Top Office Breaks of 2015

With another working year whizzing by in the blink of an eye, it’s time to reflect on our top Office Breaks of 2015.  From a night in a nunnery to climbing North Africa’s highest mountain, it’s been an exciting year for forays out of the office. If you’re seeking new and memorable experiences to shake up your working weeks, read on for inspiration.

Stanbrook Abbey nun in a helmet

Office Breaks Stanbrook Abbey

An evening of glitz and glam at Savage Beauty

2015’s exhibition of the year was undoubtedly Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty.  The largest retrospective of his work in Europe, the exhibition repelled and amazed in equal measure. From human hair coats to slinky, razor-shell dresses, the spell-binding creations were off-set by flashing video screens and reverberating techno-beats transporting you to the Paris catwalks.  Never had my own work wardrobe seemed so dowdy.

A night in a nunnery

My most unusual office break this year had to be my night in a nunnery.
Invited to the grand opening of Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire, I was stunned by the lavish restoration of one of England’s most impressive Benedictine Abbeys.  Staying in a converted Nun’s cell, I enjoyed the tranquility of a rural retreat with the comforts of luxury accommodation. After two blissful days, I could have happily renounced office life altogether.

Stanbrook Abbey Nun's Powder Room sign

Office Breaks Stanbrook Abbey

 A lunch break mass balloon invasion

Witnessing a mass balloon invasion in Covent Garden had to be my most surreal lunch break experience this year.  Dreamed up by French artist, Charles Petillon, the hundred thousand pulsating balloons provided a strangely ethereal spectacle. The installation was made all the more bizarre by the apparent nonchalance of the office workers scurrying back to work beneath it.

Charles Petillon, heartbeat

Office Breaks Charles Petillon, Heartbeat

A soothing afternoon at Mayfield Lavender Farm

In need of some much-needed R&R, I discovered Mayfield Lavender Farm – a Provencal paradise in the heart of rural Surrey. Transported to a soothing sea of swaying purple, I spent an idyllic afternoon in the company of humming bumble bees. A favourite with Japanese visitors, the farm provides the perfect backdrop for romantic Edwardian Country Lady shots.  If only I’d remember to bring my parasol, hat and gloves.

Asian lady posing in the lavender fields at Mayfield Lavender Farm

Office Breaks Mayfield Lavender Farm

An ascent of Mount Toubkal
My Office Break highlight of 2015 had to be my ascent of Mount Toubkal. After six months of lunch break stair-climbing and post-work running, all the hard work finally paid off on in September.  The effort of huffing and puffing to the 4200 metre summit was soon forgotten in the elation of reaching the top – a feeling akin to walking on the moon. The challenge has made me hungry for more treks.  Watch out Nepal.
Atlas Mountains

Jorn Eriksson Atlas Mountains

 

A festive afternoon at Winchester Christmas Market

Unable to afford a trip a festive mini break to Germany this year, I opted instead for a visit to Winchester Christmas Market.  The impressive Winchester cathedral provided the perfect backdrop for over 100 wooden chalets which attract a staggering 350,000 visitors a year.

wooden chalets during an afternoon at Winchester Christmas Market

Office Breaks Winchester Christmas Market

 

Having had my fill of bratwurst, mulled wine and brass Roosters, I nipped into the Cathedral to catch Evensong  – a magical experience not to be missed at this time of year.

What was your favourite Office Break of 2015?  Share your views here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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