The end of September and the beginning of October is much too early to think about Christmas.
At this time of year we cringe at optimistic supermarket displays of mince pies (due to go out of date long before December 25th) and we recoil at those first tinsel-filled adverts on TV (urgh, it's not even Halloween yet!). Even the most festive spirited of individuals would be out of line for mentioning the "C-Word" before November, at least.
But, spare a thought for those few individuals who have no option but to address the festive season a good couple of months before they would like to.
Booking the day activity
This section of the Christmas party had to be fun, physical enough for everyone to work up an appetite for the evening, but not physical in a way that excluded anyone, and needed to be memorable. Bear in mind that this was all being planned for 20 people with pretty different interests and abilities.
At first we toyed with the idea of go-karting or paintballing. These ideas were dismissed quite quickly because of injuries. Plus, December is not a notoriously good month for outdoor activities.
In the end we spoke to the helpful people at City Mazes and booked our 'real life game complex' experience. The perfect answer to our Bigg Christmas!
Finding the perfect Christmas dinner
Booking a meal for 20 people can be complicated. There are lots of dietary requirements and preferences to be considered, the location needs to be right, and the prices needs to be reasonable.
As our office is based at Ashton Gate, a stone's throw from the varied and wonderful pubs and restaurants of North Street, we had a good deal of options that we could walk to. Keeping it local seemed like a good idea as it meant those who wanted to go home after the meal were free to do so, but also those who wished to go for more drinks had plenty of options.
The Spotted Cow
Pros: Good food, good service, ideal location, big enough for to seat us all, good prices for Christmas dinner.
Cons: We had Christmas dinner here last year
Deciding Factor: We didn't want to do with same thing 2 years running.
The Old Bookshop
Pros: Fantastic food, really nice interior, perfect location
Cons: We'd probably take up the whole place.
Deciding Factor: too small for Bigg.
North Street Standard
Pros: Definitely big enough, conveniently located, good standard of food, helpful staff
Cons: Christmas menu not massively exciting
Deciding Factor: The vegetarians decided they'd rather a different main - and you shouldn't mess with vegetarians.
Pros: Perfect distance away, big enough for the 20 of us, very helpful staff, good deals for Christmas dinner. Interesting enough menu.
Cons: As a newbie to North Street will they know what they’re doing with big Christmas parties?
Deciding Factor: Great menu. This is the one for us!