It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air – W. T. Ellis.
The moment you spot the wooden market huts in the distant and a massive inflatable Santa floating, you know that Christmas has well and truly arrived. I had always heard about the markets growing up, especially the Manchester Christmas markets with them being a stone’s throw away from home. Isn’t it always the way that the closer something is, the more you take it for granted and the less likely you’re going to visit it? This was my first visit to the Christmas Markets in Manchester and I loved every second of it.
There is a magic in the air that flows between huts, from the sparkling jewels to the mouth-watering chocolate to the classic mulled wine. People, old and young, squabble, laugh, skip and walk from hut to hut drinking in every item that is on display and soaking up the possibility of having it at home. If it’s the food and drink, however, there is a high chance that it will be consumed on site, especially the hot chocolates, frankfurters and steins of beer.
FOOD & DRINK
There are foods and drink that will salivate your taste buds from every corner of the globe. Patatas bravas and fried chorizo from Spain; salami cheese and chocolate from Italy; Frankfurters and bratwursts grilled and fried with onions from Germany; delicacies from Poland, and not forgetting the hog roast that wafts throughout the entire market. Unfortunately, today was not the day that I would experience any of the famous hot treats, but there’s always next time – and I’m certainly not waiting an entire year to taste them. As for the sweet tooth, there is an abundance of chocolate stalls. Chocolate covering marshmallows; chocolate covering apples; chocolate covering chocolate. There is fudge galore, even bubblegum fudge! There is alcohol mixed with chocolate… did I mention the chocolate? And then the sweets… so many sweets. Basically, if you ever go to Manchester Christmas Markets, don’t eat beforehand because you will be full to the brim during and after your visit. For the drinkers in your family – alcohol or coffee fiends – there are pop-up pubs, bars and coffee houses with all of your favourites winter drinks including the classic mulled wine.
GIFTS FOR EVERYONE
Trinkets, crystals, skulls, jewellery, pottery, hats, artwork and more, there is something for absolutely everyone on your Christmas list. All of the intricate gifts that you can’t seem to find anyplace else are right there in one place. Many of the pieces are beautiful with individuality written all over it, perfect for any present all year round. Personally, I am drawn to the jewellery that is clearly handmade with love and care, not to mention the sparkle. Most of these stalls hold independent businesses which makes it even better for the consumer and the brand. Take cash to know where you’re up to with your spending habits and to make it easy for the stall owners.
Christmas old and new come together at the markets. Traditional wooden pieces that are carved into soldiers and nutcrackers, reindeers and sleighs, snowmen and Father Christmases line stalls with other decorations that you wish you could hang around the house for the entire year. Larger Christmas items for the hearth, the stairs and any nook or cranny you desire have their own stalls. There are Christmas trees that just ignited an entirely new spectacle of excitement in me and I wish we could have dragged one home with us on the train… can you image? Especially when I had Mum run up and down the steps twice to only get the train that took forever to get home.
Everything oozes Christmas and it is a place of sheer happiness. I can’t wait to squeeze in another visit before the big day, and visit Birmingham markets too!
What are your local Christmas markets like?
Love, Faye xo