When I think of hen’s nights, I imagine fashioning wedding dresses out of toilet paper, eating cookies in the shape of male genitalia and drinking a lot of champagne (if only to make the first two activities seem slightly more appealing).
My previous hen’s night adventures had left me unprepared for last weekend, when I was invited to enjoy a QT Canberra experience through the eyes of a hen. The hotel’s bar, Lucky’s Speakeasy, has just launched a range of new hen’s and celebrations packages, and I was fortunate to be one of the first to sample these as part of a stunt hen’s night.
The stunt hen, Mel, had arranged for her guests to be picked up in a stretch limo. You know it’s going to be a good night when your ride costs more than your house deposit…
We were treated to champagne and a brief tour of Canberra’s sights before arriving at QT Canberra. Our bags were taken to our rooms and we were headed to the members-only section on the top floor for more champagne, antipasto and chocolate-covered strawberries. If you ever have the chance to visit this area while the sun is setting, I highly recommend it – though it is usually reserved for politicians and wildly successful businesspeople.
What followed was a three-course feast at QT’s restaurant, Capitol Bar and Grill. If you saw Sophia Carlini’s recent review of Capitol’s breakfast buffet, you’ll already know that the food here is good. The highlights included hot spanner crab cakes, raw tuna tartare with black sesame and sumac, sliced to share rib eye, baked cannelloni, whiskey and buttermilk crispy chicken (definitely try the chicken). Yum.
My advice to future diners is to save room for dessert. We had baby donuts with cinnamon sugar, vanilla custard, strawberry, lemon mint and jam syringes, and classic profiteroles filled with creme patisserie and vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate sauce.
After dinner, and several spiced pear cocktails (Belle de Brillet pear cognac, ginger and pink peppercorn syrup, lemon and brown sugar) later, we moved to a private booth in Lucky’s Speakeasy. Here we had more champagne, lots of dancing and a special performance by two talented male dancers (not strippers!).
This was my first time at Lucky’s, and I really liked the vibe. I’m not a fan of bright, noisy bars with cheap vodka and thumping music, and Lucky’s – perhaps also because we were in a private booth that segregated us from the crowds – was far from that.
I called it a night shortly after midnight and ventured back to my room for some much needed beauty sleep. The next morning we had a buffet breakfast at Capitol Bar and Grill and left our stunt hen, Mel, to make it to the imaginary aisle. What a weekend!
I know several Canberra brides-to-be who travelled interstate for their hen’s nights because they thought that these kinds of packages were only offered in Sydney or Melbourne. But if you can have the same experience locally for a similar price (or less, if you take transport costs into account), why go interstate?
Also, if all of this sounds a bit too OTT for your hen’s night, don’t panic. Lucky’s hen’s packages start at $59 per person (includes 1 x sparkling wine, 1 x cocktail, 1 x short cocktail per person, plus canapés in a VIP reserved area), and you can add on extras like dinner, accommodation, entertainment and transport to the hotel as you like, or as your budget allows.
* I enjoyed this experience as a guest of QT Canberra, but all opinions are my own.