All the bling, all the glamour – it can only mean one thing…Wychelm are hosting Christmas!
By Katie Garner
Christmas is undoubtedly one of the biggest events in any sane person’s social calendar. This definitely rings true also for Wychelm Badminton Club, where instantly the number of attendees doubles from the usual monthly get togethers, and everyone decides that since it’s Christmas, that yes, they would make effort too and get stuck in to the shenanigans.
This year, we held our do on a raucous Saturday evening, on the 6th December which happened to be the first weekend of the festive month, really kicking things off in style. As per normal, we headed to Romford’s local Table Table establishment Liberty Bell, for some good old fashioned British pub grub, all for the more than tasty price of £15 for a three course set menu – ideal for a large group such as ours. With more members than ever before, I managed to round up a satisfying 23 people to come along, despite some last minute drop outs. With everyone arriving pretty promptly for a change, and some people a staggering hour early, we were able to start the night near enough to our 7.00pm sit down time.
We had reserved a large group of three tables, sat snugly next to the bar in the drinks area of the restaurant, meaning that we had our very own section really, all to ourselves. We could spread out and relax and mingle around each table with ease. Unscrewing the top off a bottle of red wine, I was looking forward to getting stuck in to the food, as Liberty Bell have always dished up tantalising plates of wholesome fodder. I had settled on the chicken liver pate to start, which came served with neat triangles of toast and a simply amazing caramelised chutney which I smothered on top. The rocket was a peppy accompaniment which also tasted delish when wedged into the pate. Next up I had gone for one of my favourite ‘dining out’ foods – steak. This one was sirloin and cooked to my medium rare specifications beautifully, melting on the mouth, tasting divine and being super easy to slice through. Served with a streak of bacon and a splattering of mushrooms, the sauce was pretty much non-existent, meaning I had to slather on the ketchup, not just with my skinny fries but also with my meat, since I am rather partial to a bit of sauce.
After we had all eaten our main courses, it was time for the star of the show really, the grand unveiling of our Wychelm Christmas Award winners. With 12 awards in total due to be handed out, with each winner earning themselves a lovely medal on a blue and white ribbon, paired with a glossy certificate of their achievement, this was the most number of awards yet, showing that the awards are getting bigger and better with each passing year. Of course this interlude wouldn’t be complete without a cheesy speech from yours truly, so I’m afraid everyone had to listen to my outpourings of thanks and festive cheer.
Dessert was a knockout since I had opted for one of my favourites, a sundae, and this one was a Jaffa Cake Sundae, so included chocolate which is always a hit with me. Matched with lovely large chunks of Jaffa Cake and squirting’s of sauce, I loved it! I even managed to polish off mixed doubles partner David’s Christmas pud and brandy cream which was sticky yet light – what can I say? I have a sweet tooth and it cannot be controlled!
Once afters had been cleared up, we indulged in a coffee round for an extra cost – I went for a cappuccino, which I love after a meal. We stayed at Liberty Bell drinking the place dry until it closed at just gone midnight. Whilst the majority had been slowly piling off home since coffees, a select few of us trooped on to nearby Yates to continue the party for a little longer, putting in an extra round. I left after a concluding G&T to be tucked up in my bed between 1.00am and 1.30am.
On the whole, it was a fantastic night I really hope that everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did! It was brilliant to see a few ex-members in attendance as well, such as loveable postie and doting grandad John who has recently had a hip replacement, and club doctor Jess who had to leave after relocating to the seaside. Members who don’t pop by every week also made a rare appearance such as police detective Sam who can’t always come due to shift work, with new member Dougie also attending his very first Wychelm social before dashing off to pick up a friend from the airport. Another successful Christmas gathering, with all of the photos on our Facebook page as you would expect, so catch up on the photographic gossip there!