At 4:30pm last Thursday evening, the RPP family were plucked from their desks and navigated to London Blackfriars, where the highly anticipated Secret Squirrel Society's plan for the Summer Party 2015 was finally unveiled.
Striding into the station, some 41 strong, the RPP team were greeted with a champagne reception and announcement which read "Welcome to all the RPP team, please make your way to Platform 1, for your train to London Gatwick and onto the beautiful city of Porto". Met with great jubilation, the team embarked upon their journey.
Shortly after landing in Porto, we were whisked away to our hostel, where we were greeted with an array of local delicacies and (albeit, a long awaited) beer.
At 9:00am the next day, our two friendly tour guides dragged us from our beds, and around the charming old town of Porto. We concluded our tour at a local cafe where we enjoyed our second Pastel de Nata (custard tart) of the day, and of course a chaser of our favourite beverage... a suitably strong coffee.
Next on the agenda was the formation of a 'Tuk Tuk' convoy, which snaked the team along the stunning riverside embankments, to one of Portugal's most beloved architects (Alvaro Siza), first ever commission; the famous Piscina das Marés.
We enjoyed lunch amongst a series of saltwater pools, formed by outcrops of natural rock, typical of the Porto coastline. Enjoying anything from shoulder-war battles in the pool, to a tug-of-war & sandcastle build on the beach, we truly made the most of the glorious Portuguese climate.
Following a second Tuk Tuk journey back to the hostel, the team glammed up, ahead of a big night which included a 'six bridge river cruise' along the river duoro, on an exclusive boat.
To conclude the formalities of the trip, we dined amongst 12ft tall fermentation barrels in the cellar of one of Porto's most renowned Port Wine breweries. After our fourth course of the evening, Niall and Diego delivered their brilliant and highly awaited annual awards ceremony, celebrating the success, personality and 'best-dressed' of our studio.
It is difficult to sum up such an action-packed and brilliant trip with so few words, but this year's summer party was yet another reminder of RPPs most valued asset... its one-of-a-kind team and its bubbling personality.