From early November, Manchester takes on a more continental feel as the Christmas markets roll into town. ‘Zippy’, the beloved six-tonne Santa Claus has been hoisted into place to keep a watchful eye over the hub in Albert Square. If you want to escape his gaze, there are markets at several other sites in the city centre. The markets are, of course, a perfect place for Christmas present ideas: you’ll find an eclectic mix of produce including crafts, art, and homewares. Be sure to check out the famous street food and drink too. As connoisseurs of the scene, our favourites include: Northern Soul grilled cheese (Albert Square, pictured), Lakeland hotdogs and lamb burgers with blue cheese (Albert Square), George & Shelley’s mulled gin and home made pie bar, outside the National Football Museum in Cathedral Gardens, the ‘two fat ladies’ gluhwein and pretzel stall, which sells gluhwein for 50p less than other vendors (it’s the same average quality – just next to Lakeland, Albert Square) and, finally, the Great North Pie Co, positioned rear-on to the Town Hall in Albert Square and serving up northern pie realness in flavours such as Lancashire cheese and onion and 14 hr braised beef and ale. See also tiny Dutch pancakes in Exchange Square, best served with canned whipped cream and Nutella and the ubiquitous, freshly baked coconut macaroons. Happy eating.

Fri 10 Nov – Wed 20 Dec, Albert Square; St Ann’s Square; King Street; Exchange Street; Exchange Square; New Cathedral Street; the Corn Exchange; Market Street; and Cathedral Gardens, Tel: 0161 234 5000, 10am – 8pm (bars until 9pm), FREE entry,

Fri 10 Nov - Wed 20 Dec
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Mon 18 Dec 2017