End-of-year parties need not – and should not – be blah
There are office parties: soggy sausage rolls and tepid box wine in the boardroom, organised by Mary from Accounts. And then there are office parties: unforgettable experiences that let your team know that the magic really couldn’t happen without them, and you’re well aware of it. It takes little more than some imagination to create a send-off that will leave employees looking forward to next year!
Unless you really have something against magnificent scenery, outstanding wine and gourmet food, a visit to the winelands is a treat in itself. Add in a few experiences that can’t easily be replicated, and you have a day that will linger in memory for ages. At Lourensford Wine Estate, Life Retreat allows corporates to tailor their own special packages, with options ranging from the caffeine-drenched Coffees of the World coffee tastings to hikes through the vineyards, beer tasting and chocolate and wine pairings. Throw in lunch at the Millhouse Restaurant and a spa treatment or two to make it even more special. www.liferetreat.co.za
Forget breaking bread together; it’s cooking with your colleagues that really gives you a glimpse of what they’re made of. Fun yet functional, cooking courses give you a chance to learn a new skill – and, if you attend the FitChef Extreme Cooking Course, team-mates will also take home up to 55 healthy meals that can be stashed in the freezer. Great news for staffers looking for an alternative to the office canteen when it’s time for lunch! www.fitchef.co.za/courses
Beating around the bush
After a strenuous year with more than a few political and economic curveballs, a break away from the office is well deserved. Thanda Safari is the answer: easily accessible from Johannesburg and Durban, the Big Five game reserve offers Treat at Thanda, a package designed especially for corporates. Available from 1 November to 15 December, the package includes a night in Thanda Tented Camp, where each of the 15 tents (complete with en-suite bathroom) boasts a private viewing deck, along with dinner in the bush, early morning and afternoon game drives and limited drinks. Treat at Thanda is available at a special SADC rate of R2,667 per person per night sharing. www.thanda.co.za
Get on the greens
Got a golf-mad team? Langebaan Country Estate caters for golfers at every level of expertise with a range of packages, as well as special team-building activities. Book a midweek stay and play, where guest can relax in luxury two-bedroom selfcatering accommodation after enjoying a full breakfast and a round on the 18-hole course (R450 per golfer per night or R335 for non-golfers), or opt for a weekend package at R550 per golfer. Alternatively, try out mashie golf, pro putt or bowls. www.langebaanestate.co.za
There’s something really special about being a tourist in your own home town, isn’t there? The Big Red Bus gives you a chance to do just that: charter a bus to take you between your city’s tourist attractions, either following the Big Red Bus’s routes or making up your own. For instance, why not meander through Cape Town, popping in at the Table Mountain Cableway, The Castle, District Six, Camps Bay and the V&A Waterfront along the way? Or opt for the Mini Peninsula Tour, taking in the Kirstenbosch Gardens, Iziyamo Yethu township and Mariner’s Wharf. In Johannesburg, you can organise a fascinating heritage route, including stops like the Apartheid Museum, Origins Centre and Sci-Bono. www.citysightseeing.co.za/southafrica/private-bus-hire
A tad traditional
There’s a lot to be said for a grand dinner at a grand venue – and The Radisson Blue Hotel at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront certainly fits this description, given its exceptional setting just a step away from the sea. This festive season, the hotel has set out to impress with a choice of three set menus, making the most of the Cape’s magnificent ingredients: think pan-seared kingklip with the fresh crunch of ocean greens, endamame beans and the tangy bite of horseradish crème, followed by a bittersweet symphony of coffee, dark chocolate and marmalade, all blended together in one deliciously decadent cake. Menus range in price from R340 to R395 per person; or try the cocktail menu, which offers lighter bites. www.radissonblu.com
Put the ‘me’ in team
M is for mm, massage and mani – and me time. At Evolve Day Spa, you’ll be offered a corporate package quite unlike anyone else’s. That’s because you provide the budget, the make-up of the group (predominantly men or women), and the type of treatments you think will be most appreciated, and the spa manager compiles a programme just for you. Your customised menu may include facials, pedicures, or anything else your team has been (not so) secretly wishing for. www.evolvedayspa.co.za
What could be better than a cool, crazy cocktail? A cool, crazy cocktail with a dash of science. Split Second Science hosts Chemistry Experiences, where guests are invited to experiment with ingredients ranging from colour-changing candy floss to dry ice and liquid nitrogen (and, of course, more conventional cocktail essentials) to create utterly fabulous concoctions (with the guidance of a creative scientist). www.splitsecondscience.co.za
The cult of cruising
You’ve heard about being on a road to nowhere – but what about cruising with no particular destination?
Twonight party cruises must be the ultimate in outrageous fun, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy the magic of a cruise (fancy accommodation, scrumptious food and a party that lasts just as long as you want it to) without any serious time commitments.
It’s the perfect way to bid adieu to a busy year!