The Born and Raised team celebrating in Chester

This year’s mystery birthday bash managed to stay relatively secret until the evening food menu was leaked a few days before the big trip. So we set off to Chester quietly confident that we were going to Chester.

The day’s activities, however, were kept under guard and no one knew where we were heading as the coach forged its way into the countryside and towards a farm.

My pottery isn’t rude. I can’t help it if you have a dirty mind.

Stephen discussing art with Helen
Joanne Ringrose, Finance and Operations Manager and Andrew Loades, Client Relationship Manager, making pottery cups in Chester

The first activity, it turned out, was pottery at Mon Ceramics. Thankfully, we only had to suffer one short Ghost re-enactment from Bew and Andy before the teacher showed us how to throw our clay on the wheel, then decorate and paint our creations.

The results were mixed, but no one embarrassed themselves too badly. Stand out efforts from Helen, Joanne, Charlotte and Bew all deserve a mention.

I can’t stop wetting myself.

Kirsty… it’s better without context
Sam Lightfinch, Copywriter, and Steve Doyle, Head of Copy, celebrating Born and Raised's 8th anniversary on a boat in Chester

Our wares are currently being glazed and fired, but the Born + Raised pottery shop will be opening on Etsy soon for anyone in the market for some wonky crap hand-crafted gifts.

After a beautiful buffet lunch at Claremont Farm (and a well-earned pint), it was a short drive to the afternoon’s activity – a private river boat. Sadly, the Lady Di (surely named after our own Lady Di) wasn’t to be our vessel and so we motored up the River Dee in glorious sunshine on a boat dubbed Mark Twain.

Excuse me, this is a private charter

Tamaris ushering the expectant public away from the party boat
Jack Salmons, Senior Designer, Yvette Weir, Head of Design, Grace Anderson, Account Executive, celebrating Born and Raised's anniversary in Chester

Everyone enjoyed a refreshing drink while eyeing up the dramatic houses scattered along the bank. Top points to the owner of the ostentatious rhino lawn ornaments – they started a few conversations.

After that, it was time to check into the hotel. Everyone was ready in record time when they realised there were two-for-one cocktails being served at the rooftop bar overlooking the race course and Chester’s castle.

Back up to full cohort, we popped down the road to Olive Tree Brasserie for a feast of Greek food, wine and plenty of laughter.

We’re not having pudding? No pudding? Really? But I want pudding.

Claire was not happy about the lack of dessert
Tamaris Roberts, Office manager, Claire Harper, Company Accountant, Steve Doyle, Head of Copy and Andrew Loades, Client Relationship Manager, all of Born and Raised, Celebrating in Chester

After the grub had settled we crossed the road to Craft and Co, which we quickly turned into our own private dancefloor. The DJ certainly looked pleased. The waitress and the bouncers were less impressed when we forgot to pay the bill. They very kindly reminded us on our way out the door.

There were a few obligatory sore heads the next day. Most of us napped on the coach and then enjoyed a lazy Saturday. Steve didn’t. He laid a garden path and got back on the booze. What a champ.

And that’s that, for another year. We’ve got one more night of shared memories and even more embarrassing photos of each other.

Life’s cyclical like that.

Woooooooowow liiiiiiving on a praaaayer.

Everyone, loudly and out of tune
The Born and Raised team, watching a potter at work in Chester
Diana Ross, Creative Artworker and Kirsty Grafton, celebrating Born and Raised's anniversary in Chester
Tamaris Roberts, Office Manager and Andy Weir, Managing Director, celebrating Born and Raised's anniversary in Chester
Marianne MacKenzie, Account Director, Helen Stavri, Strategist, Charlotte Hil, Client Services Director and Tanya Addy, Marketing Manager, celebrating in Chester
Tom Lloyd, Multimedia Developer, Stephen Booth, Senior Account Manager and Andrew Loades, Client Relationship Manager, celebratin Born and Raised's anniversary in Chester
Tom Lloyd, Multimedia Developer, Kirsty Grafton, Designer, Louise Greensmith, Senior Designer and Yvette Weir Head of Design, celebrating Born and Raised's anniversary