OK sure, December is best known for the Christian holiday of Christmas, a celebration of religious and social enormity. But when it comes to working, we all really welcome the glorious possibility of a decent amount of time off to spent with our families, friends and (maybe?) the inside of various bars and public houses.

But with December also comes the exciting opportunity to let our hair down at the All About Food Christmas party. And it is always exciting in it’s own way. And we want to tell you all about it.

So traditionally we would include a local community project for half a day of our Christmas party, dedicating our time to something worthwhile before we go off and get a little tipsy. But this year we decided to, instead of split our time between the two, we would dedicate a whole day to community work in January and let loose for the whole day during our party.

This year’s party organisers Jane and Sam only told us a couple of pieces of information prior to the day of the party (5th December), and that information was:

  • Get to the office for a 9am breakfast
  • We would be in four teams, themed after the four card suits (hearts, spades, diamonds and clubs)
  • In our teams, we would face challenges throughout the day. The first challenge was to sing a Christmas carol with our teams in front of the rest of the Foodies. Yippee…

So we arrived on the morning of 5th December with four groups of people ready to sing various takes on Christmas carols whilst the rest will stand and laugh. And you know what? It was hilarious!! We had one group do a rendition of East 17 – Stay Another Day which was a personal and company highlight for the highlight reel of our 20 years as a business. Mad props to Clair who donned a fake goatie beard and Paddy who looked like he should literally be in a boy band.

After this madness we got on a coach and were driven, excitedly and surprisingly to the Lake District and to our hotel which would be our home for the next day, overlooking Lake Ullswater. And onto the worky part of the day.

What was lovely was to welcome Phil (our founder) back for a party, and to explain some of the finer points to our branding, and how the image of a tree (and the tree house!) relates to our business. After a few hours of this, the bar opened and we starting the fun with a pub quiz and a few drinks. The pub quiz was won by team spades, by one singular point, whilst Jon should have been given at least a few extra points for starting a group rendition of Millenium Prayer by Cliff Richard halfway through the quiz. Good times.

After this we were given a few hours to get ready/drink/both and met back down in the bar at 5pm were we were surprised to find a casino had been erected and would be our entertainment for the evening (with fake money to boot!). Safe to say that most of us lost our fake money within about half an hour of playing.

As the evening turned into night, we moved to the restaurant where our delicious food was served, wine was drunk and conversation (and shots, apparently) flowed. All themes that continued into the wee hours.

After a night of dancing to Christmas songs, Spice Girls and more, most of us woke to terrible hangovers (and shame because of our dance moves, ahem – you know who you are!) but the memory of a really awesome night.

Huge thanks to Jane and Sam for organising an incredible night and helping us all get into the Christmas mood good and proper!