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Christmas Markets Disappointment

(166 Posts)
Insomnibrat Sat 15-Dec-18 00:09:41

So this year I decided to take myself off to the Manchester Christmas Markets for the day, in the interests of making myself feel festive. The last time I did this was probably 8 years ago and generally got a lovely warm glow from the whole experience.

I've come away feeling really 'meh' about it.... I expect mulled wine to be expensive, but £9 a cup!?! And no hopes of wandering around the markets, cosily huddled up, sipping it whilst perusing the stalls, no, I was bruskly told by a security guard to 'get back behind the fence', no drinking outside the hut. Oh.

I also noticed that a lot of the original craft stalls are all food and drink now, a good 70/30% spit in favour of food, and the stalls selling crafts were repeated every 5 or six cabins along, like they were all franchises, selling exactly the same goods.

It seems to have lost it's soul, somehow.

Anyone else been left slightly cold by the Markets this year?

Insomnibrat Sat 15-Dec-18 00:11:05

To add, I did fully expect the mulled wine to be way over the odds....it just all seems a bit mercenary now.

CakeNinja Sat 15-Dec-18 00:18:18

I can’t be doing with Christmas markets,
I’m a bit of a grinch about a lot of “Christmas” events.
A lot of hype, crowds and overpriced tat.
Leaves me feeling cold.
Went to the 02 years ago for the winter wonderland (was about 15 years ago before it became the 02 and was just the millennium dome I think) and was ripped off just walking through the door for a really
Crappy funfair.
That was probably the last time I indulged in Christmas organised fun!!!
I stay out of it and take my dc to other things instead, I don’t even to a traditional Father Christmas visit with them.
Having said that, we have a steam train a couple of towns away and did the Santa train with them when they were small a couple of times. Even that wound me up to be fair. Perhaps I’m not the target audience for Christmas related excitement grin

PickAChew Sat 15-Dec-18 00:22:00

The cloisters food section of the Durham Market were about 50% cupcakes, this year. Not even Christmas baking.

MrsAmaretto Sat 15-Dec-18 00:28:38

I get what you mean, the “crafts” sold in them are sold by multiple stalls and at winter markets across the country. It’s just all very samey.

I have enjoyed going to local craft/makers markets in village halls. Some nice handmade goods and usually tea and cakes in aid of local fundraising. Perhaps there is something local like that?

KeepServingTheDrinks Sat 15-Dec-18 00:34:51

we get "christmas markets" where I live. I've been for the 3rd year now. The first year I absolutely loved it and picked up loads of presents.
Second year, didn't find much new.
Third year - exactly the same stalls selling exactly the same things.

And I NEVER eat and drink at these places, so half the stalls are dead to me!

Nousernameforme Sat 15-Dec-18 00:36:00

I know these things are run purely for profit but they don't need to make it quite so obvious.
It's like each festive event is another way to rinse money out of you come pay to see Santa extra for fast track do you want a photo we can put it in a key ring or on a mug etc etc.
Christmas is the seasonal version of sticking wedding in front of something and charging a stupid premium.

Pieceofpurplesky Sat 15-Dec-18 00:42:58

Next year go to Chester. Really small market with no repeat of stalls, visit the Christmas tree festival in the cathedral and wander around the city which is beautifully decorated

Smaller city, better decorations and much quieter!

UbercornsGoggles Sat 15-Dec-18 00:45:36

Harrogate was good this year, though quite crowded. Focus on local produce was nice.

MilkyCuppa Sat 15-Dec-18 00:51:13

I’d love to attend a Christmas market full of unique items made by small businesses selling their own wares. Unfortunately most of the stalls seem to be selling the same “imported from China” crap that you can buy on any old market stall at any time of year. Some of them try to pass it off as “handmade” while others don’t bother. Normally baubles, hats and scarves, jewellery and home decor. There are never any toys.

I don’t mind food stalls if it’s nice stuff I can buy to take home and they’ve actually made it themselves. Too many hot food stalls are pointless - I can only eat one meal. And the hot food stalls are always run by the dirtiest and dodgiest looking people!

Defenbaker Sat 15-Dec-18 00:52:41

I think most markets are full of poor quality tat, which might be cheaper than shop brought but the small savings to be had aren't worth the bother of braving the crowds. Mulled wine is a nice treat, but you could make it at home and sit in your garden, with a small bonfire or candles/Christmas lights, and savour it with family and friends - much nicer.
Years ago Armstrong & Miller did a brilliant parody sketch where they sang about The Country Market - worth a google if you want a good laugh. Sums up the way I feel about those markets.

FreshEyre Sat 15-Dec-18 00:54:21

I do think that they vary considerably but many have just lost the charm.

A bit like some of the summer food festivals. The last one we went to was pretty much cheese cheese gin cheese sausages sausages cheese gin cupcakes gin cheese sausages...

CherryPavlova Sat 15-Dec-18 00:56:49

I wouldn’t go specifically to a U.K. Christmas market but they add a little something to places we were already going to - Winchester is quite pretty. Birmingham used to be lovely to walk through.
Most is tut though.

MilkyCuppa Sat 15-Dec-18 01:02:11

I think most markets are full of poor quality tat, which might be cheaper than shop brought
Nah, if anything it’s more expensive because it’s in a cute little wooden shack with twinkly lights! I’m happy to pay high prices for genuine handmade goods direct from small businesses, but I’m not interested in imported market stall crap that I can buy anywhere.

AviatorShades Sat 15-Dec-18 01:03:02

Here we've got The German Market.

Great! I thought, the first time I went. Proper german rye bread I'd been so missing.Ditto sausages,etc. Dream on!

Yes, it's the same tat on repeat and blokes drinking beer outside in the cold when they could easily and more comfortably, drink the same beer in the pub right behind them.

Nah! Shan't bother again.

Defenbaker Sat 15-Dec-18 01:04:26

@Milkycuppa - agree with you about the food stalls - salmonella city, some of them. Plus there's usually nowhere to sit and eat, so you end up holding food in one hand while gripping your bag with the other, hoping to deter any pickpockets, jostling with crowds - just not relaxing. I think the sights and smells of a market can be interesting, but if actually need to buy something I prefer to buy from shops or online.

Honeyroar Sat 15-Dec-18 03:35:02

We went to the Manchester Xmas markets several years ago. They were OK, but even then I thought it was a bit fake. I've never got the urge to go back, and I live fairly near. Plenty of friends rave about them still though, and go regularly. They still pull the crowds and make money.

Dowser Sat 15-Dec-18 04:49:59

Went to york a few weeks back.
Yes it looked nice...but way overcrowded...I will never go back.
I bought nothing because there’s actually nothing we need.
All our houses are overstuffed with everything.
Same here...in Tenerife. Passed Christmas stalls on the way back to the apartment. Some of the stuff looked nice. A bit different...but we have so much of it at home.
However I couldn’t resist the street artist down on the beach and his spray paintings....seeing him create a beautiful picture from a white canvas and a few spray cans was fabulous and so I bought two.
As we walked passed the Christmas stalls, people were practically turning vertical to see what it was we had bought and where we had got them from.
At €10 each...they were an absolute bargain.

TheItalianDream2020 Sat 15-Dec-18 05:01:08

I went to the Bournemouth one... went a few years ago and enjoyed it. This time, barely anything there!

Also went Gloucester Quays which was a "Victorian Market" with "people dressed up in Victorian Clothes" nope, didn't see anything remotely Victorian!

ragged Sat 15-Dec-18 05:12:11

I felt same way about Berlin Christmas markets (4 yrs ago?; went to 4 different ones around city) Friend said most the stuff was made in Nepal (where she travelled to regularly). Also were a few distinctly German culture things, and the Gluwein system, plus a wide range of 'made in China' tat. Not a bad day out, but nothing especially charming.

Groovee Sat 15-Dec-18 05:23:25

We were in Manchester last year at this time and went to the Markets. Left feeling a bit Meh too. I reckoned I had spent too much time at the Edinburgh ones.

mathanxiety Sat 15-Dec-18 05:42:08

You need a hip flask.

Letshopeitsallok Sat 15-Dec-18 05:48:29

Where do the markets go when it’s not Christmas?

mathanxiety Sat 15-Dec-18 05:52:28

Or a ticket to Chicago.
www.momondo.com/discover/article/best-christmas-markets

MeltingWax Sat 15-Dec-18 06:03:35

I agree with you OP but then I also feel the same way about some of the European Christmas markets people rave about. I can't believe some people actually travel especially for them.

I used to live and work in the Czech Republic & then in Germany. The first year I went to the Prague Christmas markets they were ok but then it got very samey.

Then I moved to near Lubeck which is known for its markets. It was quite nice and alright as I happened to be there but I would never have made the trip especially.

Now I just find them quite a muddy and stressful experience.

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