How about a 1950s chic hen party by the swimming pool?

I said that I was excited about our new vintage partner venue, and here are some more ideas! This venue is a lovely country house rental that specialise in grown up luxury hen parties near Reading. You can stay there in the fabulous Elizabethan manor, or you can rent it for the day, for a fantastic vintage day out, near Henley also, in Berkshire.

Now here’s an idea: How about a fabulous fifties Vogue chic party, or a 1950s pool party? The venue has a lovely swimming pool and I can just see a hen party scene like this:

1950s pool party1950s pool party hen party

The 1950s was a varied era, and for 1950s dressing up, you have the choice between 1950s circle dresses, or pedal pushers, rock n roll style. Or you can really go for 1950s Vogue style tailored dresses. There was some fantastic tailoring and lovely use of fabrics in the fifties and you can find a lot of original 1950s dresses in vintage shops if you’re an avid trawler. Gertie makes fabulous reproduction 1950s sewing patterns in modern sizings using vintage techniques if you’re the creative type that loves to make your own clothes. And you can buy some fantastic reproduction vintage swimsuits online too!

1950s vogue.jpg

How about you start your day with a rocking 1950s dance class to get you in the mood?  Yes, we can come to this venue near Reading and Henley for our hen party 1950s dance class, and there is a studio just right for dancing in at the Manor house.


Then have lunch and cocktails by the pool while you have a 1950s vintage etiquette class and have 1950s hair and make up done during your afternoon too. And have a vintage pianist and singer entertain you for that 1950s lounge party style…

Pose for photos on the lawn in 1950s dresses or vintage swimwear and sunglasses.

Vintage Photography

Images copyright Rhiannon Williams Charleston Dance & Vintage Hen Parties, not to be used or downloaded without permission.

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Our Charleston dancers provided the entertainment at a 1920s speakeasy company Christmas party in Oxford!

We had a fantastic time out and about recently when our Charleston dancers performed at a 1920s Christmas party in Oxford, to provide 1920s themed entertainment and teach the guests to Charleston. They did an on the dance floor Charleston Dance Class for this large company Christmas party, and they performed a two track Charleston dance demo after dinner and during dessert!

Here are the Charleston dancers performing. D’you know, since this event, that these two lovely dancers fell in love and got married? How simply divine and delightful! The had an amazing vintage wedding… and we helped with the vintage hair and make up and a vintage photoshoot for the guests but that’s another story!

There were some simply amazing and original 1920s costume ideas at the party! Here are some of my favourites.


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And here are some photos of the brave guests who got up and took part in this party Charleston dance class in Oxford!

Charleston dance class in Oxford

Swivelling feet Charleston steps!

Charleston dancing tuition at a 1920s speakeasy party

Oxford University Press Christmas Party 2012, December 6th at the Oxford Hotel

Oxford University Press Christmas Party 2012

1920s party entertainment – why not have a Charleston dance class?




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Vintage hair and make up hen party in Oxford

I say! These ladies do look the part! They had a vintage hair and make up hen party in Oxford in 1940s and 1950s style, with a marvellous Champagne afternoon tea at the Randolph hotel! What a simply marvellous and elegant vintage hen party in Oxford. We can come to your home or holiday cottage to do our vintage hen party activities in Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds or Worcestershire.

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1940s dressing up is much enhanced by 1940s hair and make up at your hen party!


Victory rolls and 1940s updos

1940s hairstyle and make up

1940s make up artist working. Victory rolls and eyeliner flicks in creation

vintage hair and make up in Oxford

Vintage Hairstyling in Oxford! Backcombing and heated hair rolling!

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A hen party Charleston dance class in Cheltenham

Here are some more photos of our hens learning to Charleston dance at our rather wonderful vintage hotel venue in Cheltenham! We do send our Charleston dance teachers far and wide. But this is one of our favourite venues where we hold our elegant 1920s hen party days out.  The ladies also had a lovely vintage afternoon tea in Cheltenham.

Charleston dance class Cheltenham

Oops, a rather blurry image but it does show the movement of the tassled dresses and the enthusiasm of our bride to be as she dances her solo Charleston dance moves!

hen party Charleston dance class Cheltenham

Lastly a few pictures of the whole gang!

Posted in 1920s hen parties, 1920s party ideas, Charleston Dance classes, Charleston Dance hen parties, Charleston dance moves, vintage hen parties, vintage hen parties in Cheltenham | Tagged , , , ,

Elegant luxury vintage hen parties near Reading and Henley. A beautiful country house venue.

We are very excited to be working with a beautiful country house venue near Reading, and not far at all from Henley. I promised you some pictures and here they come!

large holiday cottage hen party Reading

It’s an Elizabethan style country house rental with wonderful wood panelling, a beautiful long dining table and a swimming pool. If you’re looking for a large holiday cottage in Berkshire for a luxury vintage hen party near Reading or Henley, then this is the place for you! But what’s wonderful is that you can also rent the place for a day – so if you’re local or looking to just travel for a hen party day trip or special vintage day out, then you won’t miss out. All our our vintage activities in Henley are available here – in fact everything that we do can be done here!

We would highly recommend a Bright Young Things 1920s hen party day out here. You’ll feel like Noel Coward and his set, those partygoing British aristocrats, going off for an exclusive weekend in the countryside. Or you could be the guests of the Great Gatsby. Whatever your theme, we’re really looking forwards to organising your event here! There is even a lovely studio perfect for a 1920s Charleston Dance Class  or in nice weather you could dance on the lawn!

1920s hen party near Reading

A 1920s hen party near Reading. Gatsby eat your heart out!

Here are a couple of shots of the wood panelled dining room. Perfect for a vintage etiquette class during afternoon tea, where you can have tongue in cheek tips from Auntie Maude on the correct way to do things (and not do things!)

Harriet's Hens 10

Now ladies, please don’t just lean over the table to grab handfuls of cake! Sip your tea elegantly! Ah, that’s more like it…

1920s hen party in Reading

Anyone for tea?

Or of course you could have a 1940s dance class or 1950s dance class hen party. Swing it baby!

Have your hair and make up done vintage here and you could really feel the part.

I’ll post some more ideas for this venue soon!




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1920s vintage hair and make up in London!

Here is another vintage hair and make up in London hen party that we did at a lovely little shabby chic cafe where the hens had a vintage afternoon tea!  1920s hair and make up hen parties are a lot of fun. You can have kiss curls, waves at the front – there are all sorts of looks that we can create in our hen party vintage makeovers! It’s great fun and relaxing to be pampered for your 1920s themed birthday party, your night out at the Candlelight club or Prohibition 1920s, or even for your wedding!


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Indian Summers costumes, a little retrospective post…

Well, Indian Summers may have been on a while ago, and I know you’re supposed to blog about current trends, but I’m an old fashioned gal… When I trawl the internet for sewing inspiration, I often put in the names of past films and TV series for inspiration. Indian Summers had some sumptuous 1930s evening dresses, and floaty summer dresses and smart tailored day dresses, worn by it’s aristocratic and high powered cast of characters. As we rarely get a chance to wear such glamour these days (and let’s face it, who really did in the day either?), this is in the realm of fantasy for most of us – of course the cast centre around an exclusive and high powered members club. But if you love vintage style, a 1930s themed hen party or vintage hollywood hen party or birthday day out in a wonderful vintage venue would be a great place to get to wear something like this though, if you could source, hire or sew such outfits (we have provided dresses a little like this for our hens through our vintage dress hire expert… See our previous blog post).

Here’s one of my favourite evening gowns, a summer dress with wonderful cutting using stripes to great effect in different directions. The top is loose, and empire line. I love the two black godets on the sides. I feel I could sew something like this but would have to trawl for some fabric like this that looked so authentic with the different width stripes. The glamorous American character Madeleine had some of the most glamorous dresses.

Indian summers evening gown


Here’s the floral day dress worn for travel by Alice, courtesy of Masterpiece website.

I really love these two straight skirted day dresses. The flounce at the bottom with the triangular inserts at the top of each flounce is very characteristically 30s. The large collar with all that detail is also extremely 30s.


Think butterfly sleeves and godets if you’re looking to reproduce something thirties in your sewing, or if you’re looking for a 1930s hen party outfit. You could find dresses with features like this from vintage shops and fairs that are not 30s, but would do the job. Look for satins and shiny fabrics.

Remember the tension filled fashion show in series two? Here is Madeleine’s low backed dress.


I thought it was rather realistic that Julie Walters’ character, as an older woman, had found her period in the 1920s and stayed there, with the loose, drop waisted party dresses of this era. This one is chiffon over an underslip style bottom layer and has a sailor style collar.

1920s indian summers




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