IT’S NEARLY CHRISTMAAAAAAAS!!!
Well, it’s December and that has to count for something. If there’s one thing Europe is good at – and it’s good at many things – it’s Christmas markets. So when winter rolls around, there’s only one thing to do…and I did it on Sunday. After all, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of the ol’ festivities and this year is going to be poles apart (literally) from what we’re used to!
I met up with some friends in Birmingham for their annual Frankfurt Christmas Market. I used to go every year when I lived in Worcester – and experienced a Christmas-less run up to Dec 25th last year c/o living in Kuwait – so there was no questioning this HAD to happen before I jet off once again.
Crowds aside, there’s something about Christmas markets that seems to cheer everyone up. Granted, us Brits are not always the friendliest when out and about – we’re a friendly bunch really, but when you see us in a central London mad dash whilst you’re lapping up the sites mid-holiday, don’t take it personally. We’re a busy lot. Birmingham is much the same and at any other time of year when venturing in to the centre, you’d face a similar site of “heads-down speed-walk-on” as people go about the working week. Throw a Christmas market in the mix however, and the only grumbles you hear are in reference to the how cold it is.
Hundreds upon hundreds of stalls line the streets selling all sorts of things: foods ranging from bratwurst and waffles to the more exotic ostrich burgers and kangaroo steaks and everything in between; Christmas crafts; mulled wine and beer. There’s something for everyone and if – like me this year – you’re not interested in buying anything, there is still plenty to see, mouthwatering smells to enjoy and an indulgent atmosphere to immerse yourself in.
The central hub of the market houses a carousel nestled in between many stalls and next to what has to be the largest – seasonal – outdoor pub. A pint of beer with a bratwurst = happy Brits. For those who don’t have a taste for either, there were many alternatives. So I’ll rephrase: festive food + festive drinks = happy Brits! (A theme that carries through most Christmas markets, with London even having a “carousel bar”, cutting out the middle man and taking you straight to a spinning room before you’ve even reached the bar).
It’s all fun though. Everyone gathered around, laughing and talking to one another whilst a variety of live music acts entertained from what looked like a human-sized gingerbread house. Tis the season to be jolly and all that.
As usual though, it was the company that made the day. Friends, life-long friends from all corners of the country getting together – something I find happens less and less the older we all get. Oh life. Still, I’d rather have it this way than not at all.
A great day out had by all. If you have the opportunity to get to a Christmas market this winter, DO IT!! Get out there. Enjoy it. Wrap up warm though…not meaning to sound all Grannyish, but the only purchase I made on Sunday upon fearing that my toes were no longer connected to my feet…was socks.
Snippet of Christmas Markets: Birmingham; Worcester; London
Now I really must get on with some packing!! Where to start…
PS – Yes Laura, Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market was a German market 😉 ❤