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Alternative Christmas Party Ideas

Unusual work Christmas party ideas your employees will love

Looking to celebrate your office Christmas party but want something a little different? We’ve compiled a list of our favourite alternative venues in London that you can celebrate your Christmas-do at. From weird and wacky bars to stand-alone event spaces with unusual themes, London is the home to 1000’s of Christmas party spaces so we’ve listed just a few that really stand out this year.

 

London Sealife Centre

1) London Aquarium

The Aquarium is one of London’s most popular venues and they are now hosting a party under the sea! As you walk into the Sea Life Centre you will be greeted with a glass of fizz and some interactive divers that can communicate with your guests with special boards! You can then venture through the experience and then dine with the fishes in the main hall.

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: | Price from: £80+VAT pp

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Bat and Ball Christmas Party

2) Bat & Ball

Located at Westfield Stratford, Bat & Ball is a quirky bar filled with ping pong tables which is ideal for groups looking for a more casual event than a formal sit-down dinner. The catering team at Bat & Ball can serve buffet dinners for groups up to 550 and the open space serves as an ideal place for a speech, award ceremony and toasts. As the night progresses the team can create space for a dance floor and the tables can be transformed into beer-pong arenas!

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 550 | Price from: £20.00+VAT pp

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Alcotraz Christmas party

3) Alcotraz

Inspired by Hollywood Movies that have brought to life America’s most infamous prison, Alcotraz is London’s first immersive theatrical cocktail bar. From the orange jumpsuits upon entrance, to the real metallic cells, Alcotraz becomes the perfect backdrop to enjoy a drink within an epic yet intimate environment. Guests will be immersed into a prison setting where they smuggle alcohol past the guards and the prison officials can create some devishly good cocktails throughout the evening. Alcotraz is one of London’s most unique Christmas parties this year!

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 50 | POA

 

Winterville Christmas Party

4) Winterville

If a traditional seated meal is what you are after then Winterville is not for you! Located on Clapham Common the Winterville Street Feast will be celebrating Christmas throughout December with a variety of different entertainment! From American whiskey bars, skating rinks and fairground rides this Winter Wonderland serves as an ideal setting for a unique Christmas party. You can hire private tents within the park that will have a private bar and heaters (of course) inside which serves as a base for the evening. Guests will then be given food tokens to spend on different street food stalls throughout the evening.

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 4000 | POA

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Alternative Christmas Party

5) The Great British Bakery Off

The Great British bakery off is a stunning corporate activity that can host smaller groups in true Bake Off fashion. You will be split into teams and given a couple of recipes to follow and once the bakes are out of the office the judging commences! Typically our kitchens will provide free-flowing alcohol throughout the event and can also provide light lunches and dinners to enjoy whilst the bakes are in the oven.

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 4000 | POA

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Murder Mystery Party

6) Murder Mystery Evenings

As news of a murder sweeps across the hall drama unfolds while you and your guests enjoy a delicious 3 course meal. Upon arrival you will be greeted with a welcome drink and then our actors will take to the stage before dinner and in between each course. If you have a private group the team can incorporate members of your party into the act and then each table will have to decide at the end of the meal who the murderer was! The murder mysteries are a fabulous way of hosting a traditional seated meal with a tongue & cheek twist!

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 200| Price from: £65.00+VAT pp

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London Zoo Christmas Party

7) London Zoo

If you want something completely out-of-the-ordinary then ZSL London Zoo can throw a wacky Christmas party like no other! Your lavish evening begins at our fairy-lit entrance, prosecco is served whilst admiring the animals in our fascinating Animal Houses and you can even experience a close encounter with one of our friendliest residents (and their keeper). Then treat your guests with a choice of creative, festive menus in one of our beautifully decorated rooms.

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 700 | POA

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Swingers Golf Christmas

8) Swingers

Swingers is a private crazy golf course located in London’s West End or City Central. You can hire the venue as a whole or just certain areas for a truly competitive Christmas party idea. The kitchens can supply mouth-watering street food and the bar staff can supply unique cocktails to enjoy whilst out on the course! Whilst guests are waiting for their tee-off they can relax in one of the lounge areas or cocktail bars! The venue also has nightly DJ’s for when the competition is over!

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 500 | POA

 

 

Natural History Museum Christmas Party

9) The Natural History Museum

Dine with the dinosaurs in London’s most famous museum! Made up of multiple spaces and reception areas the Natural History Museum can play host to all sorts of Christmas parties, from seated dinner-dances to fossil-fueled drinks receptions! Hintze Hall is the highlight area which can be transformed into a great dining hall under the skeleton of a magnificent blue whale.

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 3000| POA

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Steam Dreams Christmas Party

10) Steam Dreams

Looking for something different to do for your office Christmas party this year then look no further. Steam Dreams Rail Co are offering unique packages on one of 8 different Christmas Steam trains travelling from various destinations in London and the South East to some of the most exciting Christmas markets with an eclectic array of gifts to inspire even the most hardened shopper!  Alternatively you can visit a selection of stunning Churches and Cathedrals which will host some beautiful Carol services exclusively for Steam Dreams passengers. With various price brackets and choices of dining or non-dining there is something for everyone as you are whisked away for magical day out by steam train. You can book a whole carriage or just a table for 4.

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 64 | Price from: £109.00+VAT pp

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Treasure Hunt

11) City Treasure Hunts

If you need a great idea for a day out where everyone has an active role in the activities success, then an organised treasure hunt is perfect! London treasure hunts offer a wealth of opportunities, with so many landmarks, unique and historic buildings and quirky avenues, a London Treasure Hunt is not only great fun but an excellent team builder. A treasure hunt is the ideal way to get the team out of the office in the day and bonding, we can  tailor the hunt to end in a bar or restaurant where you can enjoy a dinner or a few drinks afterwards.

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: N/A | Price from: £20.00+VAT pp

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LuckyVoice Christmas Party

12) Lucky Voice

Lucky Voice can host private events where you take over the entire venue or semi-private parties where you have private rooms but share a communal area with other groups. Each room is fitted with a state of the art karaoke machine and seating area so your group can enjoy the show with some drinks and nibbles!

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 150 | POA

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Cutty Sark Christmas Party

13) Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark is one of the world’s most famous ships and is the last surviving tea clipper, the fastest and greatest of her time. She stands as a glorious monument to the age of sail and to all those who lost their lives in the merchant service. Situated on the shore of the mighty Thames River the ship provides commanding views over Canary Wharf and the City of London. Underneath the dry berth is one of London’s most versatile dining areas, whilst you dine and dance you will be forever dropping your jaw at the shear amazement of the venue!

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 450 | Price from: £95.83 +VAT pp

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London Dungeon Christmas Party

14) London Dungeons

There aren’t many more Christmas parties that are more alternative than the London Dungeons! Telling the story of some of London’s most infamous moments in history, the London Dungeon is a themed, scarily fun, unique & intimate dinner venue. Starting off, you’ll be welcomed into the Palace to enjoy a delicious welcome drink with a cast of talented actors taking you on an immersive theatre tour of 40 minutes through London’s darkest history. You’ll meet infamous characters such as Jack the Ripper, Mrs Lovett in her Pie shop and Sweeny Todd for a cheeky haircut! Afterwards, you’ll be welcomed into our 18th century themed pub, The Tavern, for some traditional pub grub, cheerful drinks and our resident DJ playing the ultimate party tunes!

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 150 | Price from: £80.00 +VAT pp

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Greatest Showman Christmas Party

15) The Greatest Show!

This year in Bloomsbury, London a spectacular extravaganza of circus wonders comes to town! Marvel as the mesmerizing entertainment performs overhead whilst you feast on a delicious 3 course meal, before enjoying all that The Greatest Show has to offer – a sparkling reception, amazing acts and a party to remember.

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 800 | Price from: £65 +VAT pp

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Boutique Theme Christmas Party

16) The Tower of London

There are only a few more buildings in the world more famous than the Tower of London. In the grounds is a temporary pavilion that is created each year to play home to fabulous Christmas parties throughout December. An exclusive destination within the North Moat, The Pavilion is ideal for those looking for a touch of glamour and sparkle to their party.

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 700 | Price from: £115.00 +VAT pp

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edieval Banquet London Christmas Party Venue

17) Medieval Banquet

Located just 5 minutes from the Tower of London are the Ivory Vaults, based in the cellars of St Katharine’s Docks. This evening will take you on a journey complete with minstrels and jesters, acrobats and dragons. Shout for your Wench or dance with a unicorn but come ready to eat a five course banquet with drinks to finish the event with dancing till late.

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 450 | Price from: £41.67 +VAT pp

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Alternative Christmas Party Ideas 2

18) The Apprentice Tasks

If you are trying to steer completely away from the traditional Christmas party and would rather organise a team-building event instead then the Apprentice games is the perfect alternative! As guests enter the ‘Boardroom’ they know that only high performance teams will succeed! For the next few hours their feet will not touch the ground as back to back assignments test their ambition, business flair and wits to the full! Fluttering eyelids and flattering remarks won’t impress our business tycoon, who will rage against shoddy workmanship,

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: N/A | POA

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Dinerama Christmas Party

19) Dinerama

Winter at Dinerama becomes full of Christmas market and festival vibes; the venue is roofed and winter-proofed so is toasty and warm with log-burning fires throughout the festive season. Once a former bullion truck yard, in the heart of Shoreditch Dinerama is a great festive party venue split over two-levels, has a 1,000 capacity, creating the ultimate Christmas party playground.

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 1000 | POA

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London Madame Tussauds Christmas Party

20) Madame Tussauds

If you are searching for an alternative Christmas party, look no further than Madame Tussauds. Arrive for your Xmas Party at one of the most famous venues in the world. Mingle with A-List celebs including the Beckhams, Beyonce, J-Lo, the Kardashians and Brad Pitt at this star-studded event. Whilst enjoying drinks, you can pose for a few pictures with your favourite celebrities. As the party gets going the incredibly life-like waxworks seem to come alive and catch you by surprise as you notice more and more famous faces. The illusion is complete, you are at a party for the rich and famous!

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 350 | Price from: £82.50 +VAT pp

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Shaka Zulu Christmas Party

21) Shaka Zulu

Shaka Zulu is a themed restaurant, bar and night club in Camden. Its original features are enhanced with its fabulous furnishings to make sure your guests have a “write home about” first impression. Enjoy an excellent meal and then move onto the club for the after party later on in the evening! This venue also hosts themed nights with a collection of entertainment and shows to watch throughout the evening.

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 350 | Price from: £82.50 +VAT pp

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Moonshine Bar London

22) Moonshine Saloon

Moonshine Saloon, combining immersive theatre with a world-class cocktail drinking experience, transports all guests to the rugged American West on the promise of making a fortune in an illicit moonshine smuggling operation at the top of its game.  Outlaws must bring their own liquor to join the gang and enter the multi-room environment of Cold Water.

First stop is a visit to the local tailor to ensure you look the part and don’t attract the wrong type of attention from the local Sheriff. With the right togs and Stetson, you’re ready to handover your hidden liquor to Clyde and enjoy bespoke, delicious cocktails that are expertly prepared by a world-class team of barkeeps.  While in the West, outlaws can try their luck at card or dice games, visit the General Store or perhaps be lucky enough to be invited into the notorious Moonshine Distillery.

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 80| POA

 

Glittervault Christmas Party 8

23) Glittervault

If you would rather get up and dance than have a seated dinner then the Glittervault is the ideal option for your office Christmas party. Take a dive into our world of elite live music, top London DJs and the hottest world class acts on the scene right now. Contemporary laser shows, exclusive dance acts combined with sensational Street Food cuisine. Without doubt Central London’s finest party atmosphere.

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 300 | POA

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Alternative Christmas Party Ideas

24) Hire a private cinema

The Everyman cinema is available for private hire through December for unique Christmas parties! The cinema is full with a mixture of sofas and comfortable arm chairs to relax and watch the movie in and afterwards there is a super chic retro-feel bar serving amazing cocktails!

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 109 | POA

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Office christmas tobacco dock

25) Skylight at Tobacco Dock

Our stunning rooftop bar affords far-reaching views of the city skyline and is home to London’s only rooftop ice rink. Sip on festive cocktails, relax in an igloo, feast on delicious street food and take a spin on the ice!

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | POA

 

Somerset House Christmas Party

26) Somerset House

Host your Christmas festivity at one of the city’s most spectacular and well-loved venues, Somerset House. On arrival, your guests will be met by the ultimate Christmas backdrop. Entering through the striking stone arches, they will be greeted by Somerset House’s spectacular ice rink and soaring Christmas tree. Hire the ice rink out to kick off your evening and then dine in a beautiful venue with ties leading back to 1776.

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 300| POA

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Apres Theme Christmas Party

27) Billingsgate Vaults

Every year, Billingsgate Vaults host a themed Christmas party with award winning caterers and a stunning production set. In 2019 the venue hosted a Christmas night by order of the Peaky Blinders! Head back in time to experience the aftermath of the Great War and doff your caps with live entertainment in an exceptional party venue.

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 600| Price from: £115.00+VAT pp

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Freemasons Hall The Great Gatsby Xmas Party

28) Freemasons Hall

Experience at the most iconic art-deco building in the Heart of central London. This amazing grade II listed Venue is available for exclusive events this December and plays host to the Gatsby Club! It’s the roaring twenties – the era of prohibition. A live jazz band will perform in the gallery Suite whilst you and your fellow flappers And dappers dance the Charleston Until the small hours.

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: 1450 | POA

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Escape Rooms

29) Escape Rooms

Looking for a thought-provoking challenge for your special event? Escape rooms are a new form of interactive and intuitive puzzle in which you are locked in some sort of scenario with only your wits to help you escape. You will be split into smaller teams and the team that solves the puzzle the quickest wins!

Shared parties: ✘ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: N/A | Price from: £25.00 +VAT pp

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Casino Christmas Party

30) Hilton Tower of London

Although the a hotel dinner-dance is probably what you are trying to avoid by reading an article on alternative Christmas party ideas, this year the Hilton is throwing a magnificent themed party night! Dance to some Motown classics or experience the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood casino night!

Shared parties: ✔ | Private parties: ✔ | Capacity: N/A | Price from: £120.00 +VAT pp

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An Experts Guide To Planning Your Christmas Work Do

We know what you’re thinking. It’s August, Autumn hasn’t even hit yet and I’m in the middle of the Summer rush, why would I even to begin to think (or have the time for that matter!) to plan a Christmas party for my employees?

The weather may not yet have plummeted, but now is the perfect time to start putting plans in place to thank all of your employees for all of their hard work this year.

But where to start? Here are our top ten tips to help guide you through the fun (and considerations) behind planning your Christmas office celebrations.

Happy Party

Set the date

There are only a limited number of Friday/Saturday dates from mid-November through to near-end December, so pick one and stick to it.
 
 
Dancing Christmas Party

Consider your budget

Perhaps the most important element to your event, the budget will determine elements such as the food, entertainment and even any potential theming. Always communicate with your party planner (if applicable) so that they can manage expectations to create the best night possible!
 
 
Fancy Dress Dress Code

Confirm the numbers

Send an email around the office letting your employees know the proposed date. Ask them to RSVP within a week so that you can move on to…
 
 
dont do this at the christmas party

Choosing the perfect party venue

Do you want to venture out of stay close to home? If you’re considering a party venue that is a drive away, you may want to check that they have overnight accommodation, especially once the mulled wine gets flowing!

TIP: Don’t have time for a night time event? Why not organise a Christmas lunch instead!  Many venues offer Christmas lunch packages to suit all party sizes and can be just as fun!
 
 
gossip

Shared or Exclusive?

Shared parties come with the fantastic opportunity to mix with groups from other companies, allowing you to benefit from the high end production and entertainment of a big event, whereas choosing an Exclusive Christmas party can be as simple or extravagant as you wish, giving you complete control over your own event.
 
 
What Your Christmas Party Theme Says About You

Theming

Looking to blow your colleagues away? A themed Christmas party may be the way to go and are extremely high in demand for 2014. From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Winter Wonderland all the way through to Viva Las Vegas, Office Christmas has a theme for everyone. More info here.
 
 
save money

Entertainment

DJ and Disco, live music, magicians, dancers, awards ceremonies, stilt walkers – there are so many options to choose from! To build a truly bespoke Christmas party, check out our Party Planner tool here.
 
 
Christmas Lights

Food and Drink

How would you like the party food to be served? Three-course meals may be perfect for some, but there are other options such as Buffet or bowl food to take advantage of.Photographers, goody bags and party games can also be a great way to keep the festive party spirit going!

Check any dietary requirements within your team and then send the menu to them via email. As for drink options, you will have the option of preparing a bar tab or perhaps arranging drink vouchers,  choose what is best for your audience.
 
 
Christmas Bauble

Putting the finishing touches

If you’re going to a themed party, props can be the perfect way to make your office Christmas party a night to remember.
 
 
Fire Man Santa

Have fun!

Corporate Christmas parties are a great way to create unity within your business. This is especially beneficial if your company operates under a number of different departments.  Just remember the number one rule….no photos after 10 pm!

Need help organising the perfect bespoke Christmas party for your team? Office Christmas is always on hand to help. Just drop us an email via or call 01273 856001.

 

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Office Christmas Bakes

The days are definitely getting cooler, the John Lewis advert is on telly, and the phones are ringing off the hook here at Office Christmas. Aside from crawling under our duvets and hibernating until Easter, there’s no way to deny it; Christmas is here. We’ve put together a few Christmas bake ideas to help you get your office into the festive spirit.
As things can get so hectic around Christmas time, we think that bringing in a few homemade treats can really brighten up your colleagues’ day. Whatever you decide to make, there’s one sure-fire pre-bake method to follow to ensure your festive delights really taste the reindeer’s baubles:
 
 
1. Turn on radio and switch to any station shamelessly playing Christmas music.

2. Take a large glass.

3. Add wine.

4. Taste.

5. Smile.
 
 

Festive Bakes
Festive Sausage Rolls

Ingredients
375g Ready-Roll Puff Pastry
1 Beaten Egg
450g Good Quality Pork Sausages
30g Chopped Dried Cranberries
Zest of 1 Orange
6 Sage Leaves, Finely Chopped
Plain Flour for Dusting
 
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 220°c/ Gas Mark 7/ 200°c Fan.

2. Place the puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll out a little. Slice the pastry lengthways so that you have two long strips.

3. Remove the sausage meat from their skins and add to a bowl. Mix in the cranberries, orange zest and sage leaves until well combined.

4. Halve the sausage mixture and form into a long sausage shape on one half of the pastry. Brush egg on one side of the pastry and fold over the mixture, ensuring that it overlaps the other side. Repeat with the other strip of pastry.

5. Cut each long roll into 6 different pieces and gently pinch the edges to avoid any sausage over-hang. Move to a tray covered with a non-stick baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before moving to a tin.

7. Take to work and share with only the Merriest of Meat-eaters.
 
 

Festive Bakes

Classic Mince Pies

Ingredients
225g Cold Diced Butter
350g Plain Flour
100g Caster Sugar
Pinch of Salt
280g Mincemeat
1 Small Egg
Icing Sugar to Dust

Method
1. Sift plain flour into a large mixing bowl. Add diced butter and rub together.

2. Add caster sugar and salt and mix until well combined. Form a ball, turn out and knead briefly.

3. Preheat the oven to 200°c/ Gas Mark 6/ 180°c Fan.

4. Line a tin with walnut-sized balls of pastry and push down gently to make a pie shape, leaving some aside for the lids. Spoon mincemeat into each of the pies.

5. Take slightly larger balls of the pastry and flatten the lids. Gently seal the pies. Brush the tops with beaten egg.

6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. When cooled put in a tin and dust with icing sugar.

7. Take to work and make someone’s day.
 
 

Festive Bakes

Gingerbread Christmas Tree

Ingredients
500g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
3tsp Ground Ginger
½tsp Ground Cardamom
150g Unsalted Butter
175g Dark Brown Sugar
150g Honey
1 Whole Egg & 1 Egg White
240g Icing Sugar (Plus more for dusting)
Edible Silver Balls to Decorate

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c/ Gas Mark 4/ 160°c Fan.

2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, spices and a pinch of salt into a bowl and put aside.

3. Beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the honey and whole egg. Gently beat in the dry ingredients until the mixture comes together. Divide in half, wrap separately in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

4. Trace 19cm, 15cm, and 10cm stars onto cardboard and cut out. For 7.5cm and 4.5cm stars use cutters. Roll out the dough halves between baking paper until 4mm thick. Using the star templates and 7.5cm cutter, cut out 3 stars of each size from the dough. Using a 4.5cm cutter, cut as many stars as possible from the remaining dough. (However fiddly this may sound, just ensure you have gingerbread stars of progressively smaller sizes.)

5. Place the stars of the same size on a baking sheet lined tray, around 3cm apart. Larger stars need to be baked for around 8-10 minutes, smaller stars for less; perfect stars should be deep golden in colour.

6. While your gingerbread is cooling, make the icing by adding the icing sugar bit by bit to the egg white until combined.

7. Stack the largest stars at offset angles, placing 2-3 4.5cm stars in between. Glue each layer with icing. Continue stacking in decreasing size until all 7.5cm stars are used. Finish with on 4.5cm star flat and a second one upright.

8. Decorate the points of your gingerbread tree with the rest of the icing and edible silver balls. Leave to set for around an hour and dust with icing sugar.

9. Take to the office, place on the side, admire for around 5 minutes and devour.

 

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Christmas Cocktail Recipes

Get into the Christmas ‘spirit’ with a delicious Christmas cocktail. Here are some of the Office Christmas team’s favourite Christmas cocktail recipes, one for each day of Christmas!

We hope you enjoy tasting these delicious Christmas beverages. If you have a go at making any yourself we’d love to hear how you do. Send us your pics.
 

1. Christmas Grinch

A delicious green coloured cocktail that looks terrifying but tastes delightful! Add a cherry garnish for added Christmassy colour.
 
You’ll need:

  • 50ml Midori
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish
  • Crushed ice

 

How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker
  2. Shake well for at least 1 minute
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass

 

2. Mulled Wine with a Twist!

With a large helping of cranberry juice, this is a great recipe for enjoying the delicious taste of mulled wine whilst avoiding a terrible hangover.
 
You’ll need:

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 500ml of cranberry juice
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 60g demerara sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Grated nutmeg

 
How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Put the wine and cranberry juice in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, and the spices.
  2. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Taste to see if you want the wine sweeter, and add more sugar to taste.
  3. Strain into heatproof glasses and serve at once.

 

3. The White Christmas

You may well recognise this recipe as the famous ‘White Russian’, add white chocolate instead of dark to complete the snowy feel of this delicious after dinner treat.
 
You’ll need:

  • 50ml Vodka
  • 25ml Kahlua
  • 25ml cream
  • 50ml Milk
  • 25g of grated white chocolate
  • Crushed ice

 
How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Add half the ice and all the other ingredients apart from the chocolate into a cocktail shaker
  2. Shake well for at least 1 minute
  3. Pour into a large cocktail glass over the rest of the ice

 

4. The Poinsettia

For chic sophistication at your Christmas party create a delicious Champagne cocktail reflecting the colours of this beautiful Christmas plant.
 
You’ll need:

  • 75ml of Champagne
  • 25ml of triple sec
  • 75ml of cranberry juice

 
How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Chill the Champagne and cranberry juice
  2. Pour the ingredients into a fluted Champagne glass
  3. Stir gently

 

5. Christmas Hopper

This is the traditional ‘Grasshopper’ cocktail with a delicious Christmas twist!
 
You’ll need:

  • 25ml Midori melon liqueur
  • 15ml green creme de menthe
  • 15ml white creme de cacao
  • 25ml milk
  • Mint leaves for garnish
  • Raspberry for garnish
  • Crushed ice

 
How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Pour the ingredients into cocktail shaker
  2. Shake well for at least 1 minute
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a mint leaves and a raspberry

 

6. Snow Ball

Made famous by Nana Royle this vintage Christmas treat is sure to tickle those taste buds this festive season.
 
You’ll need:

  • 50ml Advocaat
  • 300ml chilled Lemonade
  • 1 slice lemon
  • Crushed ice

 
How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Add the crushed ice to a glass
  2. Pour in the Advocaat
  3. Fill the glass with lemonade
  4. Add the slice of lemon

 

7. Strawberry Cheesecake Martini

Great as a dinner party dessert!
 
You’ll need:

  • 5ml Gomme
  • 5 strawberries
  • 25ml vodka
  • 25ml chambord

 
Topping:

  • 50ml cream
  • 30ml frangelico
  • 1 x digestive biscuit

 
How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Bash together in a glass to get all the juice from strawberries
  2. Shake with ice
  3. Strain into martini glass
  4. Shake with ice
  5. Strain and pour over the back of a spoon to make the cream float on top
  6. Sprinkle with crushed digestive biscuits

 

8. Egg Nog

A classic Christmas drink perfect for serving to a crowd on Christmas Eve
 
You’ll need (serves 4-6):

  • 2 pints whole milk
  • 6 free range eggs
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 200ml bourbon
  • Chocolate shavings to garnish

 
How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Place the milk, sugar, vanilla pod and eggs into a pan and heat gently on the hob, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon – be careful not to boil the mixture or your eggs will scramble!
  2. Divide the bourbon into the bottom of six small heatproof tumblers and top up with the egg nog mixture
  3. Garnish with chocolate shavings

Get ahead tip: You can chill the mixture at the end of step one and store in the fridge until ready to serve as a cold drink later in the evening. The mixture will keep for up to 24 hours.
 

9. Apple Strudel

A fruity, spiced winter warmer for a cold Christmas night.
 
You’ll need:

  • 50ml vodka
  • 15ml Krupnik (honey liqueur)
  • 1 tbsp blackberry puree
  • 1 tsp sugar syrup
  • 75ml apple juice
  • Grated nutmeg to garnish

 
How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Pour the ingredients into cocktail shaker
  2. Shake well for at least 1 minute
  3. Strain into a cocktail glass
  4. Garnish with a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg

 

10. Candy Cane Martini

A colourful cocktail to serve to a party crowd.
 
You’ll need:

  • 50ml vanilla vodka
  • 15ml peppermint schnapps
  • 50ml club soda
  • Candy canes (garnish)
  • 1 egg white, beaten (garnish)

 
How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Pour the ingredients into cocktail shaker
  2. Shake well for at least 1 minute
  3. To make the garnish, crush the candy canes with a rolling pin and spread on a plate in an even layer
  4. Pour the beaten egg white on to a plate and dip the rim of a martini glass into the egg white, then into the crushed candy canes which should stick to the rim of the glass
  5. Strain the cocktail mixture into the glass and serve

 

11. Christmas Pudding

If the main course leaves little room for pudding, try this delightful cocktail instead.

 

You’ll need:

  • 30ml Drambuie
  • 150ml Guinness
  • 30ml Southern Comfort

 

How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a jug and stir gently to combine
  2. Pour into a red wine glass to serve

 

12. The Snow Berry

A short party shot that looks the part for a festive soiree.

 

You’ll need:

  • 15ml cranberry liqueur (chilled)
  • 10ml Baileys (chilled)

 

How to make your Christmas cocktail:

  1. Pour the cranberry liqueur in first
  2. Take a teaspoon and pour the baileys over the back of the spoon on top of the cranberry to keep the layers separate

 

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Christmas Cracker Jokes

We all love a good Christmas cracker joke, however corny. Here are a few of the Office Christmas team’s favourites. Email your Christmas cracker joke to us and we’ll post it here!

 

What do reindeer hang on their Christmas trees?

…Horn-aments!

 

What did Cinderella say when the chemist lost her photographs?

Someday my prints will come.

 

What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?

Tinsilitis!

 

Why did the elf put his bed in the fireplace

Because he wanted to sleep like a log

 

What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney?

Claustrophobia!

 

Who beats his chest and swings from Christmas cake to Christmas cake?

Tarzipan!

 

What do you call Santa’s little helpers?

Subordinate clauses!

 

Why was Cinderella such a poor football player?

Because she kept running away from the ball!

Because she had a pumpkin for a coach! (Christine Garnham @ Berg Kaprow Lewis)

 

What food do you get when you cross a snowman with a polar bear?

A “brr” – “grr”!

 

What do angry mice send to each other at Christmas?

Cross-mouse cards!

 

What do you call a bunch of chess players bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?

Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.

 

How did Darth Vadar know what Luke was getting for Christmas?

Because he felt his presents.

 

Who looks after Father Christmas when he is ill?

The National Elf Service.

 

What is Santa’s favourite pizza?

One that is deep-pan, crisp and even

 

Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?

Mince Spies!

 

What Christmas drink gets on your nerves?

Eggnagg

 

What’s a snowman’s favourite mode of transport?

An icicle!

 

What is an Ig?

An Eskimos home without a loo! (Joke courtesy of Beverley Randall, Tuthill)

 

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Dress Code Dilemmas

You’ve booked and organised your Christmas party and now all you have left to do is decide what to wear. One small problem… you have a dress code but you’re not entirely sure what it means.

In true fashionista style, here is the Office Christmas guide to dress codes. If you have any questions please leave a comment below or tweet us and we’ll offer our best advice.

 

outfit

Smart Casual: A loosely defined dress code, casual, yet “smart” enough to conform

This is the most common dress code for Christmas parties, especially for shared events. Guests are expected to avoid overly casual clothing such as t-shirts and trainers. Jeans are deemed inappropriate for this dress code but ladies may get away with a smart pair of black jeans.

Ladies: Choose a dress or a pretty top with a skirt or tailored trousers. Finish the look with a pair of heels.

Gentlemen: Choose a collared shirt and jacket; a matching suit is not necessary, nor is a tie.

 

Smart Casual Dress Code

Smart: Dashingly or impressively neat or trim in appearance

This dress code is common for large-scale private Christmas parties held at glamorous venues. This dress code requires guests to make a special effort with their attire and choose something sophisticated.

Ladies: Choose a glamorous dress and add a glitzy bag, shoes and accessories.

Gentlemen: Choose a dark suit and match a dress shirt with a tie. Tuxedos are a great way to impress but ask your colleagues if they are wearing one too to avoid an awkward situation. Don’t forget to polish your shoes!

 

Black tie Dress Code

Black Tie: Formal evening wear for men

Black tie is a strict dress code and guests will be expected to wear formal attire. We recommend hiring an outfit if you don’t already own something appropriate as this way you get to wear something really special without having to fork out for a hefty price tag.

Ladies: Choose a ball gown or a long length dress with matching accessories.

Gentlemen: Choose a tuxedo and a black bow tie.

 

Masked Dress Code

Dress to Impress and Party Wear:

Whilst, not official dress codes, these are often used for shared parties. Guests are expected to choose something special to wear that will impress your colleagues and friends.

Ladies: Choose your favourite ‘night on the town’ outfit and don’t forget the heels!

Gentlemen: This dress code is not as strict as the others meaning you are free to choose any outfit; we recommend something that makes you feel smart and sophisticated.

 

Fancy Dress Dress Code

Fancy Dress: A costume for a ball or masquerade, chosen to please the fancy or theme. Usually a costume characteristic of a particular period or place, class of persons, or historical or fictitious character

This is your chance to shine! Once you know the theme of the party you can go to town with creating your costume. Don’t forget about wigs, accessories and make-up which can really add to the overall effect.

In our experience, guests approach fancy dress in groups, if one person chooses to dress-up, others will follow. Be courageous and lead the group by brainstorming ideas. Fancy dress can really add something spectacular to a themed event and is sure to make your Christmas party one to remember.

 

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Fancy Dress Christmas Parties

Companies looking to use their Christmas parties as an ice-breaker event often ask the Office Christmas team for advice on how to break down barriers within a company.  Mixing departments in the seating arrangements is one way to do this, though it can make the atmosphere a little more subdued than usual as guests are on their best behaviour sizing up their newly discovered colleagues.  A way to get around this is to introduce fancy dress into the equation.  

Fancy dress may take you back to embarrassing photos of your 10thbirthday party, but it undoubtedly injects fun and laughter into a Christmas party and fosters its own unique atmosphere of unity.  We’ve seen our fair share of fancy dress Christmas parties and yet to see one that hasn’t gone down an absolute storm.  Here are our top 5 fancy dress Christmas party ideas:

Police

When I Grow Up

What did you want to be when you grew up?  This fancy dress idea makes for a guest list filled with vets, air hostesses, astronauts, mad professors and athletes to name a few.  

Iron Man

3D Films

A one-of-a-kind themed fancy dress idea seen in 2017, tailored to a particular client’s industry – guests were asked to dress up as characters featured only in 3D films.  The most creative costume of the evening was a motion capture actor, whose black full-body leotard was decked with white ping pong balls at joints and limbs.

Medieval

Medieval

A particular favourite of company directors with an enthusiasm for history – a medieval themed fancy dress party works well at Christmas when all those layers of fine cloth do a fine job at keeping out the winter cold. The medieval theme lends itself to a raft of interactive entertainment including duelling knights, strolling minstrels and court jesters.  

Superman

Heroes and Villains

Taking inspiration from films, books, comics, video games and history there is something for all ages to take from the interpretation of a heroes and villains themed dress code. Extend the theme into the party with a ‘Kryptonite’ vodka luge, Wii games, green screen photo studio and performers incognito posing as waiters until battle commences on the dance floor…

 

What Your Christmas Party Theme Says About You

Black and White Ball

A themed Christmas party dress code can be more stylish and sophisticated than the suggestions above.  The Black and White Ball is an enduringly popular Christmas party theme for corporate events and commands a black tie approach to the wardrobe.  Think Bond, James Bond.

 

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Four Ways To Get Your Office Ready For Your Christmas Party

So you’ve organised a fabulous Christmas party for your team; congratulations! Now it’s time to get everyone in the festive spirit, stretching the season out for as long as possible in the run up to the big event. To help, here are our top four tips for getting everyone prepared and excited for your Christmas party!

 

Christmas Lights

1. Get Decorating!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…Tacky or tasteful, every office needs a bit of glitter and sparkle to really get everyone in the festive mindset. Think fairy lights above the notice boards, baubles from door handles and tinsel pretty much everywhere it won’t fall down – which is a daunting task in itself. Get everyone involved in turning your office into a magical Santa’s Grotto to remind them that with every working hour, they are one closer to their fantastic (and well organised!) office Christmas party.

TOP TIP: Include a big office advent calendar to help count down the days to your party. And why not add a Christmas treat behind every Friday door such as a drink token or two for your party – a trick to get even the inevitable Scrooge excited for the festive season!

 

dont do this at the christmas party

2. Christmas Competitions!

The X-mas Factor! A little competition is always a good way of getting everyone involved in the Christmas festivities. Let you and your colleagues bring out your inner child with an ugly Christmas jumper competition, or show your creativity with a competition for the best-decorated desks. Competitions are also a great way of bringing the office together, helping everyone get to know each other – eliminating the slightly uncomfortable first hour of ‘mingling’ that usually comes with office parties, meaning as soon as you arrive at your beautifully themed and decorated venue the party can start immediately!

TOP TIP: Why not award these competition winners with vouchers towards their party outfit or drinks vouchers for your Christmas party night?

 

Mince Pies

3. Christmas Baking!

“On Your Marks, Get Set, Baaake!!” This one needs little explanation. With ‘Great British Bake Off’ as popular as ever, why not incorporate this into your Office’s Christmas Countdown and get everyone baking their favourite Christmas treats and puds. It’s the perfect way to get everyone in the office involved, whether through baking or eating! In true Bake Off tradition, this can be turned into a light-hearted competition to find out who in your office secretly bakes like Mary Berry, without a soggy bottom in sight! This simple festive idea is guaranteed to be a hit in your office, especially with all the cake that will be around for days!

TOP TIP: Organise an office bake sale and sell slices of all those great cakes and desserts, advertising that all the proceeds will add to your pre-set up Christmas Party bar tab.

 

4. Secret Santa!

All I want for Christmas… Displaying these presents out in the office for everyone to see is a guaranteed way to get everyone excited during those last few days of work. Wait until the afternoon before your big office Christmas party, when everyone’s excitement is at its highest, and then you can all finally open your presents and spread Christmas spirit to each and every one of your colleagues in preparation for the night ahead!

TOP TIP: Why not be creative with your presents and get your Secret Santa some gorgeous accessories to wear that evening at your office party, or maybe a small bottle of wine for whilst they’re getting ready!

 

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Herding Cats: Christmas Party Crowd Control

If you’ve volunteered for the task of organising your work’s Christmas do for the first time, we know that trying to coordinate a large group of people to enjoy themselves, some of whom you may not know, can be daunting. However, there are some simple steps to take to ensure a pleasant evening for everyone concerned – even you!

 

Christmas Lights

Details

Communication is essential to spare yourself endless repeated questions from your guests. “Where is the venue? When do we have to get there? Can I wear jeans? I’m dairy intolerant.” Keep all the details in one place on a company email so no one is left out. Office Christmas’ award-winning personal group portal can also help overcome this problem, find out more on our website.

 

save money

Distraction

When guests arrive at the venue, set a sophisticated tone to the evening with your choice of reception entertainment.  A pumping DJ and flair cocktail barmen can bring out the party animal in everyone before the night has even begun, whereas an elegant string quartet and close-up magician wandering around can extend the welcome drinks without leaving your guests worse for wear before dinner.  A light-hearted quiz or round of bingo can also keep guests seated at tables instead of propping up the bar.

 

Wine party

Drink

Short of routinely breathalysing individual guests throughout the evening, there is no sure-fire way of stopping your guests indulging in too much drink, but there are some tricks to delay the inevitable. A steady flow of food throughout the evening will soak up some of the booze, so keep canapés coming during the reception and follow the dinner service with a midnight snack of hot bacon rolls. Offering a complimentary selection of wine on tables to accompany dinner can help curb excessive drinking by encouraging people to share between their table and show restraint in front of others.  As tables are cleared and the entertainment gets underway, bring out fresh carafes of iced water and glasses for each table so people can help themselves to non-alcoholic refreshment throughout the night.  If you’re generously offering an inclusive drinks package, consider making this strictly beers, wines and soft drinks only. No one will mind if spirits aren’t included, and it’s common practice across the majority of events not to do so.

 

Happy Party

Departure

At the end of the night, laying on transport is a simple way of clearing guests out of a venue – no one wants to miss the last coach home!  There will inevitably be some guests who do, so be prepared with local taxi numbers to pick up the last few stragglers who need help getting home. If your venue is in the centre of the city and you’re worried about guests slipping away early to hit the town, consider staging a prize draw or raffle towards the end of the evening to keep guests at the venue.  With this in mind, any important speeches or announcements would be best made earlier in the evening to ensure a full and attentive crowd.  

Most importantly though, put down that clipboard, leave your comms radio at home and enjoy the party yourself!

 

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How Much Is Enough For The Christmas Party Budget?

Setting a budget for the Christmas party is a juggling act of quality and value whilst making the right impression to your staff. How much you spend will be entirely relevant to your particular business, but there are certain criteria that a party should deliver at various price points to ensure you’re getting good value for money. Using London as our key destination for this feature, we look in-depth at how much festive cheer you can get for your pound…

 

Dancing Christmas Party

Up to £30 per head

For groups joining a shared party with lots of other companies sharing the evening, you can expect to achieve a three-course seated dinner or buffet followed by a DJ for dancing til the early hours. At this price point, you could only consider the off-peak Sunday – Tuesday nights but this is great news for companies in the retail industry whose weekends are key trading periods.

 

Happy Party

Up to £50 per head

Live entertainment options become available to groups in this price bracket. A live party band, themed performers or fun casino tables may be a feature of the party. Or if that’s not your thing, you’d certainly want to look for a complimentary reception drink or half bottle of wine to be included with your meal.

 

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Up to £75 per head

Vibrant themed parties including lots of live entertainment and eye-catching decor fill this category as the best-loved Christmas party themes are produced with great style. Enduring popular themes such as Winter Wonderland, Viva Vegas and Murder Mystery can be booked in quality four and five-star hotels. Unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks also become a key attraction for non-themed parties.

 

What Your Christmas Party Theme Says About You

£100 and over

From this price bracket, you can expect quirky one-of-a-kind themed events with high-end production and exquisite dining. Fully inclusive drinks, live entertainment and a strictly black tie dress code can be found in stunning locations including grand old museums and landmark buildings across the London skyline.

 

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