Written on: 14/12/2006 by The Daddy (70 reviews written)
A lot of the stores very similar
Some overpriced tat
When The Daddy got dragged to Manchester's Christmas markets he was intrigued but also somewhat worried. I'm not usually a fan of shopping but Christmas is the one time of year when I can just about stomach it.
The good news for fellow alpha males is that the Christmas Market boasts a fine selection of food stands and beer options. A good feed and a few pints of high percentage grog always puts me in a better frame of mind and at the markets this proved to be a fine tonic.
There is a decent ambiance at the markets, by Manchester's usual standards people were in a decent mood and enjoying the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping. When it comes to the shopping side of things, the market is okay but nothing to write home about. At the St Anne's Square end of the market are all the Austrian and German traders - this is where the decent food and drink is. Here you can find lots of typical German toys - old fashioned stuff like chess sets, swords and parlour games. Although quaint I'm not sure if you'd actually buy any of this stuff for the youth of today.
Move further up and when you get away from the food and The Germans it is a generally a bit of a lottery - indeed half the stores seem to sell the same stuff. It's mainly what I would call trinkets, brick-a-brack and art. There were a few bargain buys, the wife purchased some quirky jewellery and some of the art was well priced - however certain stores were asking quite a lot for what was essentially tat.
You can't miss the market itself, it stretches from St Anne's Square across to the Harvey Nicks store. The market stalls are all in Alpine (wooden huts to you and me) to give it that Scandic Christmas time feel.
Don't get confused with the shabby market up at the Picaddily end - this is a real joke and wouldn't look out of place in Macclesfield (the poxiest market I've ever been too).
All in all a decent trip out and definitely a nice change from the actual shops. Worth the train fare for the beer alone.
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