The London Thames is definitely not the place you expect to find a Mississippi paddle steamer, but that was exactly what I found myself climbing aboard the other night for dinner.
The glossy wood-panelled Elizabethan is a lovingly recreated replica of the iconic American stern-wheeled riverboats that Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher would have felt right at home on.
It picked us up at Cadogan Pier in Chelsea beneath the twinkling lights of Albert Bridge.
Glasses of bubbles in hand, everyone swept up the carpeted stairs to the spacious upper deck to mingle with old friends.
And watch the brightly lit sights of London pass by along the riverbank.
After catching up with the latest news of marriages, babies, jobs, and – most importantly – football scores, we migrated below deck into the dining room for the dinner service.
After coffee, it was time to buckle up my dancing Choos and head upstairs where the band was kicking things off.
Everyone was alternating between having a boogie on the dancefloor and popping outside on the balcony to take in the views and the cool air.
A little bit of silliness may also have taken place.
Just an incredibly relaxed evening aboard a beautiful boat surrounded by good people – let the holiday party season begin!