Having recently been asked by my good friend Stefan to be his best man, it's got me thinking about ideas for his stag party next year. This reminded me that I've been meaning to write a blog post about my friend Ben's stag party from back in May for quite a while...
I'd only just got back from a few months of travelling, arriving back in time especially for the stag party and the wedding, at which I was an usher. We decided to head to Cardiff, as this was a reasonably central place for all of us to meet, travelling from Southampton, Swansea and Birmingham. We'd also heard that the nightlife is in Cardiff is pretty decent.
Best man Stew booked the stag do through an events company called Chilli Sauce. They booked an activity day with a choice of two activities, a pool table session, guest list for various bars and clubs in Cardiff and hotel rooms, all for a fixed fee of around £120 per person. When we worked out how much all the things would cost individually, this seemed like good value.
I was impressed with the Chilli Sauce online system, which allowed each of the guests to be able to log in to pay their deposit and balance for the stag do. Overall the Chill Sauce experience was pretty good, although they did manage to mix things up, so that the activity centre ended up being in Bristol! Luckily Ben and Stew were able to arrange a minibus at fairly late notice and find a willing driver, so it all worked out fine.
Ben shooting clays
The name of the Bristol-based activity centre escapes me, but we had a fun afternoon buggy racing around a dirt track and clay pigeon shooting, which were the two activities we chose. We raced in pairs around the dirt track, with the last circuit being timed. We all got roughly the same time, other than our friend Jon who simply couldn't get to grips with the buggy at all, with his final time being nearly three times longer than the fastest person! In his defence, he hasn't passed his driving test yet, but I fear for the safety of the general public if he ever does! Ben was by far the most accurate person at clay pigeon shooting, smashing far more of the clays than anyone else. We let him win, as it was his stag do, or at least we told him that!
It's customary to try and humiliate the stag at their stag do, but I think we were pretty tame with Ben. He looks a bit like a big cuddly bear in real life, so it seemed fitting that we give him a nice fluffy bear suit to wear for our meal and drinks out in the evening! We gave him a 'free bear hugs' sign to wear and a glass honey jar to carry, for people to give drinks to him in. Ben needed no encouragement [at least, not after a few drinks], with taking on his tasks, which included getting at least 30 people to give him a big bear hug, which he surpassed within the first hour!
We were in taxis on the way to the pool club in the evening, when the driver mentioned that the club was in a bit of a rough area and "things kick off a bit in there quite often". Not really what we wanted to hear as we paraded into the venue with a stag dressed in a big fluffy bear suit! Thankfully there was no sign of any trouble and we had a good few games of pool. Seeing Ben looking daft took some getting used to and made me chuckle everytime I turned round to see him standing there with a big beaming smile and a pint of beer!
We had a tasty meal at Zizzi's, where they kindly gave us a free round of Sambucca. We all instinctively poured our shots into Ben's honey jar, which definitely sent him on his merry way, if he wasn't there already! We headed into the town centre after the meal, where Ben got lots more attention and we drank long into the night.