By Kitty Lawton, Third Year English
Of all the places I’ve visited since the easing of coronavirus restrictions in May, Bristol Independent Christmas Market has, by far, left me with the greatest desire to return.
Located in the very heart of Bristol City Centre, the Christmas market houses over 40 independent stalls. Here you’ll find an assortment of friendly traders selling seasonal items, unique presents, Christmassy drinks, and, above all, some of the yummiest food I’ve ever eaten. The market opened on 29 November and is available to visit seven days a week until 23 December.
Depending on which way you enter the market, you’ll first see the Jager Barn Bar. Sure to warm up any pair of cold hands, this vivacious and well-lit outdoor bar sells a range of warm alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, such as toffee apple cider and mulled wine. And, if you’re feeling particularly festive, you can book exclusive use of one of the private, cosy igloo pods which surround the bar and ensure a well-heated experience.
Among some of the best food stalls at the market include Mr and Mrs Olive, Handmade Cookies, Churro Kings and Jager Grill – all of which are surrounded by twinkling lights and adorable Christmas decorations.
Last but not least, is the market’s selection of gift stalls which offer a wide range of locally crafted, unique items perfect for original Christmas gifts. Ranging from handmade woodwork to jewellery, these ethical and sustainable products act as the perfect alternative to buying your presents from Amazon, which (it goes without saying) has already had a profuse impact on our environment. Local, independently sourced businesses are better for the environment due to their smaller carbon footprint compared to large companies like Amazon.
This year, therefore, instead of buying your friend’s Christmas presents from chain high street shops, try out an independent alternative, such as the market’s soap stall, to purchase some of their beautiful handmade soaps as the perfect festive treat.
We all have a responsibility as part of the Bristol community to support our local economy by making a conscious effort to buy products at local, independent stores. Considering that small businesses have suffered the greatest impact from the pandemic, it is these enterprises which consequently need the most support in such uncertain times. Judging from the bustling crowds and the difficulty of finding an available seat at the food stalls and bars, Bristol Christmas Market is receiving an abundance of support this year, with the recent lockdowns acting as a reminder of what really matters: community – especially during tough times.
'Bristol Christmas Market is receiving an abundance of support this year, with the recent lockdowns acting as a reminder of what really matters: community – especially during tough times.'
Situated outdoors, the market is also the perfect place to visit with friends if you’re still feeling anxious about the virus and aren’t ready to socialise within enclosed, public spaces.
Besides, seeing as last year’s restrictions led to a Christmas-market shaped hole in all our hearts, why not take extra advantage of the opportunity to mooch around some enchanting stalls and inevitably find a gift with that little extra authentic Christmas charm?
Featured Image: Epigram | Kitty Lawton