So I have finally been busy at work, which is a nice change of pace. With being busy, it's been keeping me from my blog, and by the time I get home and settled at 8:30pm...going back on the computer after having been working on one for 9 hours isn't exactly ideal. So I'm back for now, and hopefully won't be absent like that again.
We had our e-Dialog company holiday party this past Friday night, at the Marriott Copley in Boston, MA. The second I walked in, I said "this is going to be my next blog post.
There was a cocktail hour from 6:30-7:30. Appetizers, open bar, etc. It was in a long hallway, which was kind of an awkward set-up for it. It was narrow to begin with, and then with the potable bars and tables for the food, it was cramped with 400 people in it. The open bar was nice, don't get me wrong--and for a portable bar, they seemed to have unlimited choices. For appetizers, however, there was only a bruschetta. There was nothing being passed, no waitstaff around--just a few tables with a few plates of the same bruschetta at each station. Not liking bruschetta and it being nearly 7:30, I was starting to get hungry and was a little disappointed.
During this cocktail hour, they didn't open up the main room. Again, I think this is a little strange. Working in a function hall with a similar atmosphere, we always have the cocktail hour in the main room. This way, people can put down their things and enjoy themselves. Yes, there was a coat check here, but we still had to carry around our purses, there were no high-tops to put anything down, and you were constantly bumping into someone else. But, in case you didn't know who that person was, they had you wear sticky paper name tags on your cocktail dresses and suits. I know that isn't the Marriott's doing, but I couldn't help pointing it out. It looked tacky on everyone, on top of their evening attire. It probably would have looked better if we wore our company badges.
So we're finally let in, and it is a mad dash to the tables. All 400-450 of us running in at the same time. This could have been avoided if everyone were let in as we got there. They also didn't have the bars set up yet. We went in and put our stuff down, and went to go get drinks--walking outside in the hallway we were just in--and the bars are being dragged into the main room. Watching them for a minute, we realized there weren't any at all in the main room yet. And they didn't open for another 15 or 20 minutes. Again, not a problem, as there are a lot of places that close the bar down during the dinner hour--but to show the staff bringing in the bars and setting them up all over again seemed a little unprofessional. If we have to wait to be let into the room, it should be 100% ready for us.
The tables were nice--the china all seemed very modern, and the linens were soft (didn't feel starched, which I hate). The tablecloth was a bronze color, which matched the decor of the room nicely, with embroidered design with a thread about a shade lighter, with ivory colored napkins. And for a table of ten, there was plenty of room. That's one thing about the Danversport Yacht Club (where I work) that would be a much appreciated change. The tables they set aside for ten people are just too cramped. So it was nice to have the extra elbow room. Something I noticed right away was something that was missing. Usually there are centerpieces at any type of function like this, right? Whether the venue has their own standard one, or the host brings in their own. There was a big open space in the center of the table, where the salt, sugar and cream made a circle. There was nothing in it. I was glad I could see and talk with the person across from me, but the lack of a centerpiece took away from the ambiance.
And then it was dinnertime! There were two very, very short buffet stations, which made for very, very long people lines. There were 4 bowls of salad--that were all the same type, with one kind of dressing. The salad was probably the best part of the meal--Romain lettuce, cranberries, Gala apples and bleu cheese. I still have no idea what kind of dressing it is, the label only said "contains dairy". After the salad there were sweet potatoes, and another mixture of some sort of potatoes. Couldn't tell ya what it was. Then, a butternut squash ravioli in a cream sauce. Then there was turkey (which was dry) and roast beef (which you couldn't even chew). All in all, I was disappointed in the food. It was ALL cold--no part about it was warm. And the bread had clearly been sitting out there for a while, along with the salad--seeing as it was one of the first things I saw when we all walked in.
At best, I would give the Marriott Copley a B-. I never knew who my waiter was, the food was cold (but definitely had potential to be delicious) and the cocktail hour situation was mediocre at best. Thank goodness for great company!