It’s that time of year again, and the festive spirit is well underway. Christmas is undoubtedly my favourite time of the year – there’s nothing quite like the magic of it all. The classic songs, the mince pies and mulled wine, and of course, traipsing around UK’s best Christmas markets. I’m lucky enough to live in Sheffield which is renowned for putting on a good show from November to December each year, and the Christmas market at Fargate is one of my favourite places to be. Here are some of Sheffield Christmas Market best features.
A Day at Sheffield Christmas Market
If I had a pound for each minute I’ve spent at the Sleigh Bar this Christmas season, I’d be quite well off! This log-cabin themed bar is situated in the heart of the Christmas market, and serves Baileys hot chocolate, mulled wine, hot spiced cider, and an array of other warming festive beverages. There are wooden tables with benches outside, and 3-4 wooden booths inside, so it can be a bit difficult to get a seat at times. Aside from this aspect, though, it’s the perfect place to go for a drink if you love all things Christmas (like me). Oh, and getting a selfie with the giant polar bear/snowman outside is a must, too!
Thor’s Tipi Bar
Situated in Sheffield, Leeds and York, Thor’s Tipi Bar is pretty damn unforgettable. This pop-up bar is basically just a huge tent in Sheffield’s stunning Peace Gardens, and is themed on a Nordic winter wonderland. Think low wooden benches with faux fur throws, open fires, dim lighting with fairy lights dotted around, and an all-round cosy atmosphere. Open until 11 pm each night, this one-of-a-kind hideaway serves hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows and a range of soft drinks for the kids. Or, if you’d prefer something stronger, try the delicious mulled wine, hot cider, or one of the ales on tap.
What’s a Christmas market without Santa’s grotto? Whether you’re a family with kids or you just fancy a bit of fun, Santa’s grotto at Fargate is definitely worth a visit. There does seem to be a bit of a queue a lot of the time, but this isn’t always the case. Santa’s friendly elf assistants are known to be super friendly and welcoming, and Santa himself definitely lives up to his good-natured personality that’s so often depicted. Children even get a little gift to take away.
For me, the food is one of the major aspects of attraction wherever I go, and Sheffield Christmas Market is certainly no exception to that rule. From hot roasted chestnuts to Bratwurst sausages to Chinese noodle stir fry in a box, visitors to Fargate are left spoilt for choice when it comes to cuisine. My favourite things to eat at the Christmas market have to be venison burger, served in a bun with an optional spoonful of cranberry sauce or horseradish (I opted for both) or a roast pork sandwich, served in a bun with pork crackling, mustard and horseradish. My mouth is watering just remembering how delish it was! There are even stalls dedicated to sweet treats, too. Sample one of the marshmallow sticks dipped in chocolate fondue, taste an edible snowball, or keep it simple with a mince pie covered in icing sugar.
Sheffield Christmas market is the best place to come if you prefer giving your family unique gifts at Christmas time, rather than ‘run-of-the-mill’ ones with no character. Each stall, in a pretty log cabin theme, provides something a little different, from personalised wooden name ornaments to photography canvases to one-of-a-kind toys for the kids. There’s something for everyone here, and that’s why it’s so fantastic.