Sunday, 15 December 2013

Bristol does Christmas

A Christmas Nativity SceneThis post is mainly an homage to Bristol's quirk christmassy efforts, but you can't mention Bristol without first paying tribute to it's phenomenal creativity. This is the city that made a beautiful, cultural feature of the inside of a busy roundabout. The Bearpit is the first port of call for bus travellers, and it really amuses me. It forms the pedestrian intersection of various subways into different parts of the city. It was big, grey, dirty, imposing and a hive of crime and antisocial activity. But Bristol didn't like that, so Bristol made it pretty. 

Bristol is all about culture. As a city, it embraces the differences that make us human. Everything is beautiful and alive, from the quirky sculptures to the crazy and colourful... wall art. Sorry, I can't call it graffiti, because the negative conotations do not reflect the talent and imagination of our city's artistic community. 

A collage of Bearpit art, Bristol

So, how does a city with a reputation for vibrance and originality tackle Christmas? How about with a gigantic advent calendar, an authentic German market, and, um, freakishly massive light bulbs?

Scenes from Bristol's Christmas Market

You can't help but feel 'Christmassy' when you visit Bristol at the moment. The market is lovely, and encompasses a wealth of different cultures. There is a central German bar, providing authentic beer and a fabulous atmosphere, a great place to leave bored husbands during Christmas shopping trips, or drown your sorrows, if the crowds get too much! There are so many different food outlets, it's actually really educational. I took my daughter along, and we learned about the foods of different countries, from Belgian Waffles to German Bratwurst, and Spanish Churros, which were our personal favourite! Although my husband voted for the half-metre hotdog as a winner too! 

Churros in Bristol's Christmas Market

The Spanish churros, from  the Churros Amigos stall are absolutely delicious. They are long doughnut sticks that come with a pot of Belgian chocolate dipping sauce. At £4 each, they sound a little pricey, but one pot (pictured) is easily enough for two people to share and the taste is out of this world! (Not to be confused with Burros, which I found out afterwards, is the Spanish for donkey! *blush*)

Giant advent calendar in Bristol's Christmas market

The giant Advent Calendar is a sight to behold and a brilliant addition for the children. Every day, at around 4pm, Father Christmas arrives to open the next door, and hand out presents for the children. This will continue until the 22nd of December, when he will be heading back to the North Pole to make sure everything is ready for Christmas Eve.

Goods at the Christmas Market

These amazing apples are actually candles and the decorative masks came in different sizes including little stocking fillers! I loved the hanging decorations, they were so pretty, and had they their own motor, making beautiful hypnotic patterns!

Santa's Grotto at The Galleries, Bristol

I do think this is a really brilliant family shopping experience. We certainly had a lovely time, and left feeling thoroughly festive! It's a rare treat these days to find somewhere with opportunities to buy gifts that are a little bit out of the ordinary for Christmas. And, if the stalls don't grab you, there is always of course, The Galleries, where you will find Father Christmas in his grotto. Look up to see the reindeer!

Huge decorative lightbulbs at Cabot Circus, Bristol

... and let's not forget Cabot Circus and those gigantic light bulbs. Credit where it's due, they were someone's bright idea!

Happy Christmas, from Bristol!


1 comment

  1. I've never visited Bristol but it looks like a beautiful city! I love churros too, any time the market is in town I have to get a portion! x


© The Parent Game. All rights reserved.