Find part 1 of our alternative Christmas party list here...
Try as you might you can’t hide from the fact that there's less than seven 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.
Vegetarian Festive Spooks with Phantasmagoria
This is definitely not your average Christmas gathering. Sinéad Baily Kelly and Deirdre Young of creative agency H&G Creations have run Christmas dining experiences across Dublin for the past seven years, utilising spaces that are often left vacant. This year there’s a distinctly 18th century Georgian feel to Phantasmagoria (you know - a sequence of real or imaginary images like those experienced in a dream) taking place in Orlagh Country House in Rathfarnham on December 5th, 6th, and 7th. Slice are behind the 3-course vegetarian menu (the menu and décor are designed with sustainability at the forefront), it’s BYOB, and you’ll be on the edge of your seat listening to your host Spooky Beuor telling the tale of the spirits who call the grounds home. Tickets are €65 each and available here.
All The Vegan Food And Wine At Beo Kitchen And Wine Bar
Eating a plant-based diet can mean limited options at the best of times, but Christmas in particular seems to relegate even the most versatile vegan to nut roast or gnocchi. Beo Wine Bar + Kitchen is fully vegan, offer lots of options for groups, and the organic/natural wine list will help to keep hangovers at bay. It’s not a big spot so better suited to smaller groups. Full details and menu options are on www.beokitchen.ie.
Teppanyaki at Tippenyaki
Seated at a table hosted by chef who put on a show as they cooks, you’ll be highly entertained and well fed at Tippenyaki in Rathmines. The menu features sushi and hot Japanese dishes, and you may even get a chance to flex your own culinary skills at the grill. Details are on www.tippenyaki.ie.
Share The Love (And Food) At Brother Hubbard North
Christmas is all about sharing and Brother Hubbard North is giving you an opportunity to do just that with up to 199 of your closest friends or colleagues. Shared mezze starters, a selection of large-plate mains, and a pretty dreamy dessert mezze featuring brown sugar pavlova with poached pear and pomegranate are on the menu, and if dinner isn’t what you’re after, they’re also doing Christmas breakfast and brunch parties. Info is on www.brotherhubbard.ie.
Katsu and Karaoke at Ukiyo Bar
We all know how this goes- nobody wants to go to a karaoke bar but you book it anyway and, before you know it, you can’t get the mic off of Sharon in Accounts and someone is crying while swaying back and forth to My Heart Will Go On. Ukiyo is great for groups, serves lovely Asian food, is really central, and once you’re all karaoke-d out you can dance on with the DJ until 02:30. See www.ukiyobar.com for more info.
Private Dining at Airfield Estate
Airfield Estate hosts a range of Christmas activities including crafting workshops, and visits with the man in red (Santa, not Elton John) that are great for the whole family, but if you want to spend some quality time with your work family, the estate’s Overends Kitchen is offering private dining for groups of 50-120 people at a cost of €59 each. The menu is quite traditional, featuring turkey with all the extras you’d expect, but is served sharing style to encourage collegiate conversation. If you’re looking for activities for a smaller group, we think wine on (or near) the deck, or a baking class with resident chef Shane Smith fit the bill. Deets on www.airfield.ie
Lunch or Dinner at Shelbourne Social
Dylan McGrath’s Shelbourne Social is a year-round twinkly oasis in D4 so we’re looking forward to seeing how extra they go for Christmas. It’s a big spot, seating over 100 diners over 2 floors, so we think it’s the ideal place for wining, dining and cocktailing clients that you want to impress. The three-course dinner is priced at €68 but we’re tempted by the €45 lunch menu featuring a sugar pit pork chop that’s making us feel very merry and bright. Info and booking details on www.shelbournesocial.ie.
City Centre Dinner at The Woollen Mills
When arranging a Christmas party, it’s important to pick a venue that’s convenient to get to, but more importantly has good transport links when everyone’s heading home at the end of the night. The Woollen Mills, right at the Ha’penny Bridge, fits the bill for those grabbing a bus, tram, train, or taxi. Yes, your friends may be getting an overnight stay in a country hotel with the tab picked up by their employers, but you can feel smug knowing you don’t have to traipse to some off-ramp hotel accommodation to eat turkey that’s been sitting over a bain marie for seven hours. If you like a side of schnitzel with your schadenfraude, this one from The Woollen Mills, served with sprouts, parsnips, cranberry relish, and gravy, is the way to do it. Information on www.thewoollenmills.com.