Forget everything you’ve heard about Berlin’s beer halls, Vegas’ super casinos and Magaluf’s mega clubs – if you’re looking for a city to host the best stag do since Phil, Stu and Alan woke up to a tiger in their bathroom, London is the obvious choice. From indoor golf to comedy clubs to pubs that open at the crack of dawn, our capital has everything a best man needs to plan the ultimate pre-marriage send off.
What: Practice your putt with a pint
Why: Everyone loves golf, even more so when you can have a pint at the same time. London’s only chain of indoor crazy golf have already hosted 10,000 fun seekers since opening in Dalston 6 months ago and is available for private hire. The tiki-themed venue has all the secret tunnels you’d expect of a decent crazy golf course and it’s sister venue in Hoxton is more of a jungle theme, complete with smoke and UV lighting. Open till 11pm, the bars provide award-winning beer on tap and if you work up an appetite, there is a conveniently located street food truck parked just outside the Hoxton venue.
Where: Dalston and Hoxton venues
London RIB Voyages
What: Touristy yet terrific
Why: For stag parties, London RIB Voyages offer a bespoke and very aptly named package – the Ultimate Last Ride. This speedboat tour of London will see you and your mates skim across the Thames at a nerve-racking 30 knots or 35mph. (Trust us, this feels incredibly fast when you’re sat in an open air rubber dinghy, hammering upriver to classic party tunes pumping from the speedboat’s on-board sound system). Once you clear Tower Bridge, the skipper really turns it up a notch, performing a series of stunts that will either gear you up for the night ahead or leave you feeling pretty rotten if you’re still recovering from the night before. Finally, on the return journey, their award-winning comic tour guides will provide some hilarious commentary on the surrounding London landmarks while, more importantly, have some crude, off-beat banter with everyone on board. Bon voyage!
Where: Embankment Pier and Tower Bridge Pier
Corinthia Hotel London
London Charing Cross (0.1 miles)
What: Grooms can be pampered too
Why: You only have to look at David Beckham to see that grooming is no longer just for men. With this in mind, ESPA life at Corinthia offers an extensive range of men’s treatments (facials, massages, haircuts) and an all-day spa package allowing full use of the facilities, so you can swim a few lengths to make sure you really look your best inside and out. Not convinced? The all black interior, well-equipped gym and low lighting give it a manly feel.
Where: Corinthia Hotel London, Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2BD
The Market Porter
What: The Market Porter
Why: If you’re planning to go the full nine yards and start your stag weekend on the Friday, make sure you arrive early to London and head straight to the Market Porter in Southwark. While this is a beautiful pub with wooden floors and traditional décor, the real reason you need to head here is because it’s open from 6-8.30am on weekday mornings! Set in the historic Borough Market, this public house has traditionally opened its doors this early in order to cater for dawn traders but you’d be forgiven for heading there instead in order to toast the upcoming weekend over a breakfast pint. (The nerdier among your clan might notice that the Market Porter was used as the location for the Third Hand Book Emporium in the Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. Do make sure to take the Mickey out of them for this should they bring it up).
Where: 9 Stoney Street, Borough Market, SE1 9AA
Red Dog Saloon
What: A proper lad challenge
Why: No lads’ weekend away would be complete without a healthy dose of competition so why not up the ante by herding your stags to the Red Dog Saloon for the Naga Viper Chilli Challenge. Contestants in this Man v Food-style trial must consume six chicken wings coated in Naga Viper chilli sauce which is so lethal that you have to wear latex gloves to stop it from burning your fingers. Those who survive the ordeal will be rewarded with a t-shirt, a picture on the restaurant’s wall of fame and infinite man points.
Where: 37 Hoxton Square, Hoxton N1 6NN
The Mandeville Hotel
Bond Street (0.3 miles)
What: Less of a lad more of a gentleman?
Why: Why should tea and cake just be one for the ladies? The Reform Social and Grill in Marylebone’s Mandeville Hotel has an appealing menu of sweet and savoury, nothing too dainty and nothing too pink. Enjoy sausage rolls, fish fingers and steak sandwiches alongside real ale and chocolate cake and whisky cocktails in a gentlemen’s club-inspired interior.
Where: Mandeville Place, London, W1U 2BE
What: A boozy bike
Why: When you first set eyes on Pedibus, it doesn’t look remotely legal. In a nutshell, Pedibus is a dinner-table-come-tandem bike which allows groups of people to pedal through central London while enjoying a pint (or 10). Terrific fun, it’s a brilliant way to explore the sights and sounds of our amazing city, but also to shout, jeer and generally rub it in the faces of passers-by that you’re having an incredible, booze-fuelled weekend while they’re walking to Sainsbury’s to do the Saturday big shop. All of Pedibus’ set routes finish in some of London’s busiest areas so you can keep the merriment alive by stumbling off the bike and into a nearby bar. Definitely not to be missed.
Where: Starting points can be found at London Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Shoreditch, Liverpool Street and Borough Market