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The festive season seems finally upon us. As Astragal rubs his kidneys and winces, he has decided to start a modern tradition. So, with all the glitz and glamour this half-page will allow, let us introduce the inaugural Astragal Awards.

Most important one first then:

the 2006 Award for the Best Canapés of the Year. After much deliberation the extensive jury - who of course must remain completely anonymous - have decided to hand out this prestigious gong to the launch party of Volume Three of Richard Rogers' complete works.

Grub, of course, by the River Café. Yum yum. The seafood bar at Make's bash back in January ran it close, but not close enough. Good enough for an honourable mention, however.

Best Drinks at a Party will, judging by the hangover suffered by the AJ news desk, have to go to the RMJM book launch at the Design Museum.

The cocktails and cigars were quite something.

The 2006 Award for the Silliest Party goes to the bash that accompanied the launch of Ian Simpson's Lumiere development in Leeds.

Complete with dwarves, stiltwalkers, Del Boy lookalikes and Philippe Starck, this event had everything. An honourable mention to the Architecture Rocks bash as well.

Worst Party of the Year, without souding bitter, must go to Icon's affair at the Tea Building in Shoreditch in September. The free booze stopped at nine o'clock. Nuff said.

And finally a two-part award for the best quotes of 2006. Part one, for the Outright Quote of the Year, goes to publisher, 'poet' and former Oz editor Felix Dennis for this humdinger: 'I would tear down every building built by that pompous shit Richard Rogers'.

Part two, for the Most Inappropriate Quote of the Year, gives us the opportunity to reprint this little beauty from architectural photographer Dennis Gilbert, quoted at the Stirling Prize bash: 'There was something about Zaha's undercroft that I kinda fancied.'


Well done to all our winners and a happy Christmas to all our readers. Astragal is off to stock up on Alka-Seltzer and Rennies.

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