Having lived within the Manchester area visiting the Christmas Market has become an annual event for me, but this time I get to write an article about it. The market is held between the months of November and December and is located in St Ann’s Square.
There are many markets that pop up all around the UK every year at Christmas, but none arguably compare to Manchester’s award winning annual Christmas market, which concentrates on German traditions. In total there are over 300 wonderfully festooned stalls that stretch from the city centre to the cathedral gardens and are accessible for all whom want to experience the German culture that is on offer.
When I arrived in St Ann’s Square, there was a frosty feel to the air, but for once the sun was shining and not a drop of rain was present. Lucky me!
It was Friday at noon so there was bound to be a dinner rush and indeed there was. Swarms of visitors took to the food stalls, which varied from traditional reisenbratwurst, a ‘must try’ at the event and other international dishes such as Spanish paella, hog roast with apple sauce and stuffing of course and Hungarian goulash (which I opted for and was pretty darn good!).
Unfortunately the prices on offer were, let’s say a tad ‘overpriced’. The reisenbratwurst and the spicier option of reisenkrakuar were £4.50 with the paella and goulash each averaging £4.00. The most expensive option was the hog roast, which was being sold at certain stalls for £5.00 per person. On the plus side, the servings were filling.
Obviously I have to mention the ever present beverage of mulled wine, which although isn’t exactly my cup of tea (idiom intended), like every year, I still bought a mug full from the stall Gluhwein. It’s an acquired taste, but I firmly believe if you journey to the event, you have to customarily try it. The only problem I had with the service from Gluhwein is they charged £4.50 for the mulled wine and an extra £2 for the mug. It seems the extra charge was basically a deposit for if the mug was returned to the stall then it would be exchanged for the £2. I only mention it because at this point of the day Iwas already £20 down within an hour just on food and drink alone and in pastyears the mug came free with the mulled wine, but they must have cracked wise.
When walking through the maze of stalls a more diverse side of the market became revealed in the form of delicately crafted Yuletide and Noel related gifts that included unique different coloured head warmers, unusual clothing/toys, hand crafted leather bags and exclusive bonsai trees, but to name a few.
Evening was approaching so before heading home I indulged in a freshly warmed pancake with honey, which although cost £3.00 was second to none. I do not want any students to be put-off by the high prices of the market, so I stress to everyone to make time to travel to Manchester’s Christmas Market and to take in the sights, sounds and of course the smells on offer because it really is a winter wonderland in one of the most vibrant cities in Europe.