This morning one of the business teams I support converged on Paris from all of our various locations (London, Munich, Milan, Luxembourg), climbed into a chartered shuttle bus, and plunged deep into the French countryside where we’ll spend the next three days sequestered in the Chateau de Bellinglise.
It’s not exactly Versailles, but it’s a bona fide château with towers and staircases and a billiard room and grounds (but not, alas, a forbidden wing with a dark secret; they said we could go anywhere we wanted). The hostess announced that we’ll be eating six times a day and that we should not forget the giant cheese board served every night in the formal dining room. My room is in the attic with a tiny window under the eaves and my American self is completely delighted.
We did exactly no work at all today. After arriving and being shown to our rooms we ate snacks on the veranda and then separated into smaller groups for activities. I chose an introductory course in fencing and turned out to be pretty good. Our instructor was a former Olympian who had a bronze medal from one of his four Summer Games. Then drinks on the lawn and dinner al fresco on the patio and billiards and conversation into the night.
It’s completely unlike any other work event I’ve been to since starting at this company four years ago and I love it.