After months of deliberation and debate, the SoPublishing team decided upon The Ox Cheltenham as its Christmas party venue of the year – enticed by the delicious-sounding menu, distinct lack of turkey, and previously fantastic dining experiences. And what a good decision that turned out to be!

While slightly more expensive than some of the Cheltenham Christmas party alternatives, the quality of the three-course menu with fizz proved more than worth it.

A team poll saw that the 48-day dry aged carpaccio of beef with pickled cabbage, hay ash mayo and crisp seasoned kale was voted the favourite starter; with most of the team picking the sensational charcoal roasted sirloin with pomme purée, mushroom duxelle and crisp smoked bone marrow for the main course. The bitter chocolate Windsor with salted caramel mousse, walnut and poached pear, meanwhile, proved the most popular dessert of the evening.

And while the carnivorous SoPublishing team members were unsurprisingly particularly spoilt with their steak selections, even our vegan colleague was well-catered for by the chef, with three delicious courses tailored just for her.

With a broody vintage interior, terrifically good waiting staff and copious amounts of cocktails all round, The Ox Cheltenham made for the perfect venue for the SoPublishing Christmas party in 2016 – with talk already turning to the perfect excuse for a revisit in 2017.

See the Gloucestershire Christmas party guide for more information about The Ox Cheltenham and other county party venues.