One of the things I love most about Christmas has to be the Christmas markets. There is really nothing better to put you in the Christmas spirit. I have been to a lot of Christmas Markets over the years, but the one I went to today in Winchester next to the cathedral could very possibly be my favorite.
The Christmas Market has been going since 2006 and, modeled after the traditional German markets, attracts almost 400,000 people a year. It was absolutely packed, making it a slow walk to get around. But that wasn’t a problem at all, it just gave us more time to admire the dozens of little wooden chalets all lined up, each filled with something unique and interesting. One called the Mouse Trap had a selection of beautiful cheeses, another had handmade wooden toys including a flying dragon I almost bought. Then of course there was the traditional roasted chestnuts filling the air with their holiday scent, and a small but very popular ice skating rink in the centre of it all.
One of the highlights for me, other than the hot chocolate of course, was a little stall with a small open fire going, where a young man was toasting marshmallows on sticks and selling them for 50p. What a fantastic idea.
There were quite a few spots that offered hot chocolates, all with whipping cream and mini marshmallows on top. After making the rounds I chose to order mine from Chocodippity. I expected the hot chocolate to be really sweet but it was surprisingly good. Dark and bitter, made with water not milk, done well. With the cool weather and the Christmas cheer it was really enjoyable.
Verdict: If I had more time I would do the tour and could easily have 15 reviews of hot chocolates for the Christmas market alone. And then of course there is Winchester where we passed another half dozens really fantastic looking spots. I’m going to have to go back and spend some serious time there. Who knew. Winchester Christmas Market, right next to the cathedral, Winchester, UK