A Food Festival Finder Guide to December's Top Christmas Events
Christmas is coming, whether you like it or not. And if you’ve not quite caught that Christmas bug just yet, then we’ve got a sure-fire fix that will get you feeling more festive than Santa Claus’s sooty socks. Simply swap your Friday night’s pub for a Bavarian bar, your pint of bitter for a warming mug of glühwein, and your Saturday shopping spree for an amble around some crafty stalls. But where do I find such wonders, I hear you ask? Well we’ve come up with a handy little guide to the Christmas miracles all around the country so that wherever you are, you’ll be singing ‘Silent Night’ in no time.
The stunning Hampton Court Palace is the setting for what can only be the year’s most regal festive fair. Fill up your Christmas cupboards with a whole range of goodies from the likes of Supreme Sausages and Pig in the Middle, fine wines from Pieroth, and street food on-site from Woodhouse Farm hog roast and many more. While you’re there, take a trip through the palace and explore Henry VII’s royal residence – all included in the ticket price.
Peckham’s an area renowned for its creativity, and Pexmas is a Christmas festival showcasing this in abundance. It’s a festival dedicated to eating, shopping, and singing – with hand-stretched pizzas, tasty British pork, chips on a stick, and fine coffee from the masters that are Mousetail. Stomach sated, you can focus on the fantastic and unique gift opportunities that the market provides, where you’ll find something to suit even the hardest to buy for.
If you believe that Christmas (and maybe modern life) has become a little too far removed from our natural roots, Jimmy’s Farm has the Christmas market for you. Along with featuring some of the best local and organic produce in the area for your festive fillers, there’s a farm trail complete with rare-breed animals, a hobbit house, and a zip wire. Thoroughly family friendly, this is one for kids and adults to really put the fun back into Christmas.
This traditional Christmas fair brings home everything that we love about the Christmas markets. Think great stalls, unique gifts, and a whole load of food and drink. Plus, it’s inside - so you don’t even need to wrap up (as much as usual).
York’s Shambles makes the perfect venue for the stalls of one of our absolute favourite Christmas markets. In recent years York has been slowly setting itself up as a top Christmas city break, and it’s easy to see why – real live reindeer, decorated castles, twinkling lights and plenty of festive food. A glass of mulled wine in this setting is somehow that little bit extra special.
Newcastle’s Continental Christmas Market brings together a vast array of Continental meats, cheeses, chutneys and presents into a single location. You’ll find freshly cooked waffles and crêpes, along with craft stalls. To top it all off, all profits go to the charity that is St Oswald’s Hospice– Christmas is a time for giving, after all.
On the 2nd, 9th and 16th December pick up everything you need for a perfect Christmas - there's plenty of entertainment for all the family as well. Enjoy talented local musicians, brass bands and a cappella, to gospel choirs and street theatre.
Bristol’s German Christmas Market has been growing year in, year out for the past seven years now. Bringing bratwurst, booze, and plenty of glühwein to Bristol, this is the destination of choice in the city throughout December.
The standard of crafts and local producers is extraordinary it the market itself is a maze of wooden chalets, like a miniature village. Often you’ll hear a choir outside the Cathedral singing Christmas songs and the general quaintness of Bath lends itself to a charming Christmas experience.
Whatever winter weather Exeter may bring, there’s little doubt that this is a place worth heading out for. You’ll find all the ingredients to put together your own Christmas hamper, along with a local glassblower for that unusual gift.
A star-studded event with celebrity chefs and cookery master classes, Padstow hosts one of the largest free food festivals in the UK. With a lantern parade on Friday night, a visit from Father Christmas on the harbourside and a grand firework display, it’s a must-visit.
Two hundred years of history, two weeks until Christmas, dozens of traders selling local Kentish produce, and a tearoom – this is the perfect recipe for a delicious Christmas food fair.
Throughout the run-up to Christmas, Cardiff’s city centre is transformed into a Christmas wonderland, as an exciting atmosphere envelopes it (along with 192 independent stalls, traders, and food vendors).
The Gateway to Wales has become synonymous with brilliant festivals packed jaw-droppingly delicious food. Well, their Christmas Fair isn’t any different. Take the kids on a magical adventure to Santa’s workshop and marvel at the beautiful decorations. You can learn how to make some Christmas cocktails and cook the best turkey here too.
So there you have it! A Christmas market for every gift, and a stall for every festive dish. Now go forth and be merry - 'tis the season after all.