Friday, 2 January 2009

Come Drink With Me

Since there has been zero pub crawl action over the past few months, you might expect that we would put our pub crawling skills to good use under the pretence of celebrating the new year. If, however you take into account our average age (28.8), you won't be surprised to hear that we avoided pubs altogether this year, whilst still managing to employ our crawling skills on a house crawl...

Come Drink With Me was based on the 'hit' TV show Come Dine With Me, but instead of dining, we drank and instead of spreading four different house parties over four different nights, we had four different 90 minute parties on one night: New Years Eve. After an hour at each, the guests disappeared one by one into the hosts' bedroom so that they could rifle through their drawers and give their comments and marks out of 10 in front of the camera. The results were revealed at the end of the night. All 5 city wall pub crawlers were in attendance and we were joined by Liz, Dave and Michèle.

House Number 1: Liz's House (with Dave as special guest Host)
This was one of the two most well prepared parties of the night, with nibbles on sticks (as opposed to plonked haphazardly into a bowl), and home made mulled wine.

A stunning display of hospitality since they didn't realise that they were going to be marked for their efforts. Their 90 minutes ended with some pumping music played by DJ Davey H as he rocked the dimmer switch for some club lighting effects.

Here's the guests' verdict:

Due to a technical fault, Neil's verdict wasn't recorded. In summary, he said that the hosting was good, the nibbles were good, but there was no beer on offer. And everyone knows he's a beer man, so he was going to have to give it a 3.

House Number 2: Neil and Lynne's Flat
It was apparent from the moment we arrived that this pair were out to win. We were greeted with warm hugs and air kisses, and served drinks, nibbles and dips, including hot, freshly prepared nibbles served at our seats. The Ferrero Rocher were arranged into a pyramid on a plate, and even the breadsticks looked like they had been arranged with the care of someone arranging a bouquet of flowers in a vase. Not once were our glasses allowed to go empty for more than a minute before our attentive hosts topped them up with the drink of our choice. This pair took a different approach to hosting, choosing to entertain us with a high tech movie quiz (and special chocolate prize for the winner), and a quick blast on Rock Band. This party ended, like all good parties with a quick rifle through their bedroom, a brief slagging off session, and Dave delighting us with his rather camp rendition of "Eye of the PussyCat [tiger]"

It was at this point that Guest City Wall Pub Crawl regulars, Steve and Maddy joined in the fun, though they admitted to feeling 'a little under-dressed'

See the results below:

House Number 3: James' Flat (with token co-host Michèle)
James had disappeared from Lynne and Neil's early to 'prepare' his party as he claimed to have been unaware of the judging component to the crawl. We arrived to the sounds of Minster FM, atmospheric blue (christmas) lighting and a wonderful party atmosphere. Our number, having increased to 10 with the arrival of Steve and Maddy, was just right to make the flat feel busy and party-like. The choice of nibbles was chocolate, or chocolate.

The amount of rifling conducted was directly proportionate to the amount of alcohol so far consumed. And as soon as we slated James for just putting the radio on, he emerged with his new Now 25 Years CD, which redeemed him, if only because it has Ghostbusters on it.

Check out his scores:

Due to a technical fault (or Lynne getting dressed up in James' clothes and putting Steve the cameraman off), Lynne's score was not recorded. She awarded James a 7 for reasons unknown.

Commercial Break
Before moving on to the last party of the evening, we took a brief detour to York Minster where it is tradition to gather at midnight. The one time I went to the Minster on New Years Eve in the past, I found that there were a lot of people wondering whether it was actually midnight yet, and I believe one firework went off before the crowd diminished (not that I saw it). Michèle, not being a local, wondered why we were dragging her around in the cold to go stand outside a church, and we couldn't really give her an answer beyond 'it's what everybody does' and sure enough, it wasn't long before we joined a stream of people as they deserted the pubs and walked towards the Minster as if there was some kind of pied piper leading the way.

There was one false start where we thought it might be midnight, but it wasn't, then we heard some gongs and 2 or 3 fireworks being set off so we 'HNY'd' and hugged and kissed like any self-respecting new year celebrating folk, took some photos and swig from the champagne bottle which appeared from Steve's pocket.

At the sound of the fireworks, we looked to the sky expectantly, and saw nothing but clouds. For all we knew, it could have been someone being shot, but there was no time to ponder, as our group got swallowed by the crowds who were (presumably) heading back to whichever pub they came from.

House Number 4: Leanne and Paul's House
Having lost several of the group between the Minster and home, it was fortunate that I arrived back first since I had keys to let everyone in. As they all filtered in over the next 20 minutes, they passed through the living room and into the kitchen, they were greeted with a home made Happy New Year banner which wowed their alcohol fuzzled brains, and shown through to the table where champagne cocktails were presented in a pile of 'snow' on the table. Everyone loves a bit of snow.

Paul set about DJing and I served up some pizza which always scores points with drunk people, no matter how many nibbles they've eaten throughout the night, and then, one by one they disappeared upstairs to reveal their views on the final party of the night:

We finished the night by playing back the videos and totting up the scores:

The Result
Since James hosted alone, and the rest of us in pairs, we had to average out the scores to determine the winner. In the interest of fairness, we disregarded the 109 points awared to Paul and me since Michèle was biased, having helped to make the banner, and provided some ingredients for champagne cocktails. And this is what happened:

In fourth place with 6.5 points.... LYNNE AND NEEEIIIIL!

In third place with 6.66 points.... LIZ AND DAAAAAVE!

In second place with 8.80points.... LEANNE AND PAAAUUUUL!

And the winner, with 8.86 points (oooh, close!) is.... JAAAAMES!

Watch this space for the full episode of 'Come Drink With Me'... COMING SOON!

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