Christmas Shopping Continental Style

Working in Events Marketing, I spend a lot of my time perusing the net finding the latest London haunt, place to visit, meal to eat…However my latest ‘task’ has been to source the best European Christmas we are talking….REAL schnitzel, Vin Chaud and crepes galore…

Every year, London and the wider UK is treated to an array of visiting continental markets that showcase their festive cheer, entice us with their gastronomic specialties and get us reaching deep into our winter pockets for their handmade artisan gifts. There is no doubt about it that these visiting fetes are a staple part of any cities winter attractions and they rightly so, fill us Brits with a sense of festive merriment. However why do we settle for a mere sample when we could enjoy the bona fide spectacle?

Take a look at my top three European markets..give yourself an early Christmas present and book those flights!

The Budapest Christmas Fair,  Vörösmarty Square, Hungary

One for the foodies. With over 100 stalls all centrally located around a giant Christmas tree, this gastronomic festival really is one Christmas market to whet your appetite. All vendors are subject to selection by a professional jury, ensuring that traders represent the best of Hungarian food, art and craft. If you enjoy nothing better then meandering among unique stalls wrapped up in your knits, snacking on local delicacies such as stuffed cabbage, grilled meats and strudel then head to Budapest now! Bored of mulled wine already? You could try Hungary’s seasonal tipple of choice krampampuli. A delectable concoction of dates, figs, cinammon, rum and white wine! The open kitchens in Vörösmarty Square will be sure to treat you to the best of Hungary’s culinary delights…start that Christmas feast early!

Winter spiced cider

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagan, Denmark

The best Christmas spectacle. If Christmas to you means sounds, lights and laughter then head to Denmark to sample the true festivity. Start your evening by watching the Tivoli Boys Guard Parade march around Tivoli lake to the sounds of traditional Danish brass bands. After having your musical fill why not have a go on one of the markets many thrill seeking rides and attractions.  If you can stomach it take a trip to the Lakeside to watch the vision of thousands of the lakes inhabitants being fed under special UV lights. To end your night at Tivoli Gardens, get yourself a danish beer and some yuletide Scandinavian grub and take a pitch lakeside to watch the ultimate display of lights. The illumination of the lake by light, water, smoke and fire all to the tunes of traditional Balkan sounds.


La Fete de Noue, St Helier, Jersey

The Winter Isle. One doesn’t necessarily think of Jersey when listing memorable Christmas markets, but this Norman-French island is not to be missed of the Lettice list. If you want the best of festive food combined with a multitude of Christmas arts and crafts then Jersey’s Fete de Noue is the market to visit. Take a stroll through the labyrinth of stalls amongst the spirited hustle and bustle of St Helier whilst sipping traditional mulled cider and munching on French style crepes. If your looking for a true Christmas market not too far from home then La Fete de Noue is the one.