Last night about ten of us gathered at a local restaurant for a team meal out.
This one was slightly different from the last team gathering, mainly because it was just us, not loads of people from the company. It was a lot more informal as well; a jeans and t-shirt affair, rather than black tie and evening dress.
It's hard to say which I enjoyed more.
In terms of scale, the Awards Ceremony was quite obviously bigger and grander, but there was something very nice about a meal spent in the company of friends and colleagues, in our own little room at the restaurant.
The room we were in was at the other end of the restaurant from the specials board. Since everyone was wondering what was on it, and I wasn't able to memorise its contents when I wandered down to look at it, I took a photo to share with everyone. There were several people already eating beside the board so I'm fairly certain I baffled them with my choice of photograph.
I also think one couple in particular were a little worried that I was taking their photo while they were eating. Oops.
Almost everyone had steak, which prompted someone to ask me whether I was vegetarian when my wild mushroom penne pasta showed up at the table. I'm not, but as that was my main course, after a button mushroom in garlic sauce starter, I replied 'no, but tonight I am'.
This restaurant also does a nice little desert option. It's called a share platter and you get a small sample of various different puddings; I split one with my team leader and enjoyed some lemon posset, a slice of cheesecake and a mini marshmallow muffin.
And I wound up drinking champagne, again. That's twice in six weeks. Actually I had about half a glass of champagne and half a glass of orange juice and lemonade. Then someone had the bright idea to top up the latter with what was left of my champagne. It tasted surprisingly nice.
Other drinks I sampled (just a sip, honest) last night... a locally brewed beer (which was really nice and I'm not a beer drinker) and Guinness with champagne in it (which is nicer than it sounds, honestly).
We hopefully have another get together in the future and I'm quite looking forward to it. I'm hardly a social butterfly, but there's something very nice about getting out for some drinks and a meal. And when you've got good company, it's even better.