Southbank Winter Market
9 November to 27 December
The ever-present food stalls by London’s Southbank Centre get a festive makeover, but the conspicuous mulled wine and sausages can’t conceal the capital’s appetite for global flavours. From Pad Thai to Swiss raclette and Belgian waffles as well as craft beer, ciders and gauche seasonal cocktails, expect a decidedly cosmopolitan selection of food and drink.
Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market
16 November to 5 January
Edinburgh’s extended festivities overshadow everything else in Scotland, and its Christmas market is key to this. Stroll the city’s central park gorging on Scottish treats such as handmade shortbread, sugary tablet and Angus beef burgers while swigging whisky shots and mugs of hot toddy to keep warm.
Padstow Christmas Festival
6 to 9 December
A year-round foodie destination, Padstow’s Christmas offering revolves around a riverside marquee. There you can try the mouthwatering pies of the Devon-based Wessex Pantry, taste Figgy’s puddings, steeped in Somerset Cider Brandy and Hanlons Port Stout, and relish the sugar rush of freshly made churros at Choccy Churros.
Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre
22 to 25 November
This Suffolk market is nothing short of a food and drink extravaganza. And, if you’re not seduced by East Anglia’s most successful chefs cooking seasonal dishes in an open kitchen, perhaps you’ll be won over while sampling lemon, raspberry and rhubarb liqueurs by local brand Fen Spirits or fruit gins, sherries and vodkas by drink specialists So Drinks.
Manchester Christmas Markets
9 November to 23 December
Manchester has fully embraced Christmas markets and embellished them with a sprinkle of gastronomic ingenuity: you can swig Bailey’s hot chocolate instead of glühwein, wolf down Northern Soul’s grilled cheese sandwiches and savour last year’s big hit, the Yorkshire pudding burrito, served up by Porky Pig.
As featured in Issue 3 of National Geographic Traveller Food.