Monthly Archives: April 2015

Why not improve your stag do… with zombies!?

Crikey: there are a lot of zombies around nowadays. They’re in our films, our video games and even our stag dos. That’s right: you can now enjoy zombie survival stag weekends. Truly, we live in an age of wonders. Over the past few years, zombies have become an increasingly important cultural touchstone. Now, it seems, we’re even inviting them to our pre-wedding parties.

But how exactly does a zombie-themed stag do work? There’s isn’t a singular answer to that question: different companies offer different experiences. Some providers offer zombie survival training in which you get to handle real weapons and receive expert tactical advice. Others have you running around the streets of the UK’s cities at night, pursued by an unstoppable legion of the dead. One company by the name of ‘Wish’ offers surprisingly in-depth zombie dramas. For example, one of their most complex and fully-realised packages (entitled ‘Zombie Blitz 1940’) is set in the war-torn London of (you guessed it!) the Blitz. You and your stag do attendees take shelter in the tunnels under the city to escape a bombing raid only to find yourself pitted against subterranean zombies. Participants should bear in mind, of course, that these ‘zombies’ are just actors in very convincing makeup and that you categorically should NOT remove the head and destroy the brain.

It might seem like an odd way to have fun on a stag do, but let’s face facts: there’s a certain masculine appeal to be had in pitting your wits and strength against a relentless horde of undead flesh-eaters (or underpaid actors if real zombies aren’t available). It’s a unique and inventive way of getting your blood pumping and your adrenaline flowing. Also, zombies are just cool. You know it, I know it and the British people know it: zombies are simply inherently awesome.

Of course, your enthusiasm for zombie-themed stag dos will vary depending on a number of factors. You have to be fairly tolerant of jump-scares and enjoy being frightened. You also have to be prepared to sacrifice a certain amount of alcohol-consumption (nobody should face an army of the dead while black-out drunk). As such, these bizarre stag dos aren’t for everyone. However, for true zombie fans, they’re a (very twisted) dream come true.

What happens on a stag do: social media etiquette at stag parties

You’ll be hard-pressed to find any stag weekends that haven’t gotten a little wild and out of control, but in the days before social media stags only had to worry about a few embarrassing photographs getting passed around during the best man’s speech. However, now everyone’s on Facebook and loves to let the world know their business, there’s a potential for your most shameful moments to be spotted by your mum, your boss, and worst of all, your missus. So, before you set off for your big night, whether it’s a Cardiff stag party or clubbing in London, make sure the boys know the rules for social media at the stag.

No uploading while drunk

While uploading that cheeky photograph of the groom in the middle of a lap dance, or the boys pulling a moony might seem hilarious after several drinks, it can cause red faces the next morning as you emerge in a hungover stupor. Remember, anything that gets uploaded to the net can be copied and saved endlessly, so save the uploading for the next morning when you can censor the worst of the photographs.

Ask before checking-in

You may want to impress your friends by using Facebook’s check-in feature to show you’re in a strip club or notorious nightclub, but you don’t want to get your mates in trouble. Remember that some stags might have girlfriends who aren’t too happy with them attending the stag do, so don’t risk getting them into trouble.

Make events private

If you don’t set privacy settings to high on Facebook events, then you’ll often find that you can end up with gatecrashers or people snooping for details. If you’re using social media to get numbers for the party, then make sure you set the highest privacy settings so mutual friends can’t find out what you’re up to.

Learn to restrict your statuses

When you post to Facebook, there’s a handy little feature that lets you restrict who sees your post, and you can even set up groups. Consider setting up a ‘stag only’ group, while still sober of course, so you can share banter and the racier details without offending anyone or causing drama.

Stag parties are a potential minefield for social media embarrassment, so make sure the boys know the rules. Otherwise, you might have some explaining to do when you get home.

Essentials to pack for your stag do

Gareth Silk from South Wales may be regretting letting his mates “style” his stag do, after they were inspired by the (admittedly hilarious) TV ad for Money Supermarket to strut around Benidorm dressed in teeny-weeny denim shorts and stiletto heels.

Apparently, passing coppers laughed and waved from their cars, while other onlookers cheered and clapped. It certainly makes a change from the usual reports of Brits behaving badly on stag weekends abroad.

But if you want your stag party to be a tad less attention-grabbing, and definitely wouldn’t let your mates anywhere near your wardrobe, how do you pack for a stag weekend with style? And what are the essentials you need to make sure everything is both as wonderful and as messy as it truly should be? Here’s our list of must-pack essentials:

• Medical supplies

You may like to think you can take your ale, but if you’re going to be enjoying a few nights’ drinking on the trot, be prepared with painkillers, vitamin C tablets and Alka-Seltzer.

• Grooming essentials

All that partying can take its toll, so don’t leave it to the big day to look your best. Face products, including vitamin E cream, don’t have to be just for girls, and you may even want to think about anti-fatigue eye serum and anti-hangover shower gel (yes, such products exist!). Don’t forget a full shaving kit as well.

• Style essentials

A stag bash is not the time for designer gear – let’s face it, beer will be spilled at some point – so think fashionable yet affordable. You can never go wrong with jeans, but make sure they can handle a hectic stag do and still look good the next day. For the evening, a classic, simple white shirt and smart shoes tend to be ideal, wherever the night may take you.

Other essentials include sunglasses, a camera, cards for plane or train journeys, wet wipes, and a full hip flask to see you through any outdoor activities. Remember to pack light – especially if you’re flying with a budget airline.

Why Newcastle is perfect for your stag do

It might not have Spanish weather, but Newcastle has a mighty reputation for the best nights out in the UK, possibly the world. Hordes of lads and lasses venture to ‘the Toon’ for stag weekends and hen nights, keen to party and ready for anything.

Trebles bars

The biggest draw? Trebles bars. They’re definitely your mother’s nightmare, but there’s no where better to lose control and have the best night of your life. Where else can you get a triple vodka and mixer for under £2? Some places even offer three trebles for a fiver. Is that even legal? Don’t know, don’t care.

The trebles bars are perfectly designed for a night of absolute carnage. Whether it’s a free ride on a mechanical bull or an actual cage that you can dance and do despicable things in, these places really bring out your inner Geordie. As for the girls, well, the glorious trebles bars are known haunts for party-hard students looking to spend their loans. Need we say more? Most of these bars are in or conveniently close to the Gate, a massive complex with restaurants (including an actually nice all-you-can-eat!) and a cinema, kindly protecting newcomers who aren’t used to the Geordie climate. Players, Sinners and Sam Jacks are all must-visits for stag dos; this area is the hub of big group nights out, filled with people in fancy dress and hen parties wearing sashes.

Something a little more fancy

The sheer quantity of nightlife in this fantastic city is staggering. For the classier gentleman, sophisticated pubs and swanky bars down by the Quayside and along the Diamond Strip provide a more luxurious experience than the trebles bars, but are thankfully still at wonderfully Northern prices. These upmarket and trendy bars and clubs attract the more exclusive clientèle, and are popular with celebrities, footballers and their adoring female friends. Favourites are the sexy and exotic Floritas, and the dark and seductive Madame Koo’s. If you’re hoping to have a flirt with Cheryl Cole, Livello on the Quayside is a swish cocktail bar she’s known to frequent.

Bigg Market

Lastly, there’s always the Bigg Market. Definitely a place for hardcore lads only. You will regret your actions there. It is an alcopop-drinking, terrible pop music playing, fist-fighting over a dubious burger kind of place. It is where the terrible stereotypes about Newcastle come alive. It is where the women aren’t ready unless they’ve been dunked in a vat of self-tan and glitter. It is awful, and we love it.

Photo: Tyne Bridge by Jeff Amann licensed under Creative commons 6