Published on Jan 5, 2016
Having spent the last six months selling Christmas party tickets across the UK, it was only fitting that the staff at Christmas Connections had their own magical evening out. On the 10th December, we suited and glammed up, polished up the ol’ dancing shoes and headed off to a New York New York themed night in London, at Battersea Evolution.
A train journey up to London from Brighton may not have been as glamorous as jumping in a limo, but it was filled with extreme excitement for the night ahead. For some of the newer Christmas Connections members, this was their first experience of a mixed group Christmas party, and expectations were sky high after hearing how incredible the previous year’s party had been. Soon after departing the train, concerns arose over not eating enough food in advance to “perform” well throughout the duration of the night. So before jumping in to a London cab, we snacked on some cheeky slices of pizza, and pasties at Clapham Junction. Unknowingly, we made a big error in this decision, completely underestimating just how much mouth-tingling food we’d be exposed to in half an hours’ time…
Faces were lit, and smiles were beaming on arrival at Battersea Evolution. There were dozens of smartly dressed men in black suits, and women in their glad rags leading up to reception. We took a moment to take in the beautifully lit surroundings, and proceeded inside. The decorations in reception were dazzling, and elegant. There was an instant warm and welcoming atmosphere as we waited to have our coats collected and put in to the cloak room. Above the chatter of excitement, we could hear light jazz music through the subways (themed corridors) to the left, and right of us. Straightening our ties, and composing ourselves, we walked on through the venue and instantaneously were transported to a busy and thrilling New York scene.
Immediately after stepping through to the “mean streets”, we were greeted with tasty hot dogs, mini cheese burgers and deli sandwich canapés. Skilled bartenders were on hand to quench your thirsty needs. After getting a drink, it was time to truly take in the vibrant environment we were in. There were professional photographs taken next to an iconic yellow New York cab. Delicious and hot canapés were out by the hundreds (this is where we soon realised that the previous snacks at the station were definitely not going to be needed!) delivered by friendly, well dressed waiters/waitresses. Then out of nowhere, above the centre bar, hip-hop dancers dynamically entered the room with impressive and captivating body popping moves. (They continued to storm the stage and steal eyes every ten minutes).
After about 40 minutes of tasty canapés, sipping on cocktails and warming to the incredibly well themed entertainment area, there was one last appearance from the lively hip-hop dancers on the stage above. Something was different, tension was rising, the music seemed louder, and every single eye was following the performers. With their final moves, two small fireworks were lit left and right of the centre stage, and unexpectedly, two dark curtains that blended in with the scenery were lifted quickly in unison to reveal a large, gorgeous dining area under what looked like a starry night sky. Nobody moved for a good 15 seconds, everybody hypnotised by the scene ahead.
We took our seats about three tables back from the broadway themed stage at the front of the room. Tables were spacious and large, set with Christmas decorations, and bottles of ice cold beverages. Over the next hour and a half, we were wined and dined like kings, and queens with a set three course meal. In between each, spectacular performances took place at centre stage. Each course was presented exquisitely, that not only looked mouth-watering, but was cooked to perfection, and melted our taste buds. As for the setting, you only need look at the images in this blog…
A nice additional touch to get everyone interacting with each other was the use four large digital screens in corners of the room. New York diners were encouraged to tweet #smarterchristmas with their thoughts on the night so far, and all their Christmas song requests. We may have tweeted a rather funny looking picture of Justin (without him knowing) asking for Hit Me Baby One More Time by Britney… it’s sure to say that this was a great additional touch, and added that extra laughable memory to the Christmas party.
With bellies satisfied and drinks in hand, it was time to finish off the night with a trip to the casino, followed by a good fashioned boogie on the dance floor. If that’s not enough to round off your night, you can always grab your colleagues and head over to the dodgems for some extreme bumping, and hearty laughs.
Every member of the Christmas Connections team had a night to remember at Battersea Evolution – it was an absolute treat! A truly magnificent setting where you almost forget you aren’t really 3500 miles across the sea. The food was exceptional (and plenty!) and the entertainers were extraordinary. We would more than happily return for a #smarterchristmas party again.
If you’d like to be kept up to date on the best Christmas parties around the UK in 2016, you can follow our Twitter account @xmas_parties, sign up to our mailing list here, or visit our website Christmas Connections.