It's Christmas Eve and for the first time in years, I've broken tradition. Usually on Christmas Eve I spend the afternoon pampering, having finished my present shopping and wrapping weeks ago, with a few festive movies, some mulled wine. My Christmas Eve's for as long as I can remember have included a Lush bath; putting to use some of their Christmas limited edition products. This year is different, as I'm spending Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day at my partner's families, which means no hogging the bathroom for luxurious pampering! But there's one tradition I've stayed true too, and that's visiting the Nottingham Christmas market. I headed over to the Christmas market last week with the lovely Megan (Seek My Scribbles) and had such a lovely time, I just had to share my visit with you all!
I know everyone loves the Birmingham Christmas market, and I'm sure I've visited in younger years (I have family in Birmingham), but for me, there seems little point gallivanting to Birmingham, when Nottingham has it's very own festive market to offer. The Nottingham Christmas market is a touch different to the infamous Birmingham one, which is predominately a German market (technically called The German Christmas Market) whereas in true Nottingham style, the Nottingham Christmas market is all about showcasing Nottingham businesses, handmade crafts and independent stores, with some lovely food in between (and alcohol, Nottingham always has to have alcohol) One particular stall we visited had me captivated; a stall of handmade goodies, all from Nottingham!
Let me introduce you to Zeus the Lion. Adorning the Handmade Nottingham stall, Zeus is an impressive alternative to the traditional taxidermy. Created by ZeusLabels, entirely made from fabric. Isn't he stunning? There's a whole host of beautiful pieces like this available from ZeusLabels and I am definitely thinking about picking one up, for our future home in the new year.
Some of my favourite parts of the yearly traditional Nottingham Christmas market, is learning all about the handmade and independent brands available right here in the heart of Robin Hood County. Other fab brands which featured in the Handmade Nottingham stall include Rhea Clements, Katie Stainer, Bags & Riches, Hannah Stevens, Much Ado About Stuffing, Newton and the Apple, Fizgig Glass and Daisycat. All of which I will be checking out properly in person in the new year - I love handmade crafts!
I am a sucker for a good piece of fudge and my first stall visit every year is straight to the huge fudge truck. This year I resisted; I'm still on my healthy eating, Weight Watchers lifestyle change and fudge, no matter how delicious it looks and always tastes, is a big no-no for me at the moment. That said, I am off to Nottingham after Christmas with my partner so my good behaviour may change...
I was delighted when I spotted one of the confectionary stalls was adorned with two huge, human size Nutcracker's. After my recent visit to The Royal Opera House to see The Nutcracker ballet, I knew I had to sneak a shot of one of the beautifully decorated life-size Nutcrackers. I think it just made the market feel all the more magical for me, as the ballet had been such a wonderful experience.
The Nottingham Christmas Market is sticking around until early 2014, so if you can pop over for a visit it's well worth it. I had such a lovely time browsing the different stores and I certainly felt festive. There's also a lovely little ice rink (the skaters were too fast for me to get a photo in focus!) and a lovely cabin for a festive tipple - Megan and I had a mulled wine with fresh orange slices, it was delicious! (see this Instagram photo)
If you've visited a Christmas market this year, I'd love to know what your favourite parts were and which one you visited. Did you pick up any Christmas gifts, or just go to soak up the festive atmosphere?
But for now, it's time for me to head off and start Christmas properly, with loved ones and family, and wait for Santa to come... Wishing you all the most lovely, merry Christmas!