It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the Manchester Christmas Markets have finally thrown open their cosy wooden doors from now until the 5th January. Through the bustling squares and cobbled streets of Manchester, the scents of roasted chestnuts, spiced gluhwein and hot crepes will drift through northern winds. This will be the 20th instalment of the festive feature.
This year’s Manchester Christmas Markets will take over nine different sites across the city centre – Albert Square, St Ann’s Square, King Street, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, Exchange Square, Cathedral Gardens, Market Street, and The Great Northern Square (weekends only).
Albert Square will remain the hub of festive fancy, with a slightly reconfigured layout to accommodate the refurbishment of the Town Hall. Meanwhile, Cathedral Gardens will once again be home family-friendly activities, such as the Ice Village and a skating rink.
This year will also see the expansion of the markets, which are set to spread into Piccadilly Gardens for the first time. Hosting new food and craft stalls, the gardens will also feature its own bar area – bringing the total number of traders across the Manchester Christmas Markets to 300.
The much-loved Manchester Mill Exchangede crepde crep will return to Exchange Square this year, while Elsie May’s is also back, serving up decadent hot loaded cookie dough and warm Belgian brownies. Besides feasting in the hotchpotch of Christmassy food and drink huts across Manchester, there’s also the opportunity to take home fresh produce and browse an assortment of quaint gifts, homewares and confectionary.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourite Manchester Christmas Markets stalls for you to seek out.
Little Spain: Serving up freshly cooked paella, flavoursome chorizo rolls, spicy patatas bravas, hot sangria, Cava, and Spanish beers.
de Creperie: Tiny, doughy pancakes and waffles, (we recommend asking for the Nutella option).
Manke Markets Ltd: Delicious gluhwein and opulent hot chocolate.
Northern Soul Manchester: Bringing you the North West’s best grilled cheese sandwiches, served with assorted fillings, such as mac ‘n’ cheese, freshly made drinks and milkshakes, as well as their notorious ‘Hard Shakes’
Mamma Mia: Hearty Italian food, including meat, vegetarian and vegan pasta dishes, alongside prosecco, Italian lager and wine.
Mr Bombay: Tasty Tandoori chicken wraps, masala paneer wraps and various meals, including chicken karahi, tadka dahl, basmati rice and masala fries.
Cheshire Cheese Company: cheese, chutney, jams and spreads.
Silver Flowers: Real flower jewellery made with silver and set in resin.
Cuisine Provencale: Rich, garlic potatoes, Provencale potatoes, Provencale chicken and garlic mushrooms and cassoulet.
Le Moulin Au Chocolat: Bringing you fine teas and warming liqueur coffee, hot chocolates, biscuits and indulgent cakes. There’s also mulled English wine and Elderflower wine.
Cheshire Cheese Company: Selling a selection of flavoured cheese, chutney, jams and spreads.
Macaroons: Fresh Coconut Macaroons.
RJS Candles: Hand-made candles, the perfect gift for a loved one this Christmas.