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Christmas markets - am I the Grinch?

(97 Posts)
MrsCampbellBlack Sat 24-Nov-12 15:15:00

My local town is in the middle of christmas market season - oh so jolly. Or in my opinion a load of overpriced tat blocking the streets.

So am I the grinch or do others loathe them too?

WelshMaenad Sat 24-Nov-12 19:51:49

The Cardiff one is usually lovely (and in a pedestrianised area anyway do not really in the way) but I've not checked out this year's offering yet.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Sat 24-Nov-12 20:00:18

Ah, well, perhaps it is just as well that my passport has expired and I cannot go this year, anyway!

echt Sat 24-Nov-12 20:01:00

They don't really do Christmas markets in Australia, though farmers' markets of the Armstrong and Miller type abound.

We went to a Spanish festival in Melbourne last weekend which consisted a vey long street, 95% of which was food to go, admittedly of a Latin kind; Mexican, Spanish, Brazilian; and a small stage. Boilingly hot and crowded as hell.

The year before, a French festival which consisted almost entirely of wine sellers and property developers.

Only the Greek and Indian festivals have an authentic edge here.

TravelinColour Sat 24-Nov-12 20:08:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

the candles are unusual in shape and design don't think they are scented. Its a guy from a place called the wax studio.

givemeaclue Sat 24-Nov-12 23:17:33

German sausage

MathsCat Sat 24-Nov-12 23:46:38

I refuse to go to the Brum one on a Saturday! Met a friend there last Sunday for a drink, the beer stall not too busy and the lights got me feeling Christmas-y the amaretto helped Otoh it makes it even more of a pain to be in the city centre at weekend, as if it needed making any busier near Christmas!

Startail Sun 25-Nov-12 00:13:44

One Saturday last year the Birmingham one caused a people jam from Centenary square, through the central library arcade, through Chamberlain square, where we were forced to stop for spiced alcoholic refreshment and all the way down New street.

Unfortunately we were parked the far side of centenary square so we had to return through the chaos as well.

It is very Christmasy and fun, but I wish a few less people thought so to.
it is this busy, everywhere

Although I do apologise to Brum for the subject of the piece. I have spent a lot of time in central Birmingham and never had anything stolen or any trouble what so ever.

The toe rag who stole my bag of a desk at the university is another matter.

Startail Sun 25-Nov-12 00:16:48

on a more cheerful note I had to post the Bull

ZebraOwl Sun 25-Nov-12 00:22:04

YANBU - although Actual Proper Christmas Markets in the places that know how to do them properly (so mostly in Germany!) are splendid grin

PimpMyHippo Sun 25-Nov-12 00:23:28

I used to like the idea of Christmas markets until I lived in Winchester for a while... trying to quickly "nip" to Sainsbury's for some emergency milk while the streets are crammed with people wrapped up in scarves and shuffling like unbearably slow zombies... <rages quietly>

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sun 25-Nov-12 00:30:44

When I went to the one in Bruges they had grapes dipped in bright red toffee - they were lush!! Has anyone seen those in the UK?

Does anyone have a recipe for the bright red toffee (not ordinary toffee with colouring).

SuffolkNWhat Sun 25-Nov-12 09:50:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kundry Sun 25-Nov-12 10:54:53

You are so not the grinch. When my DP (now DH) moved to Germany last December I thought aha, perfect opportunity to visit him and see one of the famed Christmas markets - his town is supposed to have one of the best.

What a complete disappointment. We went to 4 of them and while one was clearly the best, the bar was very very low. Stalls selling overpriced tat (we still regret not buying the 1000 euro Swarovski crystal mecchano Eiffel tower), rubbish decoration, an appalling puppet display - so disappointing. Yes there were sausages and Gluhwein and other sorts of heated alcohol, if you wanted to pay the ridiculous prices.

It was also freezing cold. By the time we got back to the flat I nearly had frostbite. And while we were in bed 'warming up' his landlady let herself in without knocking shock

OK the last bit isn't the fault of the market but it was still mystifying why anyone would think they are good.

BionicEmu Sun 25-Nov-12 12:46:14

We went to the Christmas market in Birmingham last year - never again!

The layout was ridiculous. As you went further along the stalls on either side got closer together, creating a funnel where you just couldn't physically move. I spent an inordinate amount of time just standing there, in the middle of the path, just waiting for people 20 yards ahead to move so the rest of the crowd could move. They didn't even seem to have much worth buying anyway.

However, a few years ago I lived in Cardiff, and they used to have the most amazing Christmas Craft Market. I.don't know if its still there, but there were blacksmiths, woodworkers and all sorts. I used to get loads of present shopping done there in an hour or so!

whois Sun 25-Nov-12 13:56:05


I loved mulled wine and all the food stalls :-)

ArtVandelay Sun 25-Nov-12 14:24:15

I'm really surprised by how good our market is here because it's just a boring industrial city in NRW and having come from Bavaria, where Xmas market is like religion, I thought it wouldn't be as good. Went last night with DH and got a bit p*ssed having nearly died of fright on the ferris wheel. It's certainly an expensive night out though and I rarely buy stuff apart from glass tree ornaments if there is something funny like a corncob or a crocodile. It was very romantic though and we had a lot of fun. So yes, you are a little bit grinchy smile

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sun 25-Nov-12 15:04:19

YABU I love them. As a market I love christmas markets. We do loads and make a fortune for my boss!
It's great fun, I cant sell cheese and pies fast enough, and people are cheerful.
There are grinches out there, but they're generally fun for their entertainment value!
Yes, it's a pie, yes, it's £3. Yes, you can get 2 for £1 in Sainsburys. But, those won't be hand made with proper hot water pastry, the meat wont be free range or wild caught, and they definitely won't taste like this!
I buy lots of things from the markets that I work on. It's usually lovely stuff. And I get traders rates!

TessCowDirect Sun 25-Nov-12 15:14:21

Saggy I would love for you to sell your cheese and pies on our market instead of the chocolate covered strawberries on a stick

AnnaRack Sun 25-Nov-12 17:04:10

Sparklingbrook I love that Armstrong & Miller sketch! grin

Sparklingbrook Sun 25-Nov-12 17:12:32

DS1 likes to sing the song when he sees the Farmers' Market in town Anna something about crap in a basket. grin

evilhamster Sun 25-Nov-12 17:57:18


I love Christmas markets!

We go to the Cardiff one sometimes, although it's quite far away. Whenever we're in Reyjavik (where I'm from) or Stockholm (where we go because DB lives there) they have lovely christmas markets, with beautiful handmade things, food, some music but not much, nothing cheap or tacky really.

I love everything Christmassy!

<starts singing carols>

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