The German Christmas Market arrived back in Birmingham a few weeks ago. Over the years it has become a source of debate among the locals (of which, after nearly 20 years of living in the city I now consider myself to be a part of). Like Marmite it is both loved and loathed in equal measure, with the call for the now duplicated stalls to be replaced by some of the many incredible independents that the city has.
I’ve never been one to stand around in the crowd to drink Gluwein, but I do try and visit at least once a year. I like the atmosphere, the lights and – of course – a rather massive German sausage followed by chocolate and banana crepe and some of those yummy mallow chocolate-covered things. And poffertjies. And large slabs of garlic bread that creates breath so potent that it could kill a vampire at one hundred metres.
Over the years The Bloke and I have become strategic in our visits, actively avoiding any time during Friday – Sunday. Earlier in the week we were invited to go to the Press Night of How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at the Alexandra Theatre, so we decided that – as it was a Tuesday evening – we would get into town a bit earlier and take the opportunity to have a look around when it was guaranteed to be less busy.
We chose wisely. It was dark by the time we arrived but wasn’t half as busy as I would normally expect. We indulged in a sausage, had a nice wander round while being a bit silly and enjoyed the experience without being jostled and shoved by angry members of the public all clamoring to get to the bars.
I do love the city when it is lit up and sparkly…