An ex-colleague invited me along to the Microsoft Summer Party yesterday. After a few years of decline, I must say Microsoft parties seem to be back in top form. It was held on the grounds of Stratfield Saye House near Reading in (allegedly) Europe's largest tent. We were greated by performers on stilts, jugglers and a roaming classical quartet while waiters passed around flutes of champagne and canapes.
The highlight of the evening was performances by Madness and Basement Jaxx. Madness was superb and really pumped up the atmosphere with upbeat ska. I thought the singers of Basement Jaxx were great but I just didn't get into their music much. Between performances there were the Lost and Found DJ's and the DJ Norman Jay did a stint too.
Of course, there were lots of bars - even a coffee bar - and the food spread was the best I've ever seen for a crowd that size. Best of all was seeing everyone I knew at Microsoft but there's fewer and fewer faces I know. It's top marks for Microsoft for a great party.