• Christmas Gift Ideas

    Handmade Christmas Gifts For Kids Round Up

    Christmas markets are the perfect place to shop for Christmas presents that are unique, often handmade, and most certainly robust and built to last. But if you can’t make it to a Christmas market this year, I’m creating a series of blog posts to guide you to the right places on the internet where you can buy from independent sellers and makers rather than hitting the high street. The first post in this series has focused on handmade Christmas decorations, featuring products created from wool, wood, pebbles, reclaimed materials and more! In this post we’re turning our attention to gifts…

  • Christmas Decorations

    Handmade Christmas Decorations Round Up

    Is there anything more exciting than the day you bring all the Christmas decorations out of storage, and unwrap them ready to trim up the house? (trim up is such an 80s phrase – I’m getting old!) It signals the official start of Christmas in our house, and usually takes place on the first weekend in December. Our Christmas decorations collection has gradually built up over the last 10 years, mainly from treasures discovered at Christmas markets across Europe and it’s so exciting to look over them every year before we put them to decorative use! We have a lovely…

  • Food & Drink,  Markets,  Top Tens

    Our Tips for Visiting a Christmas Market!

    In the past decade, we’ve visited our fair share of Christmas Markets, both with and without children! We’ve learned over the years that a few things can make a huge difference to the overall enjoyment of your trip, so we’ve put together a quick guide of how to get the most out of your visit! Cash Make sure you have some cash on you when you visit a Christmas Market, especially if you’re intending to buy food there. Although some stall holders will take card payments, many are cash only, or certainly would prefer cash payments! We’re not suggesting you…

  • Christmas Decorations,  Locations,  UK

    Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market

    Now that we have two toddlers, we always do our research ahead of a Christmas Market visit, to make sure there will be enough to keep them, as well as us, occupied! As Exeter is fairly local to us, we decided to take a chance and pay a visit, even though we thought it might be relatively compact and didn’t advertise any children’s activities. However, as soon as we arrived, it’s fair to say it immediately exceeded our expectations! Set in the grounds of Exeter Cathedral, the Christmas Market is a feast of festivity from the moment you arrive on…

  • Markets,  UK

    Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

    If you can’t visit a Christmas Market on a crisp, cold evening the weekend before Christmas, then a crisp, sunny day in November comes a close second! That’s how the weather treated us on our visit to Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market when we visited on opening weekend! The Setting The entrance to the market certainly sets the scene, a tree lined walk to the Cathedral itself gradually reveals what’s tucked away behind the magnificent building… a beautifully presented Christmas Market with wooden chalets, ornate carts selling glühwein, roasted chestnuts, toasted marshmallows and many other festive treats! The Stalls There are…

  • France,  Markets,  Routes

    A Short Christmas Markets Trip in Northern France

    If you are considering booking a last minute Christmas Markets trip but don’t want to travel too far into Europe, here’s a route that you could cover in a long weekend if you’re happy to take the ferry or Eurotunnel and drive to each destination. We plan each route starting in Calais, as it’s the place that most people will arrive in northern France, but you can use Google Maps to adjust your route if you use a different crossing. Start your trip by visiting Reims. Fill up on Champagne and enjoy the wide range of products available here! When…

  • France,  Markets

    Amiens Christmas Market

    Firstly, it’s important to point out that we visited Amiens Christmas Market on a cold, rainy, Monday morning in early December… so it’s fair to say the Christmas spirit was somewhat dampened for this particular trip, after we’d spent the previous evening in Reims. However, the stalls lining the streets were beautifully presented and festively decorated, which added a cheery element to an otherwise gloomy day! Amiens is one of the plethora of cities in northern France that boasts a jaw dropping cathedral, and we started our visit there. It’s within easy reach of Calais, meaning you could easily take…

  • France,  Markets

    Reims Christmas Market

    Reims is a city in northern France, and conveniently situated in the heart of the Champagne region! We visited the Christmas Market in 2014 on route back to the Eurotunnel after a road trip around northern Europe, as it’s a handy stopping point just 3 hours from Calais. We weren’t expecting too much from a Christmas Market in northern Europe (with the exception of Paris) but we were pleasantly surprised! There was an interesting variety of products on offer, many of them locally made. The first stall we came across was this one, a jeweller who made her creations from…

  • Food & Drink

    Good Glühwein Recipes

    As we’ve discovered during our Christmas market visits, there’s a huge difference between a freshly made Glühwein, or mulled wine, and the pre-prepared bottled stuff that can be bought in any supermarket! There’s nothing like a glass or two of homemade Glühwein while you’re trimming up the house (on the first of December if you’re anything like us) or on Christmas Eve when you’re settling down for the evening; as well as tasting delicious, it fills the house with a glorious festive scent, negating the need for those fake supermarket air freshners! There are hundreds of recipes on the internet…

  • Markets

    What Makes a Good Christmas Market?

    As this blog indicates, we’ve visited quite a number of Christmas markets in the last few years, some of which we’ve loved and revisited, some that we’ve been hugely disappointed with! Which begs the question, what separates a good Christmas market from a bad one?