Hen do food ideas

Hi everyone,

I’m in the middle of planning a hen do at a lovely house in Kent, where 10 of us will spend most of the weekend.

I was just wondering if anyone had any tried-and-tested meal ideas/themes for both nights? We haven’t got enough budget to do private caterers or anything, but any feast ideas that are impressive but not too time consuming would be great – thank you!

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I love to do lots of sharing platters as then you can cater for everyone’s dietary requirements too - put it all on a table and let them help themselves? Lots of Ottolenghi dishes work well and then maybe a shoulder of lamb on the BBQ?

In this book Dr Rupy has some nice dinner party menus which have lots of sharing plates and cater for plant-based diets


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Amazing, thanks – I love Dr Rupy!

How about one of the nights baking a whole salmon - fish always goes down well with girls. I love serving up some interesting side dishes - but one of my favourites is the Gizzie Erskine superfood salad that has a quinoa, kale, brocolli, avocado, and endame base with a lovely japanese dressing. Ordinarily it has hot smoked salmon ontop so easy to swap in the baked salmon. It’s surprisingly hearty.
Otherwise Paella is an easy one for a crowd and Gordan Ramsay’s recipe in his sunday lunch book is a failsafe. You can then carry the theme through with some spanish tapas style nibbles and some Cava to kick it all off (M and S do a delicious Brut Cava which is great also value).
Hope this helps! xx

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Amazing, thanks Pip! x

We e often have themed our nights in with food and drinks so

Tapas night - sangria, lots of big dishes that can be cooked in advance and also easy to assemble type canapes and salads.
Mexican is another easy one with margaritas and build your own tacos, again doesn’t require too much prep. Micheladas. A slow roasted joint that’s been prepper - a Pinata and the limbo!
Also depending on weather a seafood bbq surf and turf style is also always fun and you can prep cocktails like pimms, aperol, frose in big water dispensers which looks quite nice too. A little station by the side to ‘pimp’ your drink with fresh fruits, sparkly things, personalised glasses. Can then do lawn games, beer or prosecco pong while you graze


Thanks, Mia!

I’m vegan and often make a big pot of chilli-non-carne with rice. Dead easy - vegan mince, tomatoes, onions, kidney beans, passata and chillies. You could always cheat and buy the ready made sauce in supermarkets.

Wonderful, thanks – definitely veering towards a Mexican night one of the evenings!

I love themed nights, a Mexican or Italian night is fail safe. Alternatively you could have diner theme with a build your own burger bar, mozzarella dippers, buffalo wings, loaded fries etc. with a variety of sauces and toppings. Pinterest has great decor ideas

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I made this for a hen do and it went down very well - kind of like paella but super easy to make in advance and then heat up. Could work well as part of a Spanish night.

For my hen my sisters arranged a delivery from Cook for the first night so that we just had to bung it in the oven and make some sides! It was great - the food is nice, it was minimal effort and low stress for everyone!