Sten do!

Sten do. Noun.

Party to celebrate an upcoming wedding to which both friends of the bride and friends of the groom are invited.

Portmanteau of “stag do” and “hen do.”

July is going to be a wonderful month, not least because two of my favourite people, Rhys and Louise, are getting married! On Saturday I went along to the stag-half of the sten do. The plan was this:

  • Start at Max XP, a gaming cafe, play some video games and board games and eat some lunch. Get everyone introduced to everyone else
  • Move onto an escape room for some puzzling fun; solve a mystery, find a treasure, get out of the locked room
  • Head to The Raven for drinks and a buffet dinner, where we would also meet up with the hen do

Sounds fun, right? And it was! I’d never visited Max XP before (it’s on Duke Street in Glasgow, about a ten-minute walk from Queen Street Station) but I was very much up for trying it out. We showed up, and Rhys’s fantastic friend D, who had been busily organising the whole event presented us all with unexpected and ultra-nerdy t-shirts. We were to be The Fellowship of the (Wedding) Ring. I was Legolas. Don’t be jealous.


You can’t not play Golden Eye at a retro gaming place, right?


The lovely folk who run Max XP explained that we had the cafe all to ourselves, that they already had drinks and snacks out for us, but that if we wanted teas and coffees to let them know. Oh, and the pizza wouldn’t be a minute. Result! I ordered a latte and sat down to my first ever game of Super Smash Bros. I was Peach. I got destroyed a bit, but it was a lot of fun. Next, I had a shot of their PS4 VR set which was totally amazing – I’d previously dismissed these as gimmicky, but I now officially need to save up and get one.


Tsuro is gorgeous. I might need a copy.


I had time to discover that I’m much better at Tekken than I am at Super Smash Bros, and to play a couple of games of the boardgame, Tsuro, which is an excessively beautiful, simple and satisfying path-weaving game before it was time to move on.

I have signed a document which basically made me promise that I can’t tell you much about the escape room I did. After all, if you could find spoilers, walkthroughs or cheats online, they wouldn’t be much fun. However, I can tell you that it was brilliant. We had to work as a team and carefully assess clues as we found them. The solutions to most of the clues led to yet more clues but eventually, we cracked the puzzle with 15 minutes to spare. I’m told that’s a very good time – but perhaps they tell that to everyone. Anyway, I’m now desperate to try every other escape room puzzle within a 50-mile radius, so if you’re wanting to get a team together, give me a shout.

Finally, we got to The Raven. D had booked The Nest, which is their upstairs bar, and we arrived a little before the hen party did (presumably because of our superior puzzle-solving skills). I’m already a big fan of The Raven, and it’s one of P’s favourites in Glasgow city centre, so we find ourselves there fairly often. As a result, I already pretty much knew which beers I wanted to try (Staple Pale Ale by Top Out [3/5], 60° North by Lerwick Brewery [3.75/5] and Bavo Wheat by Brouwerij Huyghe [3.25/5] – find me on Uptapped!). I got comfy and chatted to Rhys’s friends, later discovering that I’d be sharing a table with many of them at the wedding next month, which is fantastic.

The hen party arrived to loud cheers and soon the staff at The Raven brought out the buffet. They have kind of a smokehouse/barbeque thing going on, so their buffet consists of pulled pork rolls, chicken wings, pork pies, topped nachos and chips and some kind of wrap which I didn’t try but I’m guessing was a burrito. Not desperately veggie-friendly, but I did see at least one of our vegetarian pals go up and ask the bar staff for something else, and they later received a plate of delicious-looking food, so I guess it’s no deal-breaker.


Not bad for buffet food


Eventually and regretfully I had to go catch (read: Sprint for) the last train to take me home. But I had a brilliant day, and for the first stag/sten do I’ve ever been to, it has set the bar awfully high. When you go to an event like this and you find yourself wanting to do it all again, that’s surely a good sign. Plus, I still have my Legolas t-shirt.

5 thoughts on “Sten do!

  1. I agree, the whole day was a lot of fun. It turns out I was a lot better at Tekken than I was at Smash Brothers as well, and had a lot of fun with Goldeneye and the zombie game on the VR headset was much better than I was expecting.

    Re the escape room, if you’re going to more of them, to coin your t-shirt character’s catchphrase, “you have my bow“! The only hint that I would offer about the room is: don’t be afraid to be physical with it – touch, push, pull, move things around.

    And it was nice to meet up with the others at The Raven afterwards. As you say, the buffet wasn’t hugely veggie-friendly but the wraps that appeared after a while were decent enough (even if they were far too healthy 😉 ). Alas, I’m at a different table at the reception (Rhys obviously hates me and has put me at the children’s table 😛 ) but there will, no doubt, be mingling after the meal.

    Re sten dos, I’m all for them. Another few couples I know did something like that too. In the first, the stags went go-carting, while the hens stayed in drinking prosecco and watched Star Trek, and we all came back to their house for a garden barbecue while in the second, we went outdoor laser questing (huge fun!) and then all came back for a house party. They were both very enjoyable experiences, especially when you’re friends with both of the couple.

    Liked by 1 person

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