My friend was 29. For her supposed ‘last night of freedom’ us bridesmaids decided it would be a great idea to have a Harry Potter hen party in London. This wasn’t out of the blue.
She’s obsessed with Harry Potter, like really obsessed. She wrote her 3rd year university dissertation on predicting the final book and it got published on The Leaky Cauldron – the ultimate Harry Potter fan site. She watches all the films repeatedly and at her subsequent wedding she walked down the aisle to the Harry Potter theme tune. Her husband to be and grooms party surprised her by wearing the school ties as their wedding attire. This pleased her immensely.
I could go on, but let’s get to the point…
Kayte’s Harry Potter hen do in London was brilliant, if I do say so myself.
Here’s how we did it.
Harry Potter hen party itinerary
– The bride!
Friday night – arrival beers, BYOB curry and party at the hostel.
Saturday – free breakfast at the hostel, get the bus to the Warner Bros Studio Tour, bus back, dinner at The Big Chill in Kings Cross, get ready at hostel, drinks in hostel, drinks in Kings Cross.
Sunday – breakfast at Karpo Restaurant opposite Kings Cross Station and Platform 9 3/4.
Friday of the Harry Potter themed hen party
We stayed at the Clink261 Hostel. The Carpenter’s Pub over the road provided the perfect meeting spot, seeing as I was late due to traffic and had all the info for my hostel phobic friends.
There were 16 of us so we had a 12 and a 4-bed room to share. We decorated the 12-person dorm with a Bellatrix Le Strange poster, a Hogwarts flag and some house badges. You could also use this cool Hogwarts bunting.
As soon as everyone had arrived we crammed into the dorm and got everyone sorted into teams. Kayte’s sister-in-love and my fellow bridesmaid Sarah is a crafty one and had made the sorting hat you see on the photo below from an old leather coat (or you could buy this one from Amazon).
We passed it round to wear and each hen had to pick a badge out of the bag to see which house they were destined to be in. I was strangely, and perhaps embarrassingly, over excited when I picked Gryffindor, as was Kayte.
These would be our teams for the Harry Potter quiz the next day on the bus.
After a quick change of clothes we left by taxi to the Adiva BYOB Restaurant. Here we had a private room. It was a cool place, and good for a large group, but I think because we were 16 in a 23 room it felt a little empty. If you’re not that bothered and can make your own party it’ll be fine.
After that we went back to the hostel for a few drinks in the bar. Quite a few in the hen party had been up early to fit work and travel in so it was good as people could go to bed when they wanted.
I stayed up, of course.
Saturday day of the Harry Potter hen party
One of the great things about staying at Clink261 was that breakfast was included so people could grab a coffee and some toast when they wanted.
We all dressed up in Harry Potter fancy dress to go to Harry Potter land and had £3 glasses and ties for anyone who didn’t. I went as your average witch, but most of other girls went for the Hogwarts uniform.
Yeah, not the most flattering photo with the sun and all, but you get the idea.
We messed up a bit on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and hadn’t booked it early enough for the Harry Potter themed hen party. You need to get in there quick!
We ended up having to pay more for a coach deal, which was a shame but at least we got there. It also turned out well in giving Kayte a deadline or we never would’ve left.
We all got our own tube tickets down to Victoria from Kings Cross and ended up being late. Thankfully, because the 16 of us pretty much were the coach, they’d waited for us.
We had a Harry Potter quiz on the bus, which 75% of us were useless at, but Kayte enjoyed. Again, good old creative Sarah made up all the questions, my limited knowledge would’ve been far too basic.
Harry Potter World was a lot better than some of us thought it would be and everyone had a good day. We were a bit quieter on the coach back but by the time we got to the Big Chill we were ready for a drink.
Most importantly, bridesmaid Kayte loved it.
Saturday evening of the Harry Potter hen do
Thank the Harry Potter God (Dumbledore?) for letting the lot of us in to the Big Chill. It was about 6pm and amazingly they had space, and let us fancy dressed lot use it. Everyone could order what they wanted and just chill from the crazy day dashing across London.
As you can see, the Harry Potter hen party was taking its toll on all but the most cheery of us muggles.
We could walk back to the hostel from The Big Chill and picked up a few bottles of Prosecco along the way.
You’re not allowed to drink at the Clink Hostel in the rooms, as we found out when they came pounding on our door after too much music. We got in quite a bit of trouble for this, which ended in a £50 fine the next day and if it wasn’t late they said they would’ve kick us out.
Between 16 of us £50 to drink in your room in London was actually a bargain, so all was well.
We had many, many bottles of Prosecco and one of the other fellow bridesmaids Jen had made some sherberty shots and drinks using vodka and skittles to imitate potions.
Yeah they look grim, but they were pretty good.
Just another little Harry Potter touch for the party.
More on hen parties in England
How to Plan a Hen Party in Stratford Upon Avon
Saturday night of the Harry Potter hen party
Don’t, whatever you do, book Star of Kings. I’d done my research, all I could but actually go down there, and booked this for 16 people. The 16 people who’d splashed the cash to come to my city for the weekend.
We turned up and it was shit, really shit. It was like a village hall. They had some party in the room I’d booked and the guy said he had no record of our booking. I was livid.
I showed him an email clearly confirming and he showed us to some room upstairs, like a classroom, and said ‘we could make it fun’ and that he ‘had a lead for us to plug our iPod in’.
One of my friends downstairs had bought a drink so I haggled with him and told him to give us all a shot of tequila to say sorry and we’d consider staying.
Drank it, considered it, naaah.
So now we were wandering round Kings Cross, I didn’t really know where to go so we headed back to the Big Chill and ended up finding the Lincoln Lounge along the way, which was brilliant.
It was a Saturday night but they had an absolutely perfect area for us out the back in the Moroccan bar area. We sat around drinking and telling stories of the bride for an hour or so and knocking back the Prosecco, before going on to the Big Chill to party.
The night finished in the kebab shop round the corner making friends with the staff and scoffing chips.
With the right attitude, it had all turned out for the best and we had a classic night with lots of silly fun and a funny story.
Harry Potter hen party Sunday breakfast
– (Obviously a photo from Harry Potter World, not the breakfast)
I hadn’t actually booked anywhere but somehow managed to find the Karpo restaurant near Euston station with a table upstairs where we could all fit. In fact we had the whole room to ourselves. It was great.
We’d made Kayte an old spell book for her hen present, with recipes for a successful marriage in it, or whatever people wanted to write.
The girls who were travelling back to Sheffield with Kayte went to see Platform 9 ¾ and got the classic photo of them running into the wall with the trolley to finish the excellent Harry Potter hen weekend off.
- Harry Potter tickets – book early, as in months early.
- Decorations – just go nuts on Amazon.
- Accommodation – the Clink Hostel was great, but you can’t drink in the rooms, well, can’t get caught.
- Food – the Big Chill is awesome and BYOB at Avida kept the costs down.
- Drink – Tescos is nearby, the Carpenters Arms is across the road, and there’s a bar at the hostel.
- Transport – the hostel is right in Kings Cross and near Euston so we could walk everywhere. We got taxis to the restaurant. Now you could just get one of your non London mates to get Uber and you’d probably get it for free.
If you don’t fancy having a Harry Potter hen party in London, how about visiting Lacock Abbey for some Harry Potter fun?
More adventures in England
How to Make the Most of 24 Hours in Bath
A Weekend Road Trip in the Mendip Hills, Somerset
How to Do the Best Road Trip in the Cotswolds