All the embarrassment of the office Christmas dinner, but on work grounds, with worse food and no alcohol

Unlike the team lunch, which hopefully takes place in a passable restaurant that you might choose to frequent in your own time, the Canteen Christmas dinner is a completely different experience altogether.

Canteen Lunch
Credit: Jeremy Noble

There is a perverse obligation to attend this bizarre ritual that offers a traditional Christmas dinner masquerading as overcooked turkey, stewed sprouts and soggy Christmas pud. Maybe it’s the bargain price of £7.50 or the hankering after the golden days of school dinners that draws you, year after year, to the disappointment that is the canteen lunch.

Or maybe it’s merely the chance to pull crackers and wear a party hat at a jaunty angle in an alcohol-free environment, with everyone you work with. Presuming you still have a canteen of course. If you don’t, you’re laughing.