On court, it’s all about power moves, shuttle skills and fancy footwork…but damn, we know how to throw a good shindig!

By Katie Garner

Enjoying all the grub on offer on table number two

Enjoying all the grub on offer on table number two

December is always one of those months that is chock-a-block full of social events clustering up your calendar, and although the constant eating and drinking can make you feel like a festive blowfish, there is always one party that I anticipate with glee – the legendary Wychelm Christmas meal.

This is the third year that we have headed down to Romford’s Premier Inn and pub grub specialists Liberty Bell and we have always been impressed. For a mere £16 each, we were entitled to starters, mains and desserts, as well as the usual crackers, Christmas games and toys scattered across the tables. The great thing about this venue is not only do they have a casual yet classy atmosphere and efficient staff, but they also have a great varied menu, which is always a bonus for large groups like us.

Wouldn't be a Wychelm Christmas without these flying around!

Wouldn’t be a Wychelm Christmas without these flying around!

We had 20 members in total turn up for the event, all of us opting for different choices from the menu, with an interesting mix of meat dishes and always a veggie option available. The pate I had to start was truly delicious, especially with the zingy chutney, whilst my medium rare steak for main course was really tasty and packed full of genuine flavour. Must admit I wasn’t sold on dessert, as even though the chocolate fudge cake was lovely, it was served with a scoop of the mince pie ice cream – which I am not a fan of. The traditional turkey dishes looked really gorgeous as well and everyone definitely seemed impressed with their choices. The stacks of profiteroles looked very appealing too!

l-r: Frank, Helen, Stuart E and Sam with pre-dinner drinks

l-r: Frank, Helen, Stuart E and Sam with pre-dinner drinks

Of course we also had the Wychelm Christmas Awards – this year voted for by the other members, so it was a great chance for the whole club to get involved and stuck in with the ceremony. Each winner picked up their very own certificate as well as a bronze star shuttle medal, decorated with club colour ribbons in blue and white.  This was a year for firsts in this respect, as it was the first year club members have voted for each other, the first year one member won two categories, and also the first year where we had a draw in one category! Overall, it was very exciting, and I personally found it really fun seeing everyone sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting to see who would win in each area. Next year will see some new categories to mix it up a bit, but I’m so glad that loads of members filled in the nomination forms to get involved.

Love the shock on Stuart's face that he's actually won!

Love the shock on Stuart’s face that he’s actually won!

We ended up leaving Liberty Bell at about 11pm, with many people deciding to go home. A smaller group of us decided to head to a nearby Weatherspoons, The Moon and Stars for a concluding drink before it closed as midnight.

I just want to say a big thank you to all the members who turned up on the night, as it was you that made the night the fun success that it always is. What makes Wychelm stand out as a club is our boisterous sense of fun and playfulness that is always in evidence at our social events (and also usually involves Steve and some suggestively shaped balloons…) I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

Gary and Helen getting on like a house on fire!

Gary and Helen getting on like a house on fire!

Check out some more pictures from the night here.

Any ideas for the next club social? Leave a comment and let me know!