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Your Alternative Christmas Party List - Part 1

Yes, we know it’s only October, and it’s not even Halloween yet, but you can’t hide from the fact that there's less than ten weeks until Christmas (cue screaming) and the venue recommendation requests have been sliding into our DMs recently. If you haven’t booked your office Christmas party yet, or are planning to head out with a gang of friends but don’t know where to go, now’s the time to start seriously thinking about it before you’re left with nothing but a plate of dry turkey in the function room of a dodgy hotel - or Milano's. If you love food, but dread Christmas gatherings for the aforementioned reasons, here are some alternative party venues.

Eatyard's Cheese And Wine Festival

Is it even Christmas if you don’t really know what day it is and spend half your time in a cheese coma?We have just the place for you. The Eatyard team are bringing a Winter Wine and Cheese Festival to Jam Park in Swords from November 21st to December 14th . Entry is priced at €15 each (or €100 for a table of 8), which is great value considering you’ll get wine and cheesy treats on arrival, and then access to pop-up wine bars and cheese shops, music and entertainment. Groups can add other options such as a wine masterclass, games packages, or Christmas karaoke if you’re feeling brave - who doesn't like cheese with their cheese? See www.wine-n-cheese.com for details and booking info.

Christmas Afternoon Tea At Póg

There’s no shortage of afternoon tea spots in Dublin, the only limitation is availability and budget. Póg’s Tara Street location is offering an afternoon tea that will cater for pretty much everyone in your group. The vegan option features sourdough with a range of dips and toppings, a vegan burger, acai and magik smoothie shots, and a selection of vegan desserts like mini Christmas puds, vegan cheesecake, and Christmas tree-shaped cookies. For meat-eaters, the vegan burger can be swapped out for the epic turkey, ham, brie, and stuffing sandwich and features non-vegan versions of the desserts. It's available 14:00 - 16:00 Monday to Sunday and is priced at €30 per person or €37 with a glass of bubbles - it’s a no-brainer. Booking is required, and groups of up to 60 people can be accommodated. Reservations can be made by contacting bookings@ifancyapog.ie.

A Yard Of Pizza At Pizza Yard, Ranelagh

Get the gang together and get down to Pizza Yard for a pizza that’s … you guessed it. A yard long. Pile on plenty of toppings and there’ll be something for everyone. The menu also includes pasta, starters, cocktails, and individual pizzas for anyone who doesn’t like sharing - although feel free to not invite them. For bigger groups, upgrade to the two yard version. That’s basically the length of Nicholas Cage. See www.pizzayard.ie for all the deets.

Private Dining, The Shelbourne

If your budget is on the more generous side The Shelbourne has a range of private dining options that will allow even the most discerning guest to host an unforgettable event. Four private dining rooms (The Constitute Suite, The St. Stephen’s Suite, The George Moore Suite, and the Adam & Deirdre Suite) offer dining options for groups of 8 to 80 and, as you’d expect, bespoke food and wine options. White glove service, fine china, and opulent surroundings is exactly how we’d like to kick off our festive season. Contact the hotel for more details.

If your wallet doesn’t quite stretch to a private dining suite, The Shelbourne’s Christmas Afternoon tea is always one of our favourites (despite that pesky 90 minute maximum stay per table), but be warned that you need to book early. It’s everything you’d expect - extravagant, delicious, and eaten while listening to soothing piano music. If we ever needed an opportunity to get dressed up to eat cake, this is it. Bookings can be made online here.