Bridal bliss and zen hens are a hen party favourite but with great reason! A spa break is a great girlie getaway and a perfect opportunity for a bride to be to get a bit of pampering and de-stressing in before the big day. There are lots of packages available in locations all over the country and we’re here to give you the lowdown. Opt for a full on zen hen and spend the night chilling in a beautiful hotel (great opportunity for gifting the bride some themed dressing gowns or pjs), OR get taxi-ed into town for a post pampering night on the tiles. Most packages will include a treatment option for all hens, but there’s always the option of arranging spa access only and chipping in to treat the bride to appointments if you want to keep costs down. Here are the best zen hen party venues in Ireland. Bring on the bubbles and bubbly!
Home to a fabulous indoor/outdoor infinity pool, and a gorgeous health spa with Espa and Yon Ka treatments, the Farnham Estate outside Cavan town is a great venue for a weekend of bliss. The hotel is modern but there are some rooms of the original Farnham house off reception you can chill and have drinks in. There’s an on-site restaurant and also tasty bar food in the cellar downstairs if that’s more your scene. Most importantly the breakfast is unreal! There are often special offers so definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Seafield in Gorey is a good choice a larger group as they have both hotel room options and self-catering apartments on site. The Oceo spa has heated indoor and outdoor pools, treatment rooms and a lovely low lighting (read: flattering!) luxe feel. Food wise you could enjoy a delish pizza in the bar or book into the restaurant for a more formal affair. If you fancy heading out, it’s a short taxi to Gorey and as bonus it’s based beside the beach which is perfect for a Sunday stroll after breakfast.
Temple House in Moate have a range of hen friendly spa packages and options including a health class e.g yoga as part of your hen activity. They also have the option of accommodation in a house attached to the main hotel, but away from other guests, so if you fancy hosting a bit of a house party, you don’t need to worry about turning up the Beyonce! There is a restaurant for dinner and drinks but for livelier nightlife options you could book a bus to nearby Athlone or Moate.
The Heritage resort in Killenard Co Laois is conveniently situated off the M7 motorway so especially handy for hens travelling from Limerick or Dublin. It has a great thermal suite where you can sit and chat or book in for a massage. There are options of very glam and roomy apartments which are perfect for hosting hen games and drinks or a big girls night in. As it’s a village resort you can also choose from bars and restaurants on site or maybe opt to head out in Portlaoise or Naas.
If you want to wow your Bride to Be and of course Treat yo’self! You could consider heading to the ultra luxurious Monart in Wexford. It’s a short hop from the Enniscorthy train station and once you arrive you won’t want to part from your comfortable dressing gown. The thermal suite is lovely and airy, and there’s an authentic outdoor sauna also. The therapists use Pevonia Botanica or Voya treatments. It is on the more expensive and indulgent end of things but definitely worth considering, especially for a smaller group.
If you’re organising a hen for the fiancée who enjoys being pampered, a spa hen party is a great idea to get the bride blissed out before the Big Day arrives.
A baby shower doesn’t have to be in a fancy venue. It is just as easy to keep it simple and have it in someone’s home. Ideally this should be a friend or parent’s home so that the guest of honour can really relax. The advantage of having a baby shower at home means there is more scope for decorating fun and games. The main downside of having it at home is that all the pressure is on the host. This is why we much prefer the option of arranging catering to reduce any workload.
So you have decided that a home baby shower is easiest, now you need to decide on the format. Yes, you could just invite everyone over and keep it simple with tea, coffee and a cake. But where is the fun in that?! Here are some ideas for throwing a baby shower at home. How to be the host with the most!
Mobile Afternoon Tea
A mobile afternoon tea party service is the perfect go to option for a baby shower at home. Businesses such as Social Bee who are based in Dublin and Oh So Sweet Occasions who are based in the South East specialise in a travelling tea party service. Both have a variety of packages, charged per head and can supply everything from food and stylish vintage inspired décor to the tea leaves. Most importantly, they serve the tea and clean up everything afterwards so everyone gets to enjoy.
Home Spa Party
Another option is to transform the living area into a spa for the afternoon and host a pampering party. Add some mint or cucumber to some jugs of water, light your nicest smelling votives, candles and sit back and relax. Mobile beauty services can come to your home and beautify the guests for approximately €50 per person. Athomepampering.ie are a mobile beauty service based in North Dublin providing ladies pamper parties for € 50 for a choice of two treatments, glampamperparties.com based in South Dublin also offer a similar service. Generally it’s best to opt for treatments such as manicures or pedicures, that are pregnancy friendly and are also a good treatment option for a group as everyone can join in a natter while having either toes or talons tended to.
If outside assistance isn’t an option then why not ask the guests to help out with the catering?! A menu that doesn’t require any cooking facilities on the day will make everything as easy as possible. Stick with an afternoon tea style menu of light snacks and baked treats. You could also arrange for a brunch baby shower and serve up a continental style breakfast event with fruit, granola and croissants. This is a nice and easy one to co-ordinate as a collaborative effort. If possible, request all the guests to bring their signature bake, cake or bread, to enjoy with tea or coffee. It will be a great discussion at the shower and create an easier conversation flow as not everyone will know each other.
For those based in the capital, Queen of Tarts on Dame Street, and The Cake Café in Grantham Street can also make homemade delights to order. A nice box of donuts from one of the many donut emporiums (our favourite is Boston Donuts) or gorgeous marshmallows or merginues from Delish Melish will never disappoint. Avoca and Marks and Spencers also have plenty of drool worthy options.
Some little baby shower extras
Grab a few bottles of bubbles if desired and serve chilled or as a mimosa on arrival. Yes this is totally American but it will be great for a little Instagram photo and adds the “special occasion” touch.
Borrow some extra teapots and cafetieres and even an extra kettle from friends in advance to make sure the tea and coffee is flowing. Depending on numbers, it might not be possible to make individual teas/nespressos for multiple people and also participate in the shower fun.
Baby Shower Entertainment
In our recent survey, the cheese factor of OTT American inspired baby showers was one of the reasons women want to steer clear. You can make this as simple or a full on as you choose.
The entertainment could centre around the gift opening but its no harm to check that is something that your most important guest is on board with this as some people may just not be comfortable unboxing in front of others. The pressure on gifting is also a little frowned upon here in Ireland based on feedback in our recent survey so we think it’s best to avoid any focus on this.
Other party games could include collecting baby pictures of friends, Dads, family members, colleagues etc. and trying to guess who’s who or perhaps even a contest on celebrity baby names, a topic which provides an almost infinite amount of quiz material!
You can buy a pretty sash or headband for the Mama to be for some group photo opportunities, which will offer great “Throwback Thursday” reminiscing over the following years. While it’s always nice to receive the baby swag (as a friend has christened it), the genuine pleasure in throwing an expectant Mum a Baby shower is giving her lovely memories of being spoiled by her friends before the real VIP makes their appearance. And of course a good baby shower cake!
According to our Baby Shower Survey results, out is the new in! Heading to a restaurant is an increasingly popular option for a baby shower. Whether it’s afternoon tea, dinner or brunch, it’s a nice opportunity to indulge an expectant mum (and her friends). Going out means that whoever is hosting the event doesn’t need to worry about making her house spotless for a group of ladies. It also takes pressure off the hostess covering the cost herself as it’s easier to request money from people if you’re heading out for lunch. Here are some ideas for baby shower venues in Dublin. We’ve shared the options for afternoon tea and then the brunch / lunch options we would recommend.
Luxury Afternoon Tea in Dublin
Nothing quite says special occasion like a luxury afternoon tea experience. Many of Dublin’s five star hotels do this very well and provide afternoon tea selections in beautiful surroundings. These sittings are a popular weekend activity so it’s worth booking in advance. If you’re booking for a larger group, a deposit may be required. Most hotels will have vegetarian and gluten free options and can adapt the savoury tier to avoid unpasteurised cheese, fish or any other pregnancy unfavourable ingredients. If you don’t get around to finishing the delicacies on the afternoon, remember there’s the option to box them up to give the guest of honour to bring home with her.
The Westin serves both a traditional and a peculiar afternoon tea selection upstairs in its Atrium Lounge, Every guest has their own stand of savoury canapes and dessert selections, and in the case of the peculiar tea, a hendrick’s gin infused cocktail (served in a tea set). The price is €36 euro a head. The kendrick’s infusion definitely gives a modern edge to their afternoon tea option and of course, it’s great for your Instagram photo.
Further up the road The Westbury provides Afternoon Tea served while looking out over Grafton Street. This is perfectly located for having a browse around the shops in advance. They offer the service of a tea sommelier to advise on the chosen infusion for €47 euro per person.
The Afternoon Tea offering in the Shelbourne Hotel is themed and the menu adapts to the seasonal theme. The fabulous setting of The Lord Mayor’s Lounge overlooking Stephen’s Green remains constant. Afternoon tea experiences here promise to be both delicious and heavily instagrammable for €49 each.
Other luxury settings to consider are The Dylan Hotel in Eastmoreland Place who offer an afternoon tea for €40pp. The Dylan is located off Baggot Street and the perfect location for easy parking options.
Lemuel’s Restaurant in the Conrad Hotel on Earlsfort Terrace prices range from €38pp to €46pp for their Cocktail Afternoon Tea. The afternoon tea experience in the Conrad plays on a Gulliver’s travel theme.
Finally, the Merrion Hotel on Merrion Street also offer high end art inspired afternoon tea options in luxe Dublin City Centre location. The cake selection is inspired by J.B.Yeats, William Scott, Louis Le Brocquy and others. .
Group Brunch or Dinner Baby Shower
Of course there is no law stating that a baby shower is limited to Afternoon Tea! A group brunch or early dinner can also be thrown in honour of the expectant Mammy. Here are some of our favourite options for a baby shower brunch or dinner in Dublin.
Odessa Restaurant in Dame Lane can be reserved for a weekend brunch or dinner and is an ideal venue for an event where the guests can have an area to themselves to celebrate the guest of honour while keeping the dining out experience.
A particularly enticing option if you have a group of 15 or more and are opting for an early evening meal, is to book Slice in Stoneybatter where you can have the entire venue to yourselves and dine on 3 courses for €30 a head, including a selection of the incredibly delectable Slice/Cake Café cakes and desserts. You can alsoenjoy an optional celebratory cocktail on arrival.
Drury Buildings offer equally tempting brunch, pre theatre and set menu dinner options in their heated garden terrace and airy upstairs and booking options for both larger and smaller gangs. Expect to pay around €12.50 for a brunch dish, €24 for pre-theatre and €43 for a group menu.
For views of the city alone, Sophie’s restaurant on the top floor of the Dean hotel in Harcourt Street is worth a brunch booking and would be an ideal choice for exceptional brunch venue to surprise the special lady, although it is advisable to book this one well in advance to ensure availabilty.
The restaurant upstairs in Fallon and Byrne is in a lovely airy room with huge windows and has a particularly appetising group lunch menu available for €27 euro per person. They also have highly recommended gluten free and vegan friendly options which would make a great choice if the VIP has any dietary requirements.
Cavern on Baggot Street is a wine bar at heart so not the obvious choice for a baby shower setting. Their courtyard however is beautiful and a pretty setting in both summer and winter. They offer a delicious, carefully designed menu with options to satisfy all tastes and includes pastas, salads, gourmet sandwiches along with amazing meat, cheese and seafood platters. There are no minimum numbers required to book their prosecco lunch which is €33pp available from 12 to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday.
And for something completely different but consistently crowd pleasing Saba on Clarendon Street or Baggot Street are great venues for a celebratory event. The Baggot Street branch serves an adventurous Asian influenced brunch menu at the weekends which looks like it could satisfy any pregnancy related craving, as well as both cocktails and mocktails. The Clarendon Street branch has a group dinner menu that will also cover off any hankerings for thai food for €28.95 for two courses.
We hope this has provided you with tonnes of baby shower inspiration! Let us know if you have any further suggestions.
Hi ladies, this is the first instalment on our baby showers in Ireland feature. The first post is an overview with some stats from our recent survey.
We have three more features on baby showers which will cover ideas for throwing a baby shower, gifting and venues in Dublin for a baby shower. Please share any thoughts or feedback in the comments below on this feature. Read on for some details on this emerging trend of Baby Shower Boom! The rise of baby showers in Ireland.
What are baby showers?
Yes, we have all heard of them. We have seen them on tv shows or movies and understand that baby showers are a well established rite of passage for a mama to be in America. In fact Stateside they are taking it to the next level and you could even receive an invitation to a spin off event such as ”Gender Reveal“ parties (where the baby’s sex is revealed to guests via a cake, balloon confetti , or a variety of other creative methods),”Sip and See “parties (friends meeting the new arrival en masse) or even “Sprinkles” (a lower key event where a second, or third etc. baby is on the way and the parents already have all the essential equipment but “top-up” gifts such as bathtime products or clothing basics are bestowed).
Over here, baby showers are still a newer phenomenon but definitely on the rise. Many of us are embracing the opportunity to celebrate our female pals and their good news and get all their friends together at an exciting stage in their lives. It’s also not confined to your best friends, if you have a close colleague who is due to go on maternity leave, it’s a great opportunity to gather some of the work crew and wish her well.
73% of Irish women state that they would like a baby shower. The main reasons for wanting a baby shower include celebrating their happiness and spending time with friends. It was also highlighted that the focus comes much more on the baby once they arrive and the mums and dads are forgotten. Here are some of the comments we received were:
“It really cheered me up. Pregnancy can be tough and I don’t have much family for support. It really meant a lot to have friends who love me treat me to such a wonderful day.”
“To show that mum to be is not alone and that it is not just about the baby. I find that mum is always forgotten about and not to mention poor dad! It’s a great day to share happiness and dampen any worries for mum.”
“A way to make mammy feel special before all priority and limelight gets ptmut on new arrival for the next forsee able future.” “All of the above , a good chance to catch up with friends and family before baby arrives and things get hectic”
“A great source of support and time with friends to help ease nerves of impending childbirth. Laughter cures all”
Of the 27% who would not like a baby shower, the main reasons are expense for others and superstition. Below are some comments on their thoughts and you can see that the pressure to gift turns people off.
“I would like one if guests did not bring gifts as I feel that is putting pressure on everybody to give a present before baby and then after baby as well!”
“I’d hate to put the expense on people as all my friends and family buy gifts for the birth and christening a baby shower is too much.”
Baby showers seem to be the norm for the first baby arriving however when it comes to babies 2, 3 and beyond you can forget about a baby shower! They can also be a little difficult for women who want a baby and aren’t in a position to have one so these can also be sensitive events.
That it’s it for our intro into Baby Shower Boom! The rise of baby showers in Ireland. Stay tuned for our next feature on baby shower ideas and venues in Dublin.
As always, your thoughts and comments are very welcome below.
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Until the last decade or so, baby showers were something we only witnessed on TV shows from across the pond. However, like many US traditions, they have found their way to our shores and are now a common rite of passage for Irish mothers-to-be. If you’ve never been to one and have a bestie with a bump that you’d like to spoil, here’s everything you need to know, from games to gender reveals! Here’s how to plan a baby shower.
Get these advice cards FREE and an inflatable BABY balloon when you book your baby shower via TheBash.co
What is a baby shower?
A baby shower is a relaxed and fun get-together for an expectant mum and her close friends and relatives. Usually only women are invited but plenty of people buck that trend. This event usually takes place in the last couple of months of pregnancy and the mum-to-be is ‘showered’ with gifts to help her prepare for the arrival of her little bundle.
How do you plan a baby shower?
Usually a close friend or relative of the guest of honour will plan or host the shower. If it’s a surprise, it’s vital to get the baby daddy involved so you know who to invite…and to make sure your pregnant pal shows up! Cute baby shower decor is now widely available on high streets or online, so all you need to do is decide on a venue, pick a theme or colour scheme and let the fun and games begin.
Where do you host a baby shower?
A baby shower can be as formal or as informal as you like. Team it around a brunch, lunch or afternoon tea. You can go out of if you’re the hostess with the mostess, have it in your house. You can decorate as you please and bring in catering or provide your own nibbles the baby shower guests. Here are some mobile options to give you some more ideas. Another great option and a way to make it a little different is to combine it with an activity for example a spa day like the gorgeous Rainforest Spa
What happens at a baby shower?
The opening of the gifts is generally the main attraction, but there are endless possibilities for baby shower games if you think the mama-to-be is in need of a giggle. Some include guessing the size of her bump using pieces of string, baby-related charades, or picture matching using baby pictures of all the guests. You could also create a scrapbook with hand-written advice or wishes for the baby from the guests, or a colourful fingerprint guestbook for the baby’s room.
What gifts should we bring?
Gifts that pamper the baby mama are the way to go, ask guests to contribute to a voucher for a spa, hotel or restaurant so the soon-to-be parents can enjoy some down time before baby’s arrival. Vouchers for baby boutiques are a great idea also, and hampers filled with newborn essentials and pampering treats for the new mum always go down well. But don’t feel that you have to do gifts!
What about food?
Your guest of honour is eating for two, food is definitely necessary! Afternoon tea-style finger food tends to be the most popular option, along with pink and blue cupcakes or a pretty, personalised cake. It’s fine to treat your guests to some Prosecco, but seeing as pregnant ladies can’t partake, it’s only polite to keep this to a minimum. Make sure there are some mocktails or non-alcoholic bubbles on hand for the VIP! You can book into a nice afternoon tea venue or have it in your home or a family member’s home. You can book a mobile tea party around Dublin, Waterford, East Cork, Wexford, Kilkenny and Wicklow with these fabulous mobile options.
Gender reveals, what’s the deal?
The hottest trend in baby showers Stateside, gender reveal parties are a fun way of announcing the baby’s gender to friends and family. Sometimes it’s even a surprise to the expectant parents themselves! Many couples reveal the news is by cutting a cake with either pink or blue filling inside. Releasing pink or blue balloons is another lovely way to find out if bump is a girl or boy.
That’s it! Please share your comments or feedback with us on this post. We love hearing different ideas for how to plan a baby shower.