Ah, the good old office Christmas Party... an opportunity to get absolutely shitfaced with a load of people who you wouldn't otherwise socialise with.
My top 5 Office Christmas Party hates:
1) Pre-ordering. An office of 50 choosing three courses in October and having to remember them in mid-December does not work. And there is always one annoying person who ordered beef and has since decided they are now a f**king vegetarian.
2) Having to get ready in the office bogs. There are only two, and there’s 46 females on the premises and you have an hour.
3) The quality of the booze. It seems that for the party season, many tight-arsed venues swap their house wine out for something that was made on the inside of the local prison.
4) Missing out on dessert because its 11pm. It’s still not been bloody served and I want to dance on the table.
5) Having to go to work the next morning on a 3am finish and four hours sleep. Fighting for the bogs once again, only this time it’s to vomit.
The irony of it all is that until last week, I haven’t had the opportunity to partake in an Office Xmas party for some years due to being self-employed.
I’ve missed the annual shitstorm of inappropriate behaviour with colleagues. Dancing on tables to Christina Aguilera’s Dirty. Drunken dance-offs and the more senior staff members getting very carried away, until last week that was.
The lovely people at Everybody’s Social in Guiseley on the outskirts of Leeds in West Yorkshire invited me to road-test their Christmas menu last week.
They also invited along the newly formed ‘The HIVE’ group. A group I set up for Wharfedale business woman to offer support, inspiration and wisdom with a monthly board meeting and regular ‘Boss Babe’ socials.
I’ve popped into Everybody’s Social on a few occasions since it opened in the Spring. It’s done very well at, well, becoming a social place for pretty much everybody and any occasion.
The place offers all-day dining including a varied breakfast menu with everything from a full English for him to smashed avocado on brown toast for her. A kids menu, cocktail menu and decent wine list are available and there’s live entertainment on a weekend. They even serve their G&T’s in those wonderful highball glasses so they get a few extra Brownie points there too.
I’ve set up office in one of their lovely booths on more than one occasion and used the venue for a fair few business meetings. Great coffee, speedy Wi-Fi, and the booths are quiet enough to allow for a few hours of productivity with a little bit of people-watching thrown in.
The layout ensures that everyone feels comfortable. Whether you’re a group of mums with a gathering of fractious toddlers. Or like me, in need of a change of scenery from the confines of your home-office – this place caters for all.
Everybody’s Social is also a welcomed after-dark hot-spot for a small town that doesn’t have a great deal in the way of night spots aside from the Chinese disco above Zen Rendezvous and a handful of very average pubs. They have a really decent DJ on a weekend belting out some serious 90’s classics and there’s a little open space next to the DJ table for one to have a boogie without getting in anyone’s way. Do refrain from dancing on the tables though.
I hadn’t noticed the raised party area until last week. To the far left of the bar is a semi-private space perfect for large groups. The lovely lot at Everybody’s had set up us up a long table in the area all trussed up in Christmas paraphernalia ready for the Boss Babes to have it large last Wednesday. But to come to think of it; mid-week, during the day, this semi-closed-off area would make a perfect meeting/boardroom space for local businesses looking for a space big enough to hold a meeting.
Right now Everybody’s is serving up one hell of a Christmas menu and us lucky lot got to sample the entire festive feast in the form of festive tapas. An absolute genius idea on their part for Christmas group get-togethers. No pre-ordering, no whinging newly-converted vegetarians, no missing out on dessert and no worries if you can’t decide what you want because you get to have a bit of everything!
After a quick Boss Babe Mannequin challenge to start the festive fun off, the platters of starters were served up by the very cute Rory who was sporting a Santa hat and braces (and trousers and a shirt unfortunately). Starters included deliciously creamy garlic mushrooms on crustini with blue cheese and walnuts. Mini prawn cocktails served in an iceberg lettuce leave, and breadcrumb coated camembert balls with a cranberry jelly. We all nibbled away at leisure, there was tons of food and Rory placed the platters on a table next to us so that we could graze and gossip and giggle to our heart’s content.
Main course followed; full Christmas dinner will all the trimmings, once again served in small bite-sized tapas-style servings. All very delicious and plenty of it.
Dessert? Yes of course we all had all three – that’s the beauty of Christmas Dinner Tapas style! Traditional Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, berry Eaton mess and Toblerone tart, which by the way, was to die for.
The only downside to this way of eating is of course, if you have no ‘stop eating’ button like me, it’s easy to consume three Christmas dinners in one sitting.
As the eating came to an end (phew!) we decided against coffee and opted for more Prosecco. Quite a lot more in fact. We moved to a more comfier setting by the fire where we endeavoured to re-arrange the joint’s Christmas decorations. We kept off the tables though.
There’s a wonderfully cosy feeling inside of Everybody’s Social. Warm wood-clad walls and wooden floors, giant booths with comfy seating, a log burning sofa and comfy leather sofas give it a really Swiss chalet feel. I’m half tempted to ditch cooking Christmas dinner this year and drag the family down the road to Everybody’s Social.
The only thing holding me back is that I can dance on my dining room table to my heart’s content and that is standard in my gaff on Christmas Day.
Make sure you pop by at some point over the festive season folks. Their Xmas menu is also served traditionally for those of you who don’t like to tinker with the traditions of Christmas or who wince at the thought of something ‘foreign’ on Christmas day.
And the New Year’s Eve party looks like it could be a rocking night too!
Thanks to Becky and all the team at Everybody’s for hosting our HIVE board Christmas do. To find out more visit their website: CLICK HERE