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When I’m being thumb-screwed by the Head of PR to wear a bright red festive knit, proudly medalled with a jolly snowman, then it can mean only one thing – Welcome to the office Christmas Party. An Amble Christmas Party promises unlimited Prosecco, perhaps one of the most delicious Italian red wines that I’ve enjoyed in a long time, and a banquet of Italian edibles; catered by our brother from an Italian mother – Marco, and hosted in the small and perfectly formed Gustum (read our review here.)

We’re a passionate bunch at Amble, and so we couldn’t have been in better hands. Marco oozed his trademark and unwavering fervor which remains as infectious as it was when I first interviewed him about Gustum. The spread would have satisfied a party twice the size, and the cornucopia of delights, both carnivorous and vegan, were inventive and unforgivingly moreish. It seems that there isn’t a menu brief that Marco can’t turn his hand to. If you have a small office and want a great venue, sublime food and an attentive host to care for your every need, get in touch with Marco here.

The office Christmas party is an opportunity for employers to thank their team for working hard all year, and often in the form of free-flowing festive fizz. Are you worried that you’re going to wake up the morning after, plagued by shame and regret because you showed John from Accounts Payable too much skin? Here’s the Amble Survival Guide to the office shindig.

  1. Don’t Jump Your Crush – Don’t be hoodwinked by the convivial surroundings and lashings of Dutch courage; the office Christmas party is not your opportunity to mount the office hunk or tell your secret crush what you’d like to do to them in the photocopying room. Being able to look your love interest in the eye on Monday could prove a trifle uncomfortable if your advances are returned with rejection, garnished with your subsequent feelings of humiliation, or worse – a career melting sexual harassment complaint. Even if you think that you’re on to a sure thing, be careful about taking your flirting too far. Just because your lascivious intent is powered by several large glasses of Rioja, doesn’t that mean playfully licking the earlobe of your colleague or eating a buffet item like you’re trying to recreate the ‘Rourke-Basinger Fridge Scene’ from 9 1/2 Weeks is going to result in anything relationship or career advancing.
  1. Don’t Talk About Work Too Much – Leave your professional baggage at the door and try to relax and have a good time. The Christmas party is just that – a party. Show your colleagues that you’re more than your job title and that you have a personality buried somewhere beneath that silk tie. Also, just because your boss is happy to stand and chat with you for more than five minutes, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right time to pitch for a pay rise.
  1. Keep It Classy – Even though this is your chance to relax, don’t get too loose-lipped with your language. Avoid a repertoire of jokes that would make Roy Chubby-Brown look like a Sunday school teacher, and maintain your manners. Developing tequila induced Tourettes will not serve your career aspirations or your reputation.
  1. Mingle Like Chris Cringle – Having chums at work certainly makes going to the office much more bearable, but try not to hang out exclusively with your department bestie. You have an excellent opportunity to gently network with everybody from shy Sarah from the corner cubicle, to the senior staff who may not have realised what a go-getter you are yet. Remember, less is more. If you come across like you’re trying to schmooze, you’ve less chance of being remembered for the right reason.
  1. Don’t Overindulge – While Christmas is all about indulgence, it’s a good idea to eat if you’re drinking alcohol. I’m not suggesting that you power through to the buffet table, and begin stuffing food in your face with such enthusiasm that you need to breath through your ears. That said, if you’re drinking, eat, and keep on grazing between drinks. It’s hard enough to keep the flubber at bay if you have a sedentary job – but you know what, January was invented for dieting – so worry about it next year!

Have a great Christmas folks, and watch out for Kevin from Marketing – I heard him talking at the water cooler, and he blatantly has the hots for you.