June 12, 2016


Forget strippers, the modern stag party wants art and wine tasting : Loutish behaviour loses its allure for men who marry later and want a less cliched experience (Gareth Rubin, 12 June 2016, tHE gUARDIAN)

Ten young men sit with canvases and charcoal pencils, deep in concentration as they attempt to sketch the life model kneeling in front of them. Their pictures are bold, stark and wholly lacking in artistic merit. It's an unusual stag party.

But then stag parties are changing. Out are boozy nights filled with strip clubs and heaving bars, and in are activities such as life drawing workshops, treasure hunts, cookery classes and historical city tours. The traditional stag do could soon be a thing of the past.

The groom-to-be at this particular party in a Norwich hotel is Paul Clifton, a 33-year-old insurance underwriter. "This is something of a new experience for me," he says. "I am genuinely not very good. But I'm trying my best. I wanted to do something different, and I knew that with Paul as my best man, that's what we would be doing."

His best man is Paul Lees, 31. "There's a pressure these days to do something different and this is something unusual for a group of boys," he says. "I wouldn't say the traditional stag weekend boozing didn't appeal at all but some of us are married with kids and it's not really us."

The model, Esther Bunting, 39, posing nude, says she sits for many stag parties. "I've been a life model for many years but the stags have only started in the last few years and I really enjoy them."

It's a big change. Britain's largest stag celebrations company, Chilli Sauce, which sends hundreds of thousands of men on stag weekends each year, says that only 30% of its bookings now involve alcohol or strip clubs, down from 50% in 2011. And those that do involve drinking have changed.

Posted by at June 12, 2016 7:37 AM