Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Fall in Love with Manchester this Christmas: A day at the Markets

I just adore Christmas. I've been celebrating since late September and my enthusiasm isn't dwindling one bit. Why? Because I live in Manchester.

Mamma and her Bratwurst

Mother dearest and Brother Joe came up this weekend to drop off my new car. I know. I'll get to that in a moment. Mother doesn't normally travel to Manchester this close to Christmas (she lives in Devon) because Adam and I will be going southward for the holidays very soon. But, as I said, the car needed delivering and so we made a weekend of it. (The car is a Peugeot 206 light blue convertible and I'm a little but obsessed.)

We got up early on Monday and, after booking the day off work, set out into the sprawling metropolis that is Manchester city centre. We tackled Market Street before the crowds and then proceeded onto the markets at St. Ann's Square and Albert Square. We bought sausages, we played with decorations, smelt cheeses, we just inhaled Christmas and when the drizzle started we sat in a wooden hut called the Windmill and we ate Bratwurst and we drank German lager and hot chocolate under heat lamps.

For those that are unaware of the splendour that is the Manchester Christmas Markets, they are singularly the best place to be at Christmas, except for the Rockefeller Centre ice-rink in New York City and sat on actual Father Christmas' lap in Lapland on Christmas Eve eating chocolate and stroking Rudolph. They are that good. The attention to detail, the fact that the food is actually that fabulous, everything about them is superb and I just love them.

nom nom nom

Mother, the chairwoman of the Chamber of Commerce in her local town, spent our entire day walking around saying: "Oh my god, that is beautiful... Oh my god, look at that.. Oh my god, you wouldn't get this in Devon... Oh my god, No one does it like Manchester... Oh my god, is that moose head singing?" etc. etc.

After the drizzle we proceeded down the King Street Markets and into House of Fraser, which for those non-Mancs is lovingly referred to as Kendals by Mancs because it was called that before HoF took over. Kendals is also a fabulous place to be at Christmas and I shall indeed blog about it soon. 

After a browse and a wee, we popped to the Teepee that has been set up at The Oast House in Spinningfields (I know) and sat by the fire with wine before a gander at the Ice-Rink in Hardman Square.

Wine in the Teepee at The Oast House

By then it was time for home to get dressed for Cocktails at the newly refurbished Cloud23 Bar on the 23rd floor of Manchester's Hilton Hotel and then dinner at the amazing Don Marco's family owned Italian on Liverpool Street.

Mamma in her new Planet dress eating an Olive on Cloud23

Adam and his cocktail on top of the world in Cloud23

It was the most gorgeous and scrummy Christmassy day ever. Merry Christmas Manchester.