By Hannah Ross, Second Year Religion and Theology
With Christmas fast approaching, markets are in full swing up and down the country, and Bristol’s Christmas market is great to visit as a student. But, with Bath so close, is the annual Bath Christmas Market worth visiting for a festive day out? Some friends from my hometown came to visit me, so we went to find out.
Despite our mistake of visiting Bath on a Black Friday weekend, we found the market to be worth the trouble of travelling to, especially for the food. This year, the chalet stalls are well-spaced throughout the city centre, and even though there is no designated food and drink area – which did admittedly make navigating the market on a very busy day harder – the ever-present aromas of fresh food provide for constant temptation. The sweets and desserts are all alluring, and most chalets serve seasonal items to really fuel your Christmas excitement. We tried brownies from the Chock Shop’s chalet, which had flavours ranging from salted caramel to Baileys, both of which were exact to description and deliciously sweet.
Savoury options this year are vast, and for us they included huge, stuffed Yorkshire puddings from the Great Yorkshire Pudding Co., which really made us feel like it was Christmas Day already, and for my vegetarian friend we went to The Vegan Spice’s stall. The katsu curry she ordered was gorgeously creamy, and the smell alone was enough for me to ask to taste it. The market also offers many great ideas for foodie Christmas gifts, notably the Garlic Farm stall, selling a tasty range of chutneys and jams made on the Isle of Wight. The Bath Ale company are also present at the market, selling products that would make for great, locally produced Christmas presents.
When afternoon becomes evening, the market truly turns out to be magical. The combination of the historical Bath streets and this year’s Christmas lights added to the whole experience for us, and almost made us forget about the huge and often impenetrable crowds of people.
So: is the Bath Christmas Market worth leaving Bristol for? Despite the rush of Black Friday leaving us, at times, feeling a bit hassled and out of breath, the whole market fed our collective need for something festive. If you can get your hands on a cheap train or bus ticket with a group of equally Christmas-loving friends, I would say the trip would be worth it, especially if wanting to satisfy your inner-foodie.
The market runs until 15 December, but even if you don’t make it this year, it runs annually and makes for an enjoyable day out, although I would seriously warn against ever going on a Black Friday weekend!
Featured image: Epigram / Hannah Ross
Have you visited any of the Christmas Markets in or around Bristol? Let us know in the comments below!