Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And in Belfast, right beside City Hall, it looks a whole lot like it. The Christmas Market returned to the grounds of the Belfast City Hall for its 12th year!
Opening from Saturday 19th November to Thursday 22nd December 2016, the gates will be open every day for visitors to explore a number of countries from across the world including Germany, Spain, France, Italy and a number of local traders.
The Christmas Continental Market arriving at Belfast City Hall always signifies the start of the festive season and the approach of Christmas. Filled with an exciting selection of hand-painted pottery, continental food, decorations, and a wide range of festive arts and crafts from across Europe and beyond, a stroll around this market is a must to get you into the Christmas spirit.
There are now 20 additional stalls located at the front of Belfast City Hall outside the main entrance gates, featuring numerous local food and craft producers to celebrate Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016.
The fabulous City Hall gardens are transformed into a bustling Continental village providing a great European shopping opportunity in the heart of our very own famous City Centre.
While some of the stalls sell things at outrageous prices in comparison to what they would cost you elsewhere and the rampant swarms of people can be slightly irritating, some of the unique home made gifts are simply beautiful and the market provides a joyful Christmas experience like no other!
One of the quirkiest stalls new for this year is the Belfast beard company. Each year the market reserves one chalet for a local business to display their products for free. This year’s pitch winner was Laura Henshaw, with her fabulous array of luxury beard products for the suave Belfast gent.
A few of my own personal favourite stalls would have to be; Mallow Mia/ chocolate by Sera Beth, La Tartiflette and the Churros Stall.
You can get three varieties of marshmallow with a Belgian chocolate dip for £3.50 and if you’re looking after your figure the gingerbread is fat free.
La Tartiflette offered amazing French cuisine including Roquefort Mussels, Creamy Chicken and Garlic Potatoes, but the clear star of the show is Tartiflette- a mesmerising mix of cheeses, potatoes, onions, bacon and cream.
All in all a worthwhile way to spend the afternoon even though I did not get anyone a Christmas present, I was very good to myself and came away feeling great.