Love them or loathe them Christmas parties are a great opportunity to lift spirits and inject some energy into your team.

This year we put the destination of our party into our team’s hands and they were tasked with researching and pitching their idea within a budget. The catch was that it had to include something that would benefit the agency.

Our resident technical wizard (and beer lover), Mark Griffiths took the majority vote and as a result we spent last weekend enjoying the delights of Munich.

Despite preconceptions that the weekend would be dominated by bierkellers and pretzels, Bratwurst and Glühwein – all to the backdrop of Oompah bands – our eyes were opened and we found ourselves in shopper paradise.

Retail may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Munich, but at Christmas time the Bavarian capital comes to life and becomes every festive shopping fan’s dream.

The hotch potch of lavish designer stores and modernist shopping arcades decked in steel and glass sit alongside shops and stalls echoing a time long gone, but not forgotten.

This is traditional Christmas at its best, no gimmicks, no sense of faked merriment. This is the real deal.

The Christkindlmarkt is the oldest Christmas market in Munich. A giant sparkling Christmas tree lights up the square, and the sights, sounds and smells all reek festivity.

A dizzying concoction of mulled wine and gingerbread, an eclectic collection of baubles, and stalls lined with everyfestive treat imaginable are at the centre while brassbands and angelic choral sound fill the air.

Of course this isn’t the only Christmas market in Munich, the streets are litterally littered with their nod to the season and at this time of year there’s no better place to spread a bit of cheer among the people you work with.

So what did we learn from our weekend in Munich? That Christmas is best in its traditional form. That this concept is ageless. And that within six hours, I can go from my house in Manchester to sitting in a bierkeller with a litre of Hofbräu in my hand.