Glee and excitement fills the air (this is only partly down to the over consumption of mulled wine) and the Christmasy atmosphere embraces you instantly as you enter the Frankfurt Birmingham Christmas market. As neither of us had been to a Christmas market before we decided to go for the biggest. With over 180 stalls it’s claimed that Birmingham is home to the biggest outdoor Christmas market in Britain. Christmas markets have long been a highlight for many people during the festive period and has this particular one has been running for over a decade we thought it was high time that we popped our Christmas market cherries!
Friday 4th December 2015 was my first ever proper experience of a Christmas market & I have to say I absolutely loved it! I enjoyed it so much I would definitely go again next year (to be honest I’d go again this year!) In this post I’ll talk you through some of the different aspects of our experience and hopefully it’ll leave you feeling all festive and give you more information about this great event.
As we entered the first part of the market we saw the ice rink & this beautiful ferris wheel. This was a pretty festive sight & just wetted our already eager appetites! The ice rink never seemed to be too packed or crowded which is great for those who aren’t too confident on the ice plus you can have your photo taken whilst skating if you wish. I can’t remember the exact prices but I think they were average for that kind of thing. We (my boyfriend Jon and I) have been ice skating before but unfortunately we weren’t able to skate on this occasion due to my bad health. Jon wheeled me around the market in my wheelchair (more on that later). The ferris wheel was priced at £5 per person but we didn’t go on it as we just really enjoyed watching it go around to be honest (yeah I know that sounds a tad sad) & it looked so beautiful at night when it was all lit up. This year the market is split into two parts due to council work that is taking place in the city. The first part is very small & mainly art & craft stalls but worth a good look around nevertheless plus there’s a chocolate fountain stall that I can say from experience is absolutely delicious and a must try for all my fellow chocoholics! There was a fair few options available: strawberries, marshmallows, fudge etc and you have the option of white or milk chocolate. I had a cup with a mix of strawberries and marshmallows with one piece of fudge topped with mainly milk chocolate and just a smidgen of white chocolate (I’m salivating just thinking about it!). I would have taken a photo but I enjoyed it so much that it disappeared too quickly. The lady that served us on that chocolate fountain stall was very friendly & accommodating too. Another stall worth visiting is the St Basil’s charity stall near the ferris wheel. They sell a range of things including: DVDs, CDs, handmade Christmas gift tags & handmade Christmas decorations among other things. All profits go to helping young homeless people, so you can pick up a bargain and feel good about helping a good cause.
I loved the fact that all of the stalls are decorated wooden huts. It looks so much nicer & so much more Christmasy than just a table. In the main market (near the Bullring) we were pleased to find a bar that had special disabled tables so that those of us in wheelchairs could actually put our drinks down too. We thought this was a great idea and used this area several times. I’m pleased to report that there was pretty good access for wheelchair users all around the Christmas market. In the main market you’re spoilt for choice, especially when it comes to food & drink! With so much to tempt your tastebuds you’ll find a delicious treat for even the fussiest of eaters. We both particularly enjoyed a Bratwurst hotdog for our tea and mini German crepes for dessert. I had cinnamon on mine & Jon had nutella on his. Both were utterly delicious and I can’t recommend them enough. Yummy!
The carousel sits in the centre and as with the ferris wheel it’s great to watch & looks so pretty lit up at night. This would be a great treat for kids and adults alike.
Crafty people and lovers of anything girly or Christmasy will be spoilt for choice at the vast array of decorations, candles, handmade soaps/bath bombs, leather goods, crystals, toys and more on offer. I picked up a Christmas rocking horse decoration, several handmade soaps and two items from the charity stall that I mentioned earlier but I could have bought a LOT more! The handmade soaps I bought were made by a company called Watkins Soap and I’ve got to say I really adored all of their products & I wish I could buy more online. I went a bit mad and purchased four Christmas soaps and one non-seasonal soap because I thought they smelt divine & the Christmas soaps looked great with their festive emblems. They’d make a great stocking filler or a little treat for yourself and at £3 each they’re pretty well priced too! (The sunshine soap was £2.50)
When I saw this little rocking horse I just had to have it! I always wanted a rocking horse as a child and now I think they’re really adorable. This little guy is now taking pride of place in my bedroom.
The atmosphere of the Christmas market was so festive and very fun. It really does offer something for everyone. The stall holders that we spoke to were really friendly too. It would be a great place to do some Christmas gift shopping, buy new decorations for your home or simply to enjoy the food & drink.
I may end up adding to this post a bit later on when I realise that I’ve forgotten something but to be honest there’s so much to see and do there that I could continue writing this post for a very long time! My advice would be to go and experience the wonder and festive cheer of the Christmas market for yourself! Entry is free and the market runs until the 22nd December 10am-9pm. Further details are available at www.birmingham.gov.uk/frankfurtmarket
For those of you that will need to or want to stay overnight then I recommend The Plough & Harrow hotel. It’s just over a mile away from the market and had very friendly staff too. The staff were also very helpful in regards to me being in a wheelchair and tried to make things as easy for us as possible. The breakfast was also rather enjoyable too offering both cooked & continental. Another added bonus is that this hotel does offer free parking (this means you don’t have to worry about finding parking near the market if you can walk or be wheeled there. It’s also one less thing to pay for!) For more information visit www.ploughandharrowhotel.co.uk
Thanks for reading Coveters. Please feel free to leave comments. I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! Love Kate x