Auckland managed to turn on a sunny day with no wind for our Christmas lunch. We arrived, roof down, at The Brigham and, ignoring the carpark out front, drove down the side to park up with all the other Mercs in the lovely garden out the back.

After the usual car discussions we moved up to the shaded marquee patio area where our tables were situated overlooking the gardens (with their great display of cars). The new driver/alcohol limits meant quite a few were tee-totalling. So the lucky passengers got to enjoy more than 1 (or 2) glasses of the complimentary bubbles while the drivers enjoyed the non-alcoholic punch – good call there.

There were around 40 of us spread over four tables. As we were lucky enough to be sitting at the Presidents table we got called first for the buffet – great food and plenty of it too, it really was value for money. A very pleasant way to wrap up the year. Bring on 2015! Barbara Lokes