Salad’s Founder and Managing Director, Bella, had always dreamed of taking the team abroad for the Christmas party, and this year we made that dream a reality. Our festive trip to Madrid was certainly a fabulous opportunity for us to celebrate the success of the year and reward the team for their hard work, but in truth – it was about more than that. It was a chance for us to show how much we value our people, to build on our relationships and make memories we’ll treasure throughout our careers at Salad…
At 6am on Friday morning, twenty sleepy Saladites boarded a minibus and headed to Gatwick airport. Once in the air, in-flight entertainment was supplied by DWM Organised Fun Limited (aka Daniel Ward-Murphy, Salad’s extremely witty Strategy Director). His bespoke quiz featured 8 different rounds, and 85 incredibly difficult general knowledge questions, which left the Salad team feeling defeated as they handed back their answers. Who cares what a falchion is, anyway?*
Our beautiful Spanish apartment was just a short metro ride from Madrid’s airport, in the charming district of Salamanca. After a little break and a round of tea, we settled into our rooms, unpacked our bags and got our glad rags on for an evening of exquisite food and fantastic company.
On Saturday morning the early birds worked together to prepare a breakfast fit for kings (and queens) – fresh bread, fruit, pastries and porridge all adorned the kitchen table. It was a hearty and wholesome start to the day, and although we may not have realised it at the time, it was a wonderful way to connect with one another, sharing stories and laughter over food.
Having showered and wrapped up warm, we broke into smaller groups and began exploring the city. Some travelled by bike, taking in the sights and the sunshine around El Retiro Park while others weaved in and around the cities backstreets and Christmas markets to search for trinkets. Food by name, food by nature, we discovered some of Madrid’s most famed tapas bars on Calle Cava Baja, sampling a colourful array of cured meats, cheeses and salads. And for dessert – stacks of warm churros and lashings of chocolate sauce.
With aching legs as proof of our culture-packed day, we headed back to the apartment to transform into a first-class, party-ready wardrobe. Authentic restaurant, Los Montes De Galicia served up a delicious banquet of Spanish flavours for our celebratory dinner, topped off with a shot of Grappa. After a heart-warming toast from Bella, we headed to famed cocktail bar, Dry Martini for a mesmerising mixology display from the undeniably talented bartenders. And in typically Spanish style the evening continued to delight as we danced the night away until the early hours.
On Sunday morning, with a few fragile souls in tow, we packed our bags and grabbed a handful of detox juices for the journey home. A last-minute flight delay induced a spontaneous game of “suitcase curling” across the airport, providing light-hearted entertainment for nearby passengers waiting to board.
As we travelled back home, with stomachs full of food and hearts full of love, we shared our favourite moments from the trip. We joked about the design team’s questionable dance moves, and the marketing team’s geographical challenges, but at the heart of the weekend was something much more sentimental. The chance to connect with one another, strengthen our relationships and celebrate together in a beautiful city.
It was certainly a Christmas party to remember.
You can read more about why we chose to make this Christmas extra special in Bella’s latest article for The Drum.
*For those interested, a falchion is a one-handed, single-edged sword of European origin…
If you haven’t heard, we’re looking for three new superstars to join the Salad team, and create more exciting memories with us. Head over to our careers page for more information.