Hen party afternoon tea

Afternoon (G &) Tea

With spring in the air it’s about time to start psyching ourselves up for hen party fun ahead of summer glamping weddings. With our dedicated hen camp opening next week we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to explain a bit more about the site and suggest some fab local spots for an indulgent afternoon tea.

Hen Camp – the Lowdown

Hillside Hen Camp is in Cranborne, on the outskirts of the New Forest. It’s dedicated to hens and bell tent hire is offered exclusively by Beautiful Bells. There are two separate hen party areas on the site, Coachella and Tribe. Coachella is suitable for up to 20 hens and Tribe, 15. Each area is in its own private paddock, and each camp comes complete with sleeping tents and a chillout tent. Sleeping tents are kitted out with coir carpet, camp beds, rugs, cushions, tables, hot water bottles, bunting, fairy lights and LED lanterns.


The chillout bell tent is the place to eat, play games, chat, nurse hangovers and flick through gossip mags. We’ve thought of everything to make these communal tents super cosy, think blankets, rugs, cushions, tables, soft lighting… and a fridge! Perfect for bacon, bangers and bubbly. There is even power to your chillout bell tent (essential phone charging and hair straightening).

Enjoy the outdoors and dine al fresco

As well as bell tent hire you can also expect picnic benches, outdoor lighting, BBQ, a campfire with seating, camping stoves and hampers containing all the pans, plates, mugs and cutlery you need.

There are toilets, hot showers and a dedicated washing up area on site.

What to expect from a glamping hen do

A glamping hen weekend is the perfect opportunity to be with your besties in the great outdoors. Hen camp is the ideal spot to ‘get away from it all’ and relax… take off your make up as you watch Blue Tits nest in the shower block and Swallows swooping overhead.

And because the hard work’s been done (by our brilliant team!) you can get on with the all-important task of enjoying yourselves. Kick off your shoes, crack open the gin and let the games begin.

What about venturing out?

The location means a night out on the town is definitely doable. You’re pretty much in the middle of Salisbury and Bournemouth so take your pick.

Afternoon Tea

How about you pop on your best boho dresses, leave your hair au naturel and head out for afternoon tea? We’ve compiled some ideas for you, within the New Forest and Bournemouth.

The Lime Wood

The Lime Wood Hotel & Spa in Lyndhurst is a fashionable boutique hotel rumoured to be a celebrity hangout. Classic Regency features blend perfectly with splashes of colour and modern elements. There is an air of grandeur, but the overall feel is warmth and ease. The afternoon tea menu offers a twist on tradition with sweet items such as chocolate and fennel flower pots! Upgrade to a sparkling afternoon tea or why not give their G & Tea a try? You’ll be presented with specialty gins chosen especially to pair with dainty sandwiches and sweet treats. It’s worth mentioning they offer cocktail making workshops too. #justsaying


Frieda’s Teabus

Fancy touring Bournemouth’s seafront on a bus while tucking into a luxurious afternoon tea? Look no further than Frieda’s Teabus! The route is Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Pier so you can enjoy spectacular sea views and there are stops along the way offering a chance to breathe in the salty sea air.

Frieda’s Teabus depart at 2pm every Saturday and Sunday from Bournemouth Pier.


Chewton Glen

Chewton Glen in New Milton is a five-star country house and spa. When it comes to afternoon tea here, think ‘luxury’ and ‘tradition’. Their colourful tea is crafted using only the best ingredients from Hampshire (although they’re happy to admit that their smoked salmon comes from slightly further afield – the crystal-clear waters of Scotland!) In fine weather you can take afternoon tea on the terrace.


The Living Room

The Living Room is Bournemouth’s only vintage boutique B&B. It has a quirky public coffee lounge and traditional tearoom. It’s homely, cosy and old-fashioned and your tea is served on quirky mismatched vintage china.


Hen Camp!

If you’d like to stay firmly rooted at hen camp for the duration of your stay, i.e. if you can’t bear the thought of putting shoes on, or make up on, there’s the option of having a sumptuous afternoon tea, with all the trimmings, delivered to you! Our friend Taj of the amazing Taj’s Tea Parlour will liaise with the organiser (often the maid of honour). She’s previously based hen afternoon teas on the bride-to-be’s favourite film, book or flower. Taj realises the importance of ‘ambience’ and she’s no stranger to a signature cocktail…


Hen camp opens for 2019 on the 13th April! Check out our Hen Party page for more information. Remember, if hen camp is full, we offer a full mobile service for bell tent hire in Hampshire and West Sussex. Check out our weddings page for more information.

Hen party afternoon tea

Hen party afternoon tea

Hen party afternoon tea

Hen party afternoon tea

Camp photos: Lesley Burdett

Afternoon tea photos: Frieda’s Teabus

Wellies: The Lime Wood

Hen camp testimonials:

“Our group of 22 had an absolutely perfect hen weekend in the Coachella camp at Hillside. The chill out tent was decked out beautifully, and the sleeping tents were cosy with comfortable beds. The camp was well equipped with cutlery, crockery and bbq tools. Katrina was super helpful in the build up too. The setting is peaceful and really beautiful. We did a life drawing session at the campsite, which worked out really well. The campsite owners were also very chilled about us having a naked man among the tents! We also did the new forest aqua park which was hysterical. I absolutely can’t fault beautiful bells, and would highly recommend.”

  • Stephanie, May 2019

“We have just returned from an amazing Hen weekend with Beautiful Bells at Hillside Campsite. Then campsite is beautiful, very clean and great facilities – we did a BBQ and used the fire pit for toasting marshmallows on the Friday night! The tents are stunning – and they have thought of everything! All the cups, crockery and cutlery we needed for a large group and the fridge in the chill out area was invaluable. It’s beautifully done and very comfortable – not a typical camping experience, but a very special one. We went to the new forest water park, did a life drawing class (at the campsite) and then heading into Bournemouth for a night out. The people at the campsite were love and very helpful, as have been the Beautiful Bells team, answering all my questions and keeping us in the loop. Would so highly recommend Beautiful Bells and Hillside for an outdoors hen with a twist and, actually, great luxury!”

  • Alice, May 2019

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