As this post goes live I’ll be sat on a plane to Paris, with the best Friday Feeling ever. It’s so close to Christmas now and everyone, even the office scrouge has a ‘festive buzz on’. While I’m swanning – there’s no other way to describe it, while I’m swanning around Paris and yes I am smug about it, you can be making the most of Newcastle’s Christmas markets before they disappear. The may even finish today actually – in which case get yourself down for your festive fix before it’s packed up for another year.
Truthfully, it’s definitely not the biggest or the best Christmas market in the UK, but it’s right on our doorstep and there’s something about seeing your own city transformed for Christmas isn’t there? I think this year I spent more time at the market than I have any other year, mainly due to my many Christmas shopping trips – thanks Fenwicks for all the 20% off events, I’ve probably spent all my 20% savings on parking for each event!
Anyway, the market has been located smack in the middle of Newcastle, surrounding Monument for the past couple of weeks. It’s always popular despite the similarities in stalls year on year. I definitely think the sweet stall was a LOT bigger this year, and the gyros stall located right outside Urban Outfitters was one I haven’t seen before. I LOVE gyros. Fat, greasy, lush.
The Morroccan food always smells amazing, but I’ve never yet tried it, I’m always distracted by the crepes and churros. I think if you’re eating out somewhere in town then picking up desert from the market is a good idea. We went along to the Broad Chare one Thursday night for some bar snacks (get the scotch egg, it is perfection), and then walked back up Dean and Grey Streets to get the metro home via the market.
There were some quite nice little trinkets, and local artwork among all the food stalls as well. I always see plenty of these at the Quayside and Tynemouth markets every weekend, so if you miss the official Newcastle Christmas markets you can still get gifts like this if you head to some of the other regional markets.
I went to the one at Tynemouth station a couple of weeks ago, some of the Christmas decorations and crafts were absolutely gorgeous, very unique one offs, and they weren’t tacky at all. I really think completely transforming your whole house at Christmas is the way to go. I have no time for miserable Grinch people. Who wouldn’t want new coasters with stag heads on, or festively plump cushions? Or ‘clutter’ as most males that I know call it. Christmas Clutter. I’m a fan.
Then there’s the Grainger market. I won’t go into it as I already have here, but another great place to get your cheese board, or Christmas pudding flavoured sausages from Sausology – seriously. Then there’s the mulled wine from La Casa, and Christmas loaf from The French Oven. If you just want to make the most of the cold weather and twinkly lights then a good option this weekend is Enchanted Parks up at Saltwell Park until Sunday too. I won tickets but unfortunately can’t go.
So even if Newcastle’s Christmas markets make their jolly way this weekend, there are plenty of other options in the run up to Christmas to get your festive fix. I’ve yet to get along to Hadrian’s Tipi and I’m very aware I’m running out of time, I’ve been to The Botanist twice and that never disappoints it really is a winter grotto of wintery fun. There’s also Fenwick’s window still bringing in the crowds. But I suppose for this weekend, Paris will have to do instead…au revoir!
If you’ve got this far thanks for reading, you might already know that I’ve been nominated for a UK Blog Award and the competition is currently in the voting stages. If you don’t mind, and I haven’t pissed you off being smug about Paris, I’d really appreciate your vote! It only takes 30 seconds to put your email in. You can find the voting page here. Thanks so much.