JC Explores: Manchester Christmas Markets

December 3, 2014

Christmas markets are one of the best bits about the festive season – although I do love having Christmas in the summer in the Southern Hemisphere, you don’t get the same Christmasy feel, and there aren’t really many markets. I have been to the some of the markets through Europe, Berlin, Paris but Manchester Christmas markets are definitely my favourite! I headed up to Manchester to visit the grandparents at the end of November for my birthday and decided to hit up the markets on Saturday morning.

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The markets themselves are all made up of small wooden houses in the German style and are dotted about through the city. There is a Christmas markets trail and if you follow along the whole route then it is huge! We dipped in and out as I was with my grandparents and they didn’t fancy a huge walk. In my opinion, the three things that are needed to make an ideal Christmas Market are: homemade quirky gifts, an abundance of nutella and plenty of mulled beverages – and trust me, Manchester has them all!

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It didn’t take long before I began purchasing some little gifts (mainly for myself… but also for others!), first we went to a little candle stall where I bought a fresh apple candle – something lovely and citrusy, not very festive but it pleased the senses. I also picked up some local honey for my grandparents and then sauntered over to the cheese stall. Oh my. I could eat cheese forever and never be sick of it, and this stall had so many different odd types of cheese – they honestly had sticky toffee cheese. And it was amazing. I did resist it however as I was taken in by the garlic and sundried tomato, along with the caramlised onion and rioja – then my sister picked up some mature cheddar. I also tasted every other type of cheese and was pleasantly stuffed as we continued our journey!

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Of course, you can’t go to a Christmas market without drinking something warm and delicious – I had a hot spiced cider which was everything I needed, sweet, cinnamony, steaming, I was a happy camper. My sister also had a raspberry mulled wine which smelt phenomenal. Food was calling my name but I did manage to resist – I was attempting to cut sugar in November, but my sister had some apple strudel which I can report was delicious.

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We continued to have a wander looking at all the Christmas decorations and the huge santa by the town hall. However, it was getting packed by this time as everyone flooded the high street to do some Christmas shopping so we headed home. Overall, if you can get chance to get to the Christmas markets I do really recommend them! They are lovely at night as well, all the Christmas lights twinkling and making it very atmospheric. I do want to try the London Christmas markets this December as well, but I am a bit wary of all the crowds – do let me know if you have been and what you thought!

What is your favourite bit of the Christmas markets?

JC xx

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