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The best office party venues

Planning an office celebration? Time Out Sydney tells you where to have it, what can go wrong and how to avoid the Monday morning walk of shame

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

Public House Petersham

How many: 20 or more

What's on offer: This buzzy spacious pub is ultra inclusive and place an emphasis on fun. You can opt for the beer garden or the games room, or hire the lounge upstairs exclusively. The pizzas are crisp, there are vegan and veggo options and there's a stack of craft brews on tap. 

Price: You can choose from two function menus at $21.50 and $27.50pp

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Petersham

The Unicorn Hotel

How many: Book in for 4-15 people in the bistro, reserve a space on the pub floor or the back courtyard.

What's on offer: This true-blue, dinky-di, Aussie pub is exactly where we want to do our drinking. There's also darts, a pool table, killer schnitties and Mary's burgers.

Price: Counter meals start at $25

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Paddington

Hubert

How many: 8-10 people

What's on offer: There are two intimate private dining rooms, which are a world of their own. The first fits ten and the second just eight, so you might have to be brutal with the invite list.

Price: Groups can choose from two menu options which feature a roll call of Hubert’s takes on French classics, at $85pp or $125pp, depending on appetites (not including wine).

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Sydney
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12-Micron

How many: 20-30 people

What's on offer: This waterfront restaurant is offering up cocktails and modern Australian food from chef. Book out the private dining room and you'll get exclusive lift access, a personal sommelier and the room to yourself. 

Price: $150pp

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Barangaroo

Muum Maam

How many: The communal table seats 24 people.

What's on offer: There's some genuinely tasty gear on offer here like the sweet little prawn cake nubbins; crisp pork belly with Chinese broccoli; or the red curry of beef with crisp noodles.

Price: The banquet menu starts at $40pp and you can BYO for only $5 a head.

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Surry Hills

Balla

How many: 12-34 people can be seated in the private dining room.

What's on offer: Sit down for a regional Italian feast overlooking Sydney Harbour. You can choose from a three course set menu, signature dishes or a family-style shared meal.

Price: $85-$160 per person.

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Darling Harbour
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East Village Hotel

How many: 20 or more

What's on offer: We don’t need to tell you how much Sydney loves a rooftop bar, and the top floor addition to the East Village Hotel (previously the Darlo Village) is an A-grade, lofty drinking perch.

How much: They'll develop a package to cater to your price range.

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Darlinghurst

10 William Street

How many: Up to 24 people

What's on offer: Excellent natural wines, your own itty bity balconette and tasty Italian snacks all make great arguments for booking into this Paddo favourite. 

Price: On enquiry.

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Paddington

The Commons

How many: Up to 16

What's on offer: As the name suggests, pretensions are minimal and all are welcome at this converted sandstone cottage. Theres a separate sound system in the loft upstairs, so prepare to crack out your inner DJ.

Price: Keep things relaxed and order from the à la carte menu, or go for the three-course set menu for $49pp. There’s no minimum spend here, just a 10 per cent service fee added for private room bookings.

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Darlinghurst
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50-100 people

Dove and Olive

How many: 20-150 people

What's on offer: You can have the lounge, terrace or parlour sections on this Surry Hills pub cordoned off for your very own shindig. They also provide microphones, cocktail catering and canape packages. It's also only 10 minutes walk from Central Station.

Price: Sit down menus starting at $40 per person or you can organise canape packages.

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Surry Hills

Sokyo Lounge

How many: 40-100

What's on offer: Chef Chase Kojima knows his way around a kitchen from sweet bar snacks (try the tender beef kushiyaki) to super sashimi (it's one of Sydney's best sushi restaurants). Add in high-class cocktails and intimate surrounds and you've got a great night out. 

Price: Canape packages start at $20pp and they offer two set menus $100 and $150pp.

 

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Darling Harbour

The Local Taphouse

How many: 20-70 people depending on the room

What's on offer: Take over the whole middle floor of the Taphouse – you can dart between dining rooms or enjoy a sit down dinner in one. You'll also get unfettered access to the 20 craft beers on tap.

Price: Most rooms come without a hire fee, drinks packages start at $45pp for three hours and you can go with canapes (from $19) or a sit down roast (from $50).

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Darlinghurst
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Daniel San

How many: The Rooftop Dojo is a tranquil coastal space for a private celebration. The Sunrise Dojo holds up to 150 people standing and 80 seated, while the Northern Dojo caters for 80 standing and 30 seated.

What's on offer: For a rooftop setting overlooking Manly Beach, Daniel San is unrivalled. 

How much: Though prices change throughout the week, the minimum spend for a Friday night is $7,000 for the entire space.

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Manly

The Vic

How many: Up to 100 (doggos included!)

What's on offer: Feeding 100 people is a snack at the Vic. They have a spit roast out on the balcony where they will cook up a 26kg lamb or pig. Plus they have a basketball hoop for an end of year, 3x3 comp and heaps of space for people to mingle.

Price:

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Marrickville

Opera Bar

How many: 50-100

What's on offer: 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 until midnight in case things get a little too festive.

Price: Price on enquiry 

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Sydney
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The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room

How many: 80-150

What's on offer: You can either take over the glassed in Conservatory (it has a retractable roof and its own bar) or the Parlour (a New York style pub).

Price: Sit down meals start at $55 per head, or keep people standing for $40 per person.

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The Rocks

Quarrymans Hotel

How many: Up to 100

What's on offer: This Pyrmont pub has an entire floor dedicated to functions, known as the Little Pint. It has its own rooftop balcony, six craft brews on tap, bartenders and floor staff.

Price: The first floor can be yours and only yours if you’re up for spending $1500 on drinks and $500 on food. 

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Pyrmont

100-200 people

Crane Bar

How many: 80-200

What's on offer: These guys offer a whole suite of event services including DJs, live bands, photographers, photobooth setup, venue theming, live oyster shucking, trapeze artists and fire shows. 

How much: Canapes start at $15pp, a sit down menu costs $50pp and beverage packages start at $55.

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Potts Point

Surly's

How many: Up to 100

What's on offer: You can hire upstairs at Surly's aka Smokey’s cabin for private use. It comes fully equipped with TVs and soundsystem, shuffleboards and a stage for live music. Food-wise you'll get plenty of American barbecue favourites including fried chicken, pulled pork and corn bread. 

Price: Snacks start at $30pp

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Darlinghurst

The Australian Heritage Hotel

How many: 20-200 people

What's on offer: There are four different function spaces including the Wine Emporium, the Alcove, the Ladies Parlour or the Cafe. You can nab a Coat of Arms pizza (that's with emu and kangaroo) and they've got plenty of craft beers on tap.

Price: Canape packages start at $29pp while beverage packages start at $39.

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The Rocks
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The Bathers' Pavilion

How many: 30 for sit down and up to 150 for cocktail

What's on offer: This beautifully restored public pavilion turned restaurant has uninterrupted views of Balmoral Beach. Chef Serge Dansereau has also designed the seriously extensive function mention. It's also worth noting this place books out up to a year in advance.

Price: Prices vary depending on the season, but start at $120 per head for a three-course dinner and canapes.

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Mosman

The World Bar

How many: 100-200 people

What's on offer: This is your place for a real party party – there's a thumping soundsystem, teapots and plenty of quirkily-decorated spaces to choose from.

Price: Minimum bar spend is $1,000 with DJ for $50 per hour.

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Potts Point

300+ people

International Convention Centre

How many: 1000-3500 depending on the space, and whether it's seated, banquet or cocktail style 

What's on offer: Sydney's flashiest new events centre is for the big guns – huge spaces can be adapted for lavish banquets, live concerts and cocktail events. You'll get a a dedicated in-house event production specialist who will take care of the overall event planning and execution plus audio visual, rigging and staging needs.

Price: On application.

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Darling Harbour

The Argyle

How many: Up to 1800 guests.

This mega-bar in the heart of the Rocks has five different event spaces or you can take over the entire venue. Cobblestone flooring, low timber ceilings and luxurious leather lounges all add to the character of this Rocks bar. 

Price: Room hire and minimum spends apply. 

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The Rocks

Chinese Garden of Friendship

How many: The entire area can hold 300 people.

What's on offer: Step into these incredibly beautiful gardens and enjoy a Christmas that's worlds away from sausages and beers. It's available Mon-Sun for a 6.5 hour period, 5.30pm-midnight.

Price: Entire venue cost is $3,850.

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Sydney
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Hyde Park Barracks

How many: 350 guests for a banquet, or 1200 guests for a cocktail party.

What's on offer: Host your shindig within the historic sandstone walls of this former convict house. The courtyard's high walls create intamacy while the CBD location makes it an easy spot to get to. They also have a dedicated catering team on site or you can source your own. 

Price: On application.

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Sydney

Sydney Town Hall

How many: Sydney Town Hall can fit up to 2000 people in the glorious Centennial Hall and vestibule.

What's on offer: It's hosted Sydney Festival, Remix Sydney and galas galore, so expect a schmick event. You can also hire out the lower concourse, it's got direct train station access and at Christmas time it's lit up like a Christmas tree. This landmark also books out well in advance, so maybe jot it down for Christmas 2018.

Price: On application.

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Sydney

Something different

Aerialize

Bond with your co-workers attempting to build a human pyramid. High-fives galore! Price by quote, refreshments included. Classes range from $135 to $285. Toast your success afterwards with some cleansing ales at the Golden Barley Hotel.

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Canterbury

Bondi Bowling Club

Sunshine, alcohol and a bit of competitive sport all equal sure-fire winner for an office party. Shoes optional. Canapé packages start at $40 per person, you can upgrade to a barbecue pack or order up a whole beast cooked on the spit. 

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Bondi North

Coogee Beach

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.

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Coogee
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District 3

Release your frustration at the guy that always changes the air-conditioning settings with a bit of the old laser tag, or on some dodgems. There are party deals here from $25pp. 

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Sydney

K-Square

Laugh as your co-workers lose all dignity belting out classics (and in our case, some not-so-classics). Snacks are available as well as liquid courage. Rooms hold 6-40 people and are $28-$148 per hour. Happy Hours apply, but not on Friday or Saturday nights after 8pm.

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Haymarket
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For when you're planning a different kind of party

Alternative hens party ideas

We love a game of Mr & Mrs – or Mrs & Mrs – but even the most inspired of hens parties tend to follow the same tired routine. Shake up the agenda and do something unexpected. The bride-to-be will thank you.

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By: Emma Joyce