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  1. Review: Wallops Wood Cottages, Hampshire – Relaxed Hen Party Venue

    September 16, 2016 by Faffy Tea

    We attended a “chilled-out” Hen Party at Wallops Wood Cottages in Droxford, Hampshire, and thought it would be useful for other party groups to see what we thought of it!

    Rating: 4.5/5

     

    LOCATION

    • Well signposted; we found the Cottages easily but it was not so easy to find our particular cottage "Early Mist"
    • Absolutely beautiful scenery, with gorgeous views of the South Downs
    • Not many conveniences nearby – there is a great local pub called The Hurdles, but it is harder to find groceries nearby (other than from a garage shop)!

     

    AMMENITIES

    The Cottage

    • A stunning cottage with four double or twin bedrooms and an open plan living / dining / kitchen area in an L shape. 3 bedrooms have on-suite shower rooms and the 4th bedroom is in its own area of the cottage with a master bathroom.
    • The cottage is part of a group of four cottages within one long barn building, but we did not get disturbed by our next-door neighbours at all.
    • The cottage was extremely clean when we arrived

     

    Decor
    The decor is beautiful, with real wood flooring, very high ceilings and a premium quality kitchen. It has been decorated with a country cottage feel with images of wildlife and rural scenery on the walls and curtains.
     

    Bedrooms and Bathrooms
    The beds were extremely comfortable, and we were suprised and pleased that each bedroom had a blckout blind for those early summer sunrises. The showers were all powerful and very hot, which was much needed, and the fixtures and fittings in the bathrooms were of a very high standard.
     

    Garden
    There is a fenced off patio/garden area for each cottage, with stunning views of the rolling hills. However there was only a thin fence and some plants separating our garden from our neighbours garden so you might find this an issue if you wish to be completely private. Best of all the cottage has its own hot tub in the garden which looks out over the scenery. The hot tub was wonderfully indulgent and large enough for all 7 of us, although there were some higher and lower seats which weren’t ideal for everyone.
     

    Equipment / Provisions

    • All self catering ammenities were of a extremely high standard – the cottage was equipped with everything you could possibly need and more which impressed us considerably.
    • Much of the kitchen equipment was very high quality from brands such as Joseph and Joseph, and there was plenty of tableware. We never ran out of clean plates, glasses or cutlery (and there is a dishwasher for the dirty ones!)
    • Our only gripe was the use of the Ecover brand for washing up liquid, washing powder, dishwasher tabs and hand soap. Although we appreciate the eco-friendly nature of the brand, the products do not work as well as the regular brands.

     

    THE LITTLE EXTRAS…

    • We received an amazing hamper on arrival – with fresh bread, a delicious home made cake, apple juice, a local ale and more!
    • The previous entries in the guestbook gush about the place and how at home visitors felt
    • Despite the premium quality of the place, dogs are still welcome which we thought was a great touch!

     

    Overall, we would highly recommend Wallops Wood as a venue for a relaxing Hen Party, Birthday Party or Family Gathering. The high quality of the accommodation, cleanliness, the view, and the hamper of goodies made all the difference. We are already planning to go back next year for a “Hen-iversary”!

    VISIT: www.wallopswoodcottages.co.uk or find them on Facebook.

     

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  2. Review: Cyantist Escape Room Experience, Bournemouth – Hen Party Activity

    June 15, 2016 by Faffy Tea

    This weekend Jodi from Faffy Tea and a few friends went to try out Cyantist in Bournemouth town centre – an escape room experience that would be a perfect, quirky activity for a Hen Party, Birthday or Team Building session.

    There will be NO SPOILERS about the escape room tasks or puzzles in this review.

    Rating: 4/5

     

    Jodi says:

    Cyantist Escape RoomBetween this particular group of friends, we had been to two other Escape Room experiences before this one – in Bath and Bristol – so we generally knew what to expect beforehand. However, all of the Escape Rooms we had been to were very different so if you have already completed one of these types of challenges before it will probably not give you an advantage when it comes to any of the puzzles or tasks at Cyantist.

    We tried out the “Science Laboratory” Escape Room experience at Cyantist (there is also another experience called “Clockwork Orange”).

    The location is in the centre of Bournemouth, just up the hill from The Triangle area of town. You will find the entrance down a back street, but there is a clear sign on the outside and the man running the experience was there to greet us straight away.

    Unlike some other Escape Rooms, there is not an additional cafe or obvious seating area whilst you are waiting to start. Additionally, you are not locked into these escape rooms, and the Science Laboratory one has no door (just a curtain) so you could potentially hear the groups of people that go before you and risk getting “spoilered”! So because we arrived a little early we were ushered away from the venue until our actual start time.

    Saying this, once the host was ready for us he was extremely welcoming and was dressed for the part in a lab coat. He explained everything very clearly and quickly so that we could get started; there was no delay or waffle or a bland health and safety talk.

    The venue has a bit of a derelict / dystopian feel about it, which adds to the atmosphere of a mad scientist’s lair. Cyantist is unique from the other two escape room experiences we had visited as [*small spoiler*] the puzzles and tasks you must complete are all in a darkened room, and you are given torches to find your way around! We will not give any spoilers regarding the puzzles, tasks or overall mission, but there are some really fun and interactive elements which also include some great kit you must use.

    We completed the mission in 43 minutes which was a record for us! We all loved the experience and were full of beans when we left.

    One thing I would note is that it’s definitely not as high-tech as the Bristol escape room we have completed – but you could argue that this added to the theme and atmosphere of the whole experience.

    And another thing to notes is that in the Bath escape room the price included a cup of tea and, because it was a birthday party, a slice of cake too! The Bournemouth Cyantist escape room does not have any extras, although you do get an option for a 50% discount on the 2nd escape room straight away or a 20% discount if you come again for the 2nd room in the future.

    It is a fairly expensive option for only an hour’s entertainment but, if there are 6 of you, it’s still much more worthwhile than some other Hen Party options in the area (such as the zip wire off Bournemouth pier which is the same price at £15 pp).

    Just for the uniqueness of the whole thing, the price is definitely worth it and we would highly recommend it for Hen Party groups (or birthdays, or team building events) and rate it 4 out of 5.

    GOOD

    • Science themed, in the dark!
    • Great welcome by the host who also comes into the room from time to time
    • Clear instructions
    • Great puzzles and tasks using lots of cool kit!
    • Cost is per group and not per person; more people makes it cheaper
    • Unique and memorable

     

    NOT SO GOOD

    • Nowhere to wait if you are early
    • Lower quality venue, room and puzzle elements
    • No ‘extras’
    • Some elements of the game need finessing/fixing

     

    VISIT: cyantist.co.uk or find them on Facebook