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Photo credit: @GC_HeadHunter via Twitter

A Taste of Manchester this Christmas

18 December 2018 | Carlie George Hedmann

The nights are getting longer, the temperature is dropping and there's a giant light-up Zippy dressed as Santa in Albert Square. It can only mean one thing: Christmas is in full swing in Manchester! There's nowhere better to fill up on festive food and fun.

There's nothing less Christmassy than an empty stomach, so we suggest you head to The Bock Biere cafe, for their signature "Christmas Dinner fondue". The fondue is unique to the cafe and this Winter it includes fluffy roast potatoes and crispy Yorkshire pud waffles, alongside chicken or 8-hour slow-cooked beef brisket, all to dip into their famous hot red wine gravy. With vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options also available, as well one of the largest collections of Belgian and Begian Biere to chose from, this European cafe is a real must.


Image credit: @BockBiereCafe via Twitter

After all that eating you may want to rest and digest for a while, so head to Manchester Opera House where you can sit back and yell "he's behind you!" to your heart's content. Follow Cinderella's rags-to-riches adventure as she attempts to win Prince Charming's affections, while her wicked step-mother and ugly step-sisters attempt to get in her way at every step. Running all through December and starring Gareth Gates as Prince Charming and Coronation Street's Connor McIntyre and comedian Les Dennis as the Ugly Sisters, it's the perfect Christmas treat for the whole family.

Manchester's Christmas Markets are not to be missed – all nine of them. Award-winning and supremely festive, even the Grinch would struggle to resist the Christmas spirit here. No matter how much you may have already eaten, you'll always manage to find room for some of the treats the market has to offer. The Dutch pancakes are a personal favourite – a sweet treat smothered in Nutella, and it's officially impossible to stop at just one. This year the selection available is bigger and better than ever. If you're in the mood for something more savoury there are a number of meals from across the globe; the German bratwurst is always popular, as is the paella. If you want something a little bit more traditional, why not go the whole hog and find one of the pig roasts? For those of you with a sweet tooth, there are two stalls dedicated to cookie dough alone. You don't even need to wait until Christmas Day for your Christmas pudding fix! Ginger Viking desserts are offering a triple-stacked dessert challenge: chocolate lava cake, jam roly poly pudding and Christmas pud, topped with lashings of hot custard and cream. And it's not just about the food (although it's mostly about the food). The Markets are the perfect place to get a present for... well, anybody. With almost 300 stalls spread across the city centre, you'll find the perfect present for Mum, Grandma, even the dog, all in one place.


Image credit: @DiveNQ via Twitter


The Northern Quarter's Tib Street Tipi in is the only place you'll want to end your evening. Transforming their beer garden into a tipi that wouldn't look out of place in Lapland, there's nothing better than sitting in the fairy-light lit haven, wrapped up in a blanket, a steaming cup of mulled wine in hand. The cocktails deserve special mention in particular; the 'Yule be sorry' may pack a punch, but you definitely won't be sorry for buying one...or three.

There's nothing quite like Manchester at Christmas, especially at night. Even if you're not planning to buy anything, just take a wander. You may stumble across the Christmas "Carol-oke" huts in Spinningfields, you may arrive at the Church of the Holy Name just in time for Carols. If you're lucky, you might even bump into Santa... we've heard he's partial to a Dutch pancake or two.
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