Thursday, 22 November 2018

A Festive Day Christmas Shopping & Visiting The Manchester Christmas Markets!

It was only a few weeks ago in my '4 things I'm looking forward to this Christmas' blog post that I mentioned that I was incredibly excited to visit some of the Christmas markets and last week we managed to venture to our first of the year! We've been fond of the Manchester Christmas markets in particular for years now, it's where we got engaged 4 years ago and apart from last year, we've tried to make a visit every November. As George has been working flat out recently, some time off was very much needed and it was the perfect chance to take a day to go back and really get in the festive spirit.
Manchester christmas market - the santa on the town hall
When we arrived, before heading straight to the markets we started off with some Christmas shopping, something that I get so excited for every single year. Whilst of course it's nice to receive presents, I am all for buying for others. I get so much joy out of it and I start planning so early because I just want everyone to get something special. I think I'll always be like that, it's just one of the best things about this time of year for me. Pretty much everyone's presents are sorted now, all the cards are written and I've even started wrapping them so I feel very organised at the minute. We took the time for a festive Costa too which was heaven. We very rarely go for coffee dates or anything like that so when the Christmas drinks come out, you have to take advantage. I usually hate coffee but every year I go for their Gingerbread Lattes, George tried the new Hazelnut Latte and we also couldn't resist the chocolate yule log. It's made me want to try and make my own again now 🙊We also had to visit our favourite shop in the Arndale, the Lindt store. It's like chocolate heaven. You could honestly go mad in there with the amount they have but I don't think we did too bad this time!
Costa coffee
Lindt store, Manchester Arndale centre
After quite a bit of shopping, we headed to the main market at Albert Square. It's the place to go in Manchester at Christmas time, there's the huge Santa and the stalls are always absolutely brilliant. This year is apparently the last year it will be held there for 4 years so if you want to visit, now is the time! It is being moved somewhere else but that just made us want to go back even more this year before it all changes. Anyway, when we got there we went straight for the food. The stalls that come back each year are incredible, the food is just insane - pork sandwiches, paella, patatas bravas, cheesy potatoes, sausages, mini pancakes, waffles, pretzels, you name it, they'll have it. This year we went all out and tried so much but wow, it was worth it! 
Manchester town hall, Albert Square
As the sun was setting when we arrived, it didn't take long for it to go dark and soon everything was lit up and just so christmassy. Christmas markets really are the place to go if you want to get in the festive spirit. Everywhere you look there are Christmas trees, decorations, warming food, mulled wine, just everything you could possibly need for the perfect Christmas day out. After picking up a few bits to bring home including the most incredible muffin - honestly one of the best things I've ever tasted, it was time to head home. Unfortunately the train home was absolute hell, I have never experienced anything like it and my feet took days to recover after standing all the way back, but it was worth it.
Manchester christmas market - santa on the town hall
Photo of me and George
Manchester christmas markets - donut pretzels
I'm so glad we found time to back this year. Whilst I'm incredibly excited to visit Winter Wonderland again next month, there's something really special about the Manchester Christmas markets and that quality time together was so needed. It was ideal for a festive date day so if you're not too far away, I really recommend trying to visit.
Manchester Christmas market at night
Have you visited any Christmas markets so far this year?

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