check out her Indie Oxford page here.

Into the evening we stayed in Cowley, making our way to Big Society for cocktails before heading to Door 74 for our evening meal. This restaurant is perfect for a big group of people, as although it looks tiny from the outside, Door 74 has a lovely 1st dining room which you can hire for private functions of up to 30 people. They offer a set menu, which makes it so much easier when it comes to divvying up the bill, and also let you decorate the space to make it totally your own. I added confetti and pom poms to the table plus set up a photobooth table with props and speech bubbles. The service is friendly, quick and efficient which is perfect when your on a tight schedule!

Door 74

Our final stop for the day was The Mad Hatter on Iffley Road. The team had booked out a whole section for our gang and their great drinks packages for groups make it really affordable and super easy so we could head straight for the dance floor!

Mad Hatter

If you’d like to explore more Indie options for your event in Oxford, check out our directory where you can find a whole host of awesome Indies from shops to pubs, and art to well-being. Similarly, if you’d like your business to be listed in the directory, you can contact us here to find out more.

Love, Rosie xxx

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