Christmas has officially arrived in Manchester!
This weekend the Manchester Christmas Market arrived in town, the Christmas lights switched on, Christmas music blared from shops and thousands of people descended to enjoy the first peek of Christmas this year. Matt and I were hesitant to make the trip to see the market this year, fearing for hoards of people and utter mayhem, however we braved it, jumped in the car and drove the short trip down the motorway to enjoy a few cheeky mugs of Christmas Punch.
For those who haven’t experienced a Christmas Market before; Manchester in my opinion is one of the best up north. The streets and squares in Manchester city centre are lined with little wooden huts selling handmade gifts, food and drink. The markets extend throughout the city so the crowds are spread out. Yes it’s busy but it’s still enjoyable. There are nine different areas so you can choose to explore all of them or pick just one or two depending on how long you have to spare, or how quickly you succumb to one of the many beer huts.
We started our tour on New Cathedral Street and Exchange square where there was a very popular Brutwurst stall, many gift stalls and the first bar we found.
We then headed back to St Annes Square and came across a stall I remember fondly from last year. Filled with giant marshmallow treats we all indulged in one each – It’s not a Christmas Market without a sweet treat!
We then headed to (in my opinion) the main square – Albert Square. Here you will find the large two story bar, a multitude of other bars, gift shops and many many food stalls. The air is filled with a combination of wonderful smells; the smoky bratwurst and pork sandwiches, the sweet smell of waffles and crepes and the spicy smell of mulled wine, mulled cider and Christmas Punch. We headed into the bar to enjoy a few drinks.
We picked a number of Christmas Punches some spiked with Jager or Amaretto but all very tasty! We were lucky to find a seat up stairs on the balcony – it was very busy – and took the compulsory “Drinking Punch at the Christmas Market photo”!
After a cheeky drink we decided to head back towards the car but not before picking up a few treats to enjoy back home. There were many stalls to choose from however Matt headed straight to the fudge stall and spent a bit more than he bargained for! However it is very nice fudge – I sit nibbling on it as I write this!
I’m very excited to now only be living half and hour away from Manchester as it means that I can jump on a train after work and enjoy the Christmas markets a multitude of times over the next 5 weeks! There are so many more stalls I want to browse and pick out a few Christmas gifts!