When, many months ago, MoH first asked about organising a hen night to celebrate my forthcoming nuptials I was less than enthusiastic. I am, you see, an old-fashioned girl who wasn’t into clubbing and big nights out even in my prime (whenever that was) so I certainly couldn’t see myself ‘having it large’ now. Not a chance.
But then MoH started talking about an elegant affair centred around afternoon tea. And as I mulled this possibility over, the spectre of a stripper, baby oil and chocolate male genitalia were replaced by the chink of tea cups, the scent of Earl Grey tea and the image of a plate piled high with freshly baked scones. Suddenly a hen party didn’t seem like such a bad idea after all.
Over the following weeks, I found myself drawing up a list of invitees and considering potential venues which would be easy for everyone to reach. A hotel in the centre of Birmingham seemed like the obvious choice, especially as hotels such as The Hyatt, Hotel Du Vin and Mal Maison all offer afternoon tea. But my instinct told me to hold fire before asking MoH to start putting any plans into action. Like Bono, I knew that I still hadn’t found what I was looking for. And then inspiration struck.
At the back of Birmingham’s New Street Station, behind a fairly unprepossessing facade, hides an absolute gem: The Electric Cinema. Built in 1909 and subject to major modifications in the 1930s, The Electric is the oldest working cinema in the UK.
Full of character and style, The Electric provides a welcome antidote from all the big modern multiscreen complexes. In addition to the usual cinema-style seating arrangements, it boasts lovely big comfy sofas, just perfect for a romantic date, and if you’re feeling peckish during the screening of a film, you can just text the box office staff who will hand deliver tea and cake or wine and nibbles to your seat.
But what really excited me about The Electric with regard to the hen night was that it is possible, for a very reasonable sum, to arrange for a private screening of a film of your choice. Once I discovered that, my enthusiasm for a hen party just snowballed and by last Saturday I was so excited I thought I was going to pop!
Next time, I’ll tell you all about the wonderful celebration which MoH so skilfully organised. But in the meantime, I wonder if anyone (hens excluded) can guess which film an old-fashioned chief chick like Mrs Moore-to-be might have chosen? I’ll give you a clue: the 1950s style of my Karen Millen dress was particularly appropriate given the period of the film.