The weather has become considerably colder in the last week or so, which is a sign that winter is well and truly here. It also is a sign that somehow, the year has flown by, and we’re only a week away from Christmas!
I adore Christmas in London – what’s not to like? The Christmas decorations, the buskers playing Christmas tunes on the saxophone, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas (Is You)” playing in departmental stores, the pop-up ice rinks, the FOOD… See what I mean? In the recent years though, I have discovered another reason to love Christmas in London – Christmas markets. There are quite a few markets around: there’s one in Hyde Park (which also has a ice rink and various carnival type rides), one in Natural History Museum (though it’s a very small one it’s nice as it gives you something to do post ice-skating!), and of course, the one in Southbank Centre.
I’ve always loved Southbank, and could think of nothing better than a leisurely stroll along the banks of River Thames, camera around my neck (of course). There was also the added bonus of the Chocolate Festival that was happening last week…
The chocolate stalls were all huddled together just before the actual Christmas Market itself, and were selling a variety of chocolate based items:
Yummy churros (sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar), with a dark chocolate dip. This was really good as they were fresh out of the deep fryer, and when coupled with the dark chocolate – mmmmm is really all I can say. Totally worth the calories.
It was then time to continue on to the Christmas Market itself…
Every German Christmas Market needs to have sausage rolls – or as they’re more fondly known, Bratwurst. These were absolutely amazing, especially in the cold weather. I can’t say the bun that came with it was very good (I wish they’d toasted them, and smeared them with butter), but the sausages were more than enough to make up for it. There are 4 varieties sold – Bratwurst (the original), Geflügelwurst (chicken), Käsekrakauer (the cheesy one), Schinkenwurst (the smokey one). And I must sheepishly admit that we tried all of them except the Geflügelwurst. What can I say, both R and I have very little self control!
And if we hadn’t already had enough unhealthy food, we then passed by a stall selling fried potatoes – bratkartoffeln. I am a massive fan of potatoes (to the extent that I own a potato cookbook), and it was very hard to say no to this. Especially when it’s fried with bacon and onions. And served with garlic mayo! I wish I could say I felt guilty when eating this, but I wasn’t as it was simply too good.
There was also a few other food stalls whose food we didn’t get a chance to sample….
And of course, it wasn’t just about the food. There were lots of stalls selling a variety of items, all of which would make for unique Christmas presents or stocking fillers.
All in all, it was a great afternoon out in one of my favourite places in London. It can’t get much better than that, can it? Especially when you have views such as these…
The Christmas Market is open from now till next Wednesday, so do pop by for a visit if you get the chance to!
Cologne Christmas Market @ Southbank Centre
Open till 23 December 2009