Friday, December 14, 2007
This week I had a day off work and decided to spend it in Birmingham, a city in the West Midlands, about 200 km NW of London. Apart from being the second largest city in the UK, and also one of the most racially diverse, Birmingham has another claim to faim: it hosts the Frankfurt Christmas market, the largest Weihnachtsmarkt outside of Germany and Austria.
I love mulled wine, German sausages and yummy cakes, and could think of nothing better than pottering around beautifully decorated stalls for a few hours to get the Christmas cheer going. It was a bitterly cold but gloriously sunny day, and I loved every minute of it - including the journey there and back. It took me over 2 hours by train-tube-train each way, which may sound a lot, but it was much closer than going all the way to Frankfurt ;-)
The market had a very authentic feel to it. If I didn't know better, I'd think I was in Germany. The gifts were gorgeous and so was the food. There was everything you could hope to find at a Christmas market and then some: sausages, crepes, potato fritters, garlic mushrooms, gingerbread hearts, sweet dumplings, more chocolate than you could shake a stick at, and of course, mulled wine which you drank in special cups. I even saw some speculaas biscuits on sale and couldn't resist taking a photo ;-)
Sending you Happy Christmas greetings from Birmingham and the Frankfurt Christmas market!