FRIDAY 18 DEC 2015 4:53 PM


Holiday parties are one of the primary employee engagement events of the year. For large companies and small, the opportunity to get together for food, drink and entertainment is often a once-in-a-year opportunity. What are some of the best ways, or most interesting places, to ring in the festive season at work?

8 Northumberland Avenue – London

Much like presidential elections, the lead time preceding Christmas parties is lengthening, prompting London venue 8 Northumberland Avenue to unveil its 2016 Christmas themes this December. The experiential offer centres on the concept of eating the theme. One is an interactive Cluedo whodunit complemented with themed festive treats. The other theme, the Enchanted Forest, features wood planks sourced by the venue’s CEO, a woodland-inspired menu and an atmospheric walk through the woods.

All-Star Lanes – London

After ranking third in Time Out’s best Christmas burgers list, the All-Star Lanes in Brick Lane is a contender in the Christmas party lottery. Complemented by bowling, billiards and beer, the ‘Turkey Dinner Burger’ combines the joy of buttermilk batter and bacon in one towering festive mountain of beef. And, if Brick Lane is a wee bit too hipster, the bowling alley has branches in Stratford, Bayswater and Bloomsbury to boot.

Boom Whisky – Manchester

The wonderfully-named, Manchester-based Boom Whisky is the place to go for the water of life this Christmas. The ‘Jingle Boom’ menu pairing whisky and food promises to satisfy the sweet tooth as well as warm the belly. With hot toddies and a four whisky tasting menu paired with Christmas treats, it is just the thing to staunch the chill of winter. The menu focuses on Scotch whisky and the distilling process, but world whiskies are on offer, including selections from the increasingly popular Japanese distilleries.

British Pullman – British railways

Take a trip back in time with a journey on the Pullman rail car. The Christmas Lunch journeys on the traditional transporter offer a classic Christmas lunch in a unique setting, and even throw in a tableside magician! The 1920s-era trains are lavish and lush, just the setting to relax in and prepare for a peaceful Christmas season.

Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh

Give your Christmas lunch a historical edge at Edinburgh’s most iconic landmark, Edinburgh Castle. Choose from a ‘Jacobite Lunch’, with panoramic views of the city, a traditional Christmas lunch, with locally-sourced ingredients, or the ‘Wine and Dine’ option, which includes a personal somellier to describe the wines that accompany each dish.

Everyman Cinema – Nationwide

For the office that always talks about movies, but never has time to watch them, the Everyman Cinema’s private hire option is the best option. The comfy sofas and footrests characteristic to the small theatre chain are a welcome alternative to desk chairs and uncomfortable shoes. Food and drink is rife at each of the cinema’s own bars. If that’s not enough in the way of entertainment, there’s usually a board game or two on hand for a friendly pre-film competition.

Harvey Nichols – London

It’s a classic for a reason, cocktail masterclasses are the perfect way to combine a fun activity with alcohol, an essential ingredient in many an office party. For the non-drinkers, there’s always the option to make fancy mocktails, and everyone is bound to appreciate the luxury breakfast and lunch put on by Harvey Nichols at its Knightsbridge store masterclasses.

Mr Fogg’s – London

The weird and wonderful Victorian throwback offers Christmas parties for up to 150 people at its original Mayfair Residence. The atmospheric venue will transport guests out of the office drudgery and into a fantastical land of hot air balloons, Victorian ingenuity and very strong cocktails. With drinks spanning from Jamaican juice-filled ‘Gin O’Clock on the Dock’ to the vodka-laced, Filipino flavour-infused ‘Darn Right Bazaar’ and the American-inspired ‘Dodged a Bulleit’ whisky concoction, the menu truly goes around the world and back again.

ZSL London Zoo – London

Have a wild night out at the world’s oldest scientific zoo. A party at London Zoo begins in one of the Animal Houses where your employees will sip at mulled wine under the watchful eyes of tigers, komodo dragons or even Christmas favourites; the penguins. An animal meet and greet is followed by a three-course-meal. As a bonus, all event proceeds will contribute towards ZSL’s worldwide conservation efforts.

Laser Fusion – Bristol

Even the sceptics will get swept-up in the adrenalin-pumping atmosphere of a laser tag game. Divided into teams, the game requires its players to both work together and in competition with each other. It is active, but not overly physical, and makes for a great daytime activity, perhaps before a more traditional meal or drinks-based evening plan.


MON 16 May 2016 10:59 AM
Reporting on brand
FRI 13 May 2016 2:00 PM
Jeep on running
WED 11 May 2016 1:28 PM
Crises are lost in translation
WED 11 May 2016 9:17 AM
Lack of strategy in IC