Office Christmas parties: why do we have them? Employees over-indulge, over-share and resent having to socialise with people they might not like. For employers, meanwhile, parties are a legal minefield that can result in anything from photocopied genitals (see above – almost) to fistfights to worker's compensation claims.
Yet the office party is an important opportunity for employers to show their appreciation to their staff for a year of hard work. They're also a chance colleagues might not otherwise have to get to bond and team-build.
If you're on the lookout for a location for this year's company bash, try one of the following great Sydney venues, ideal for intimate gatherings, medium-sized shindigs or large corporate blow-outs.
Around 25 people
Forget Christmas decorations - nothing beats the Sydney Harbour as a backdrop to a party. You can reserve an outdoor space for 50-200 people or if you want to avoid the hire charge you can always arrive early for an unreserved space. Plus the kitchen is open intil midnight in case things get a little too festive.
You can either take over the glassed in Conservatory for 100-150 people (it has a retractable roof and its own bar) or the Parlour for up to 80 festive types in a New York style pub. Sit down meals start at $55 per head, or keep people standing for $40 per person.
Waterfront views is the calorie-free condiment that turns a celebration up to 11. Head out to the eastern tip of the city to the Watsons Bay Hotel where you can hire out the top deck (complete with retractable roof) that seats 120 and fits 200 standing, plus they do barebcue catering
Breakfast is the business overlooking Balmoral beach here. Pioneer chef Serge Dansereau has one of the most attractively located restaurants, looking out over Balmoral beach. "My most pleasurable moment was when I opened Bathers' nearly ten years ago and my three new kitchens suddenly came alive," says Dansereau.
For big corporate blow-out, the location doesn't get much more spectacular than the lobby at the Darling Hotel at the Star. The artwork's stunning – look up at the suspended swallow, look down at the Akira Isogawa rugs – and the venue can hold 200 people seated, 400 for cocktails.
One of Sydney's landmark locations, it was built in 1819 and can hold up to 500 people. The walled courtyard creates a lovely private space. Catering by Sparkling Catering and Events. For 350-person banquet, 6pm-midnight, $3,990 – the same price as cocktails for 1,200 from 6-10pm.
Bondi's underappreciated little sister? Perhaps. But give Coogee its due. Compact and beautiful with good lookout points at either end, the main strip on Coogee Bay Road has been really upping its game in the café and restaurant stakes as well. Be sure to also check out Coogee Pavilion to see what all the fuss is about.