Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Leaving drinks…

on December 28, 2011

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned my work leaving drinks…

From the time I told my friends at work I was moving to Dubai, Laura was determined I would have the best send-off EVER. ‘Where do you want to go?’ she kept asking. I didn’t mind anywhere, even The Wimpole, the pub across the road from the office. ‘We are NOT going there; we go there all the time; this has to be GOOD!’ was the response I got.

So she found a place called Amuse Bouche in Poland Street in Soho. The alcohol seemed reasonably priced and the manager was very helpful when it came to queries, reserving a space for 30 people and ordering platters of food. (We hadn’t given them any money yet.)

‘What leaving presents do you want?’ I was being asked. Hmm. Tricky. Most of my stuff had been shipped so I didn’t want anything too bulky or heavy. An arm band for my iPod… Mini tarot cards for my handbag… Someone asked me about a passport cover and I remembered the ones at Smythson which I love but would never buy for myself…

The weeks passed by quickly and before I knew it, it was the morning of the drinks. When I got to work and sat down. Laura came over to my desk and said ‘I can’t get on to the website for Amuse Bouche – wouldn’t it be funny if they’ve shut down!’ Er. No, actually – that wouldn’t be funny at all. And I didn’t think about that for the rest of the day until…

At about 3pm, Laura decided to ring them to make sure everything was in order and they were ready for us. We knew she was on the phone to them and could hear her conversation but everyone got on with their own work until we heard her say… ‘YOU ARE JOKING!’ Heads popped up above the desk dividers – everyone looked around at each other like meerkats. Waiting. She hung up.

‘They’ve been sold and the place has been gutted and we’re not going there this evening!’ Er. Didn’t they think to let us know? My drinks were supposed to start at 5pm and we had less than two hours to find a venue. In Oxford Circus. At Christmas time.

Two or three people started ringing some local pubs but venues had been booked months in advance (like Amuse Bouche – bastards). We almost ended up in the upstairs section at The Champion in Wells Street. Eventually one of my colleagues went over to The Wimpole to see if they could accommodate us. It turned out they could fit us in and they had a private room downstairs with its own bar which they opened for us…

It turned out to be a very fun evening and was quite fitting that we were at The Wimpole, having spent so much time there. There were lots of drinks, my boss and two ex-bosses said some lovely things about me, and I managed to get away without making a speech!

I got some amazing presents too…


The first thing I opened was a pink iPad cover. And I already had the exact same cover in the same colour. Oops.



The next thing I opened was the mini Tarot deck – I can’t wait to use it! I was told to leave the biggest present for the end so I opened the smaller box – which turned out to be a pink Smythson passport holder. 


And there were cards…


And a bottle of champagne and a bottle of red wine (which we drank)…

But by far the best and most unexpected present was a canvas bag with everyone’s self-portraits printed on it:


The department drew their own self-portraits using Microsoft Paint. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it. And I burst out laughing when I saw some of the self-portraits!


It was just genius.

I was (and still am) so touched by the thought that went into those presents. Laura also gave me a separate card just from her – and she’d also created a few of her own Tarot cards as well. If you look closely in a couple of the photos above you can see them. We spent much of the night laughing about them!

After the pub closed (and we got thrown out) we ended up at Maroush in Vere Street, just around the corner. Food was very necessary at this p
oint, but I’m not so sure about the bottles of wine! 

I think everyone had a good time that night – I know it’s a night I won’t ever forget!


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