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We all know it. There are certainly a few cringy options out there when it comes to pre-wedding girls gatherings, and while some love a dose of debauchery, they sure ain’t for everyone. If the idea of a karaoke bus at 2pm with a slew of family and friends in fancy dress instils you with the desire to crawl inside a dark hole and hide until it’s over, might we suggest a hens weekend away that is all about nothing else but sunshine, food, cocktails and good company.

We popped into this hens weekend recently for a good dose of inspiration. Tucked away in the hills of the NSW South Coast, just outside the country town of Berry, this crew of close friends moseyed on up to the poolside of an amazing holiday home (which is also a beaut wedding venue!) known as Hill End for a day of lazing about. Amongst the green countryside and silent surrounds mimosas, simple platters of veg, dips and cheeses, swims, chats, floating on pretzels and donuts and the odd lazy adventure fill the day.

As evening kicks in, and some simple string lights and flags hang overhead, two rather handsome pseudo ‘pilots’ arrive to spend dusk and the hours that follow whipping up delicious cocktails. The boys at Trolley’d have picked and foraged local and native ingredients and prepared their tasty collection of cordials and flavours to use in their unique drink concoctions – including a lemon myrtle lemonade and a hand-smoked tequila margherita. Too good. Propped up on a trestle table is a simple dinner for the dozen or so ladies – a selection of cheeses, meats, grilled and roasted vegetables, fruit and nuts. And a cheesecake to back it up.

There’s not a penis-straw or stripper in sight. To be clear, we love a wee bit of karaoke now and then. But sometimes, the simplest of times is just so good. Especially when it involves your buddies, sunshine, good food and damn good drinks. And of course, it helps a little when those drinks are made for you by the loveliest of men.

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CREDITS Photos Michelle Pirie and Anna Pogossova // Location Hill End, Jaspers Brush // Cocktails Trolley’d // Food + styling Emma Bowen // Prop hire The Wedding and Event Creators