Words by Sara Charoenprasit
Across workplaces and offices all over the world, the annual Christmas staff party is the event of the year – and at Bright Bee, this is no exception. With great luck, our Christmas festivities coincided with my very first week at the company, providing a great opportunity to socialize with my new colleagues and a chance to enjoy some of London’s most renowned sights, with a bit of karaoke thrown in for good measure.
Our night began with some games and Secret Santa, which I had luckily been included in a week prior to my starting. Various gifts, beautifully wrapped, were distributed from beneath the tree and we each took turns to unwrap our presents and guess our secret Santa. Gifts included a Gin giftset, an anthology of Donald Trump poetry and a “How Millennial Are You?” game. My Secret Santa did superbly by gifting me Christmas-themed accessories: Christmas tree headband and a pair of bauble earrings included.
After wrapping up (pun not intended) in the office, we began to make tracks into central London. Throughout this week, there had been much mystery shrouding our activities for the evening, and speculation was rife among those of us uncertain of what the night would hold. From the tube, we made our way down Regent Street, barely taking in the Christmas lights before ducking into a little street and finding ourselves in Belowzero Ice Bar. Wintery capes were thrown over us and we made our way into the bar, which is kept permanently at a brisk -5°C. Spirit-based cocktails were served in beautiful ice glasses, deliciously chilled though a little slippery through our thermal gloves. The ice bar alone is a marvel, but detailed ice sculptures furnish the room and somehow remain frozen despite the traffic of bar-goers and selfie-takers.
After a second cocktail, our session at the ice bar was up and we were on the tube to our next destination. A short walk from the tube stop led us to Madison, a Manhattan-style restaurant and bar that offers an incredible view of St Paul’s Cathedral. The rooftop bar also provides a view of the London skyline, with the illuminated London Eye visible in the distance if you can tear your eyes away from the Cathedral.
At Madison, we were treated to prosecco and wine, with wraps and other nibbles making their way to our table. Fortunately, we had our own private Bright Bee section in the rooftop bar with heated lamps and blankets to share. Over the course of the evening, we played various games and drank Prosecco, enjoying the bustling bar, the buzz of people and the spectacular view of St Paul’s.
After several hours at Madison, we finished up and made our way to a karaoke bar nearby. Here we had a private karaoke room, perhaps to spare the unsuspecting bar-goers or to otherwise preserve our dignity. We all sang along to the music, regardless of whether we had the microphone or not, enjoying the music throwbacks and classic love ballads. Thus we ended the night of our Christmas staff party – safe to say it was a (karaoke) hit!