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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Food, Drinks And Dancing In The Well
Since opening during the summer, The Well has been drawing in Gen Y and X in their droves. From dedicated co-working and collaboration spaces, hosted events, Dublin Pizza Company on site, and late-night DJs, we reckon this would be an ideal spot for a work outing that’ll suit those who are rushing for the last bus as well as those who want to stick around and dance into the small hours. Check out www.thewelldublin.ie for information and bookings.
All The Mezze And BYO In Rotana Café
While Christmas has always been a pretty significant holiday in Ireland, a lot of the more traditional aspects don’t lend themselves easily to organising festive nights out for more multicultural groups. One of our favourite spots with this in mind Rotana, a Lebanese restaurants offering mezze platters, Lebanese flatbreads, halal grilled kebabs, and ample vegetarian and vegan options. It’s BYO so a great way to keep costs down, while suiting everyone’s needs and preferences. Menu and booking details are available at www.rotanacafe.ie.
Taste Of Dublin Festive Edition, RDS
Proving that festivals aren’t just for the summer, the Taste of Dublin Festive Edition is coming to the RDS, kicking the season off early from November 28th to December 1st with a weekend of festive eating and drinking and cooking demonstrations. While outdoor festivals are great, very often the risk of rain can put a dampener on things, so we're welcoming the chance to keep warm and dry indoors, and because Taste of Dublin tends to bleed your bank account dry faster than an expensive drug habit, this is a great one for when work is paying - the Champagne packages obviously. Individual and group tickets are available from www.dublin.tastefestivals.com with bespoke private packages on offer for groups of 50-250.