So you’ve been told that you need to book the Christmas party but they want something a bit different, your mind fills with dread when you think about the team building activities you’ve had to do in years gone by. Well, put all notions of trust exercises out of your mind because when we talk about something a bit different, we’re talking about beach parties in Mayfair, acrobatics performances whilst you eat, learning how to play blackjack and playing golf like never before. You have this party planning sorted.
What: London's Hottest New Game
Why: If the thought of your boss ‘shuffling’ has you thinking of cringey dance moves then do not fear, for we have a new type of shuffle for you. Formerly the pastime of retired Americans donning their best visors, the game that is shuffleboard is coming to Shoreditch (where else?) just in time for the festive season. Opening on 12th October, the club will be a rival to crazy golf complete with 8 shuffleboard courts (think of it as a cross between curling and bowling), 2 bars, retro American food and, the best bit, a vintage motorbike and sidecar serving Prosecco. If it’s good enough for Brooklyn, NY, then it’s good enough for us. 4 players per court is recommended and the whole venue can be hired for 250 people.
Where: Old Truman Brewery, 6 Dray Walk, Shoreditch, E1 6QL
What: Cabaret Show at Your Table
Why: For a dinner with a difference, Circus is your place. Conveniently located in Covent Garden, the ‘stage’ table is where you should request. With room for up to 30 guests, the quartz table merges communal Pan-Asian dining with cabaret, transforming into a runway-esque stage for entertainment later in the night. In addition to the a la carte and sharing menus, a specially created 3-course Christmas menu will be served as fire breathers and hoop jumpers hop onto the table. It’s weird, wonderful and glamorous.
Where: 27-29 Endell Street, Westminster, London, WC2H 9BA
What: London’s Original Ping Pong Bar
Why: What guide to a fun night out would be complete without mentioning Bounce? With sites in Farringdon (the original) and Shoreditch, you don’t have to be a ping pong pro to spend the night there. A restaurant area in the Farringdon venue can seat up to 130 and looks down over the tables so you can watch the action whilst the Jacques private room is suited to any size group from 35 to 100 complete with it’s own ping pong tables, cocktail bar, karaoke facilities and DJ booth. Opt for the Premium package and you’ll also get a ‘Games Maker’ to help lead the fun. Food-wise, guests can choose from 2-3 course festive menus or a canapé party package, so you can eat while you play.
Where: 121 Holborn, London, EC1N 2TD
What: Skate, Dine and Bowl
Why: What’s more Christmassy than ice skating? Exactly, which is why it’s a good thing that Queens Ice and Bowl is on hand to answer all your party woes, and re-opening on 8th December in time for Christmas. With 12 bowling lanes, a newly-refurbished ice skating rink and retro food from Jimmy’s Diner – as in pop-up maestro, Jimmy Garcia – that’s a whole 45,000 sq/ft of fun. It’s like your best childhood birthday party, elevated.
Where: 17 Queensway Bayswater W2 4QP
What: Christmas Sing Song
Why: If Christmas has you wanting to sing from the rooftops then you can do exactly that. Well, minus the rooftop part. Lucky Voice (the UK’s leading private karaoke people) has venues in Soho and Islington, each offering slightly different experiences but both promising a great night. Islington has 7 private rooms to hire (for 8-15 people) and the famous ‘thirsty’ drinks button for when your vocal chords need loosening. The bar in Islington has space for 167 people standing, whilst the Soho bar is slightly smaller with space for 90 people. Soho offers 9 private rooms (4-12 people), the same thirsty drinks button and the same collection of over 9,000 songs so you know it won’t be a quiet night.
Where: 52 Poland Street, London W1F 7NQ
What: Live Entertainment and Blackjack Lessons
Why: Work party plus casino may not be the obvious pairing but Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square know how to give a good time. Two private dining rooms can host up to 34 guests with space for 70 in the restaurant itself with a choice of festive dining menus. 3 dates for ‘shared Christmas parties’ have been announced for December (3rd, 10th, 17th) taking place in the Matcham Theatre which includes live musical shows, a 3-course meal, wine and dancing. Or, make the most of your surroundings and learn, once and for all, how to play Blackjack and Roulette with a ‘learn to play’ interactive session.
Where: The Hippodrome Casino London, Cranbourn Street, London
What: Put the Tee in Christmas Par-Tee
Why: Suss out the competition (the office competition we mean) with a friendly game of crazy golf. Even those who would rather pass on the putt can settle themselves in the bar but for those who want to show off their skills, Junkyard Golf Club have two festive party packages to choose from and customise; the Big Pimpin’ Putt and the Par-Tee Playa Putt. For big groups, the Big Pimpin’ Putt package consists of unlimited crazy golf for up to 80 people for 1.5 hours per course with personal caddies and a private bar whilst the Par-Tee Playa Putt offers a price per round so you can create your teams and let the competition commence. Oh, and to really get in the spirit you can throw in festive golf visors. Hot dogs and nachos from Bart’s Dog Kart will keep you suitably fuelled.
Where: Dray Walk, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL
What: Stylish Karaoke
Why: Think of karaoke and replace the word ‘cringe’ with ‘cool’ – this is cool karaoke. The Soho Hotel’s Crimson Room has all the Lucky Voice karaoke gear your inner Whitney dreams of so when you hire the bar for a minimum of 2 hours (or for the whole day) you also get full use of the karaoke machine. The bar fits up to 50 people for a drinks reception and if you have got some ‘business’ to attend to before everyone starts their festive celebrations then you’ll also get access to audio visual equipment, high speed internet access and VPN compatibility but frankly, we’re sold on the karaoke.
Where: 4 Richmond Mews, London, W1D 3DH
What: Pineapple Beach House
Why: Forget winter and head to the beach for your Christmas party. Ok, well not exactly, we aren’t exactly going to suggest you jet off to the sunnier climes. If you want to be our guest, but we think you should book the Cîroc Pineapple Beach House at Mahiki. With space for up to 25 guests and available until 3am, the space has its own bar, Lucky Voice karaoke system, selfie station and bespoke jet ski simulator. Add in tropical cocktails, flower garlands and you have yourself a party.
Where: Mahiki, Dover Street, London
What: Feasting and Acrobatics
Why: Built in 1904, Bush Hall has been used as a dance hall in the twenties, has seen days as a soup kitchen in WWII, hosted the likes of The Who and Cliff Richard in the 50s and 60s and ended up as a snooker and social club in the 80s and 90s before it was restored in 2001. Now you can hire it for your Christmas party, whether you are looking for a black tie drinks reception or you fancy a decadent Victorian inspired feast whilst an aerialist swings above the table…naturally. Be quick though, they only have a few Christmas dates left.
Where: 310 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 7LJ
What: Wine Tasting
Why: We think your colleagues would love you if you suggested wine tasting for your Christmas do. With a site in Battersea and one more central in Fleet Street, Humble Grape offer wine tasting packages and private hire in addition to their walk-in style wine bar. Previous events they’ve hosted have ranged from 10-300 people so whatever you have in mind they can probably deliver, be it a slightly competitive team building event or more intimate (and downright boozy) wine pairing dinner. As for the venue, that’s up to you; choose one of their two wine bars, your own venue or even your office.
Where: Battersea and Fleet Street
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