One of the sponsors was Veuve Clicquot so as can be imagined, the champagne was flowing liberally from the outset. Then there were some fine wines with the excellent dinner, brandies, and then the Long Room bar was open afterwards for beers and more of whatever people fancied.
Fortunately this was a respectable event so although much alcohol was consumed there wasn't any roudy behaviour and much genial conversation and some amusing speeches instead.
Attending the entire thing with nothing stronger than water in my glass not only did I not feel at all left out and had at least as much fun as everyone else, I enjoyed the copious praise I received from my colleagues and their guests on our table once they spotted the fact I don't drink and could see how completely unfazed I was by this.
I never make a point of mentioning the fact I don't drink as I hate to preach or to have to explain my tale unless asked, but it is a nice endorsement of my life decision to remain sober when people appreciate the fact I have achieved something worthy and that is worth mentioning.
There is so much more to enjoy in life once you escape the alcohol habit, even the little moments like last night are worth remembering.