My Christmas Market Bucket List

Around this time of year is when wanderlust well and truly kicks in. Strangely enough I can cope with seeing people enjoying the picturesque, out of this world, Maldives islands or hopping on cruise ships to various places in the Caribbean. But when I see someone enjoying a festive Christmas market holiday I just want to be there too. I’m not sure what it is about them, they just make me feel so cosy and content, even though it’s probably -7 outside. Does that make any sense? I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way.

Bath Christmas Market

Bath Christmas Market

My Christmas Market Bucket List has grown and grown over the last few years. And if I was honest I could easily list over 20 countries. But for your sake, as I’m sure you don’t want to be here all day, I’ve kept it to my five top cities.

The first is Amsterdam which is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. There’s so much going on around the Christmas period – from Ice Skating and traditional village Christmas markets in Museumplein to the Winter Parade and the Christmas Light Festival. There’s something for everyone. I can just imagine walking along the beautiful canals with a Mulled Wine and waffles in hand.

Another place I’d love to visit is Switzerland. I added this to my Bucket List when my friend, Jess visited a few years ago and I’ve written about some of the many reasons I’d like to visit here. Jess said Switzerland is exactly what you dream of when you imagine Christmas markets. Very traditional, very beautiful. And if the Christmas markets aren’t enough, I’d visit for the Swiss chocolate alone.

Paris is another – I’ve been to Paris a lot of times, but never around the Christmas period. Paris has the traditional Christmas village running throughout November and December but also has lots of smaller Christmas markets popping up throughout the city. These include the Notre Dame Cathedral and Champ de Mars Christmas markets.

A city that has always been high on my bucket list is Prague. And I can image it will be even more beautiful around Christmas time. Havel’s Market is a year long market but it gets a “festive facelift” in the Winter months. It introduces traditional arts, crafts and wooden toy stalls as well as the usual food, fruit and veg markets. There’s also a Christmas market at Prague Castle which means you can tick off some cultural hotspots at the same time as sipping on your hot cocoa.

And lastly Berlin, with over 60 Christmas markets throughout the festive season. I don’t think you can write a Christmas Market Bucket List without mentioning Germany in there somewhere. WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt runs throughout November and December and is the most famous Christmas market with over 150 stalls. As well as the traditional market there is also the Klunkerkranich Rooftop market which I can imagine would be incredible with the panoramic views.

Which cities are on your Christmas Market Bucket list? Have you visited any of these?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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BBC Good Food Show Winter

On Sunday my friend Jess and I made our way into Birmingham for the BBC Good Food Show Winter. It was at the National Expedition Centre which isn’t too difficult to get to from Bristol – around an hour up the M5. Traffic dependant of course, which seemed to be on our side yesterday. The BBC Good Food Show Winter is one of my favourite festive events ever. With over 450 exhibitors and live cooking shows (including the wonderful Mary Berry) it really gets me in the Christmas spirit.

Myrtles Chutney BBC Good Food Show Winter

Myrtle’s Kitchen Chutneys and Jams

Of course we got stuck into the food as soon as we arrived at the show. I think this is the only time I’ll ever advise you not to have breakfast in the morning. You will honestly fill yourself up on the hundreds of samples on offer from each of the food exhibitors. My breakfast and lunch consisted of cheese, fudge, crisps, chilli sauce and panattone – probably in that order too. I had to try everything didn’t I?

As well as comfort food shopping, we got to see Mary Berry cook up a feast in the Big Kitchen. Mary Berry cooked chicken with roasted cauliflower and buttered green beans with a banoffe pie for dessert. It felt so surreal seeing her in person – I’d love to meet her one day. A lot of the recipes I use are either hers or based on hers. I swear by some of her methods.

Chockshop Chocolate Brownies BBC Good Food Show Winter

Chockshop Chocolate Brownies

I didn’t buy too much at the BBC Good Food Show as I’ve been to three food shows over the last three weeks and my fridge is already stocked up with cheese, chocolate and fudge. But there was a few things I couldn’t resist, including 10 bags of nuts from VIPnuts. Yes you heard correctly, TEN. I was just about to buy the 3 for £5 offer until I realised they were doing 10 for £10. Of course I jumped at the offer, especially as they do my favourite – Wasabi Peas. I picked up a few bags of these, as well as Barbecue, Chilli Lemon, Hot Toffee, Honey and Mustard and Hot Chilli. The nuts were mainly for my fiancé, I just wanted the Wasabi Peas.

I also picked up 3 packets of Pipers Crisps – Salt and Vinegar, Jalapeno and Sweet Chilli as I’ve always loved Pipers Crisps. Crisps are my go-to “lounging in front of the TV on an evening” snack. I’d choose crisps over chocolate and sweets any day. I have to put a handful into a bowl though otherwise I’ll sit and eat the entire pack.

Flower and White Meringues BBC Good Food Show Winter

Flower and White Meringues

The last couple of things I bought was a Ruby Mist cheese truckle from Snowdonia Cheese and a Louisiana Hot Sauce from Skylark Trading. I really didn’t need to buy more cheese after bringing home 5 lots from the Ideal Homes Show. Although it doesn’t expire until next May and there’s not a chance it’ll still be in my fridge then. The hot sauce is to add to my soups, chillies etc as I love giving it a little bit of a kick. If you didn’t know already, I love hot food.

I definitely could have gone mad and bought everything but I think I’ve got just the right amount of comfort food to take us right through until Christmas. And then we’ll be stocking up again with all the leftover Christmas food…

Did you go to the BBC Good Food Show Winter? What did you buy?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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Free From Festival at The Passenger Shed Bristol

On Saturday Sam and I made our way into Bristol for the Bristol Free From Festival. A festival dedicated to Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Refined Sugar Free living – with plenty of Vegan and Vegetarian choices too. The festival was in The Passenger Shed, right next to Bristol Temple Meads station meaning it was SO easy to get to. It cost £10 per person including a welcome drink on arrival.

We arrived at the Free From Festival at lunchtime so were eager to get stuck in to the samples on offer. Almost every stall had their products to try which is always nice when you’re trying new products. Often when I think I’m going to love something, I hate it and when I think I’ll hate it, I absolutely love it. Is that the way with anyone else?

There was so much on offer, from Avocado Mayonnaise, to Freeze Dried Fruit and even Roasted Lotus Seeds (more about those later).  As well as food stalls such as Pho and Shakey Shakey serving lunch. And of course Tipple on Tap We tried everything we could and then went back around to buy our favourites. One thing that particularly caught my eye was reusable “cling film” by The Beeswax Wrap Co. This can be washed with warm water and used again and again and again. I’m trying to cut down on single use plastics as much as I possibly can and this is such a great alternative.

Free From Festival Bristol

We picked up quite a bit from the Free From Festival, including our Goodie Bag that was kindly gifted to us. I have a Highlight saved on Instagram where I go through all of the products in a little more depth but I wanted to mention some of my favourites.

These include some Avocado Mayonnaise, a Gluten Free Beer from Daura (my fiancé thoroughly enjoyed this), Cauli Rice with Broccoli which I’m looking forward to trying. And some Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuits from Rhythm 108 – these were divine.

Our highlight of the show were the Lotus Bites from Yum Taz. We ended up buying 5 packs of these as they were on offer for 5 for £5. These are roasted lotus seeds seasoned with natural ingredients. And like nothing we’ve ever seen or tried before. We bought 4 different flavours, Sweet Chilli, Turmeric, Tomato and Beetroot and Pineapple. The Sweet Chilli are currently our favourites.

The last few things we bought were some Pineapple Snacks from Walaroo, Wasabi Snacks from Kenko Okara and some Strawberry Smoothie Bites from LioBites. These were absolutely delicious and just melted in your mouth.

Did you visit the Bristol Free From Festival? What did you pick up?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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I was gifted the tickets to attend the Free From Festival but as always opinions are 100% my own.

A Shopping Trip To Clarks Village

Clarks Village is somewhere I went SO much when I was younger as it was (and still is) one of my Grandma’s favourite days out. But until this trip we hadn’t been in years. And boy have I been missing out. Not only is Clarks Village only 45 minutes on the motorway from Bristol. There are also some HUGE bargains to be had. There are over 90 stores including Levis, Joules, Radley and of course Clarks with as much as 60% off. As well as restaurants such as Pizza Express and Prezzo and coffee shops including Costa and Caffe Nero so you can really make a day of it.

Clarks Village Haul Radley Handbag

The first place we headed to was Superdry where I treated myself to some new tracksuit bottoms for New York. These were 50% off reduced from £50 to £25. £50 may seem like a lot to spend on tracksuit bottoms in the first place but Superdry do the comfiest ones EVER. I bought my last pair in around 2007 and I’ve only just got rid of them so they’re definitly worth it.

Next was M&S which I always make a beeline for at outlets as they’re one of the only brands that stock my awkward size bras. I managed to find a couple of underwear sets in my size at just £9-£12 for the set.

We then made our way to Yumi which is a brand I hadn’t heard of prior to our trip. I was eager to find a jumpsuit and Yumi didn’t disappoint, the shop was full of them. I narrowed it down to these two and ended up going with the blue one. They were all around £20-£22 each, I wanted to buy the entire shop.

Lastly I headed to Radley and found this gorgeous brown cross body bag (pictured) reduced from £169 to just £45. I couldn’t miss out on that one. I’ve got quite a few larger handbags but only one smaller one which I tend to use all the time. It’s nice to have a couple to chose from and brown will go with almost anything.

I also got a couple of bits from Yankee and Cadbury – two places I can never resist on an outlet shopping trip. The Votives and Wax Melts were as little as 50p at Yankee and the big jar candles started at just £10. I can’t remember what I bought at Cadbury. I’m sure it was chocolate that I didn’t need and have since demolished.

 

Have you been to Clarks Village? What bargains did you find?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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Frightmare Halloween Festival at Over Farm Market

Last week Sam and I made our way to Over Farm Market to see an OUTDOOR screening of Shaun of the Dead as part of the launch of the Frightmare Halloween Festival. We were both pleased when we heard this was the film showing as Shaun of the Dead is one of our all time favourite films, one of those films you find yourself quoting almost daily – Cornetto anyone? It was our first “Alfresco” cinema experience and it didn’t disappoint – we loved getting snuggled up under a fluffy blanket with nothing but the stars above us, sipping on our hot chocolates. We probably could have layered up a little more though, it gets colder than you think! This was the last outdoor cinema showing of 2018 but they’ll be plenty more in Summer 2019 – you can sign up here to find out more.

Frightmare Halloween Festival at Over Farm Market

Frightmare Halloween Festival at Over Farm Market

As it was part of the launch of The Frightmare Halloween Festival the field was full of Live Scare Actors – think The Walking Dead, they were brilliant and didn’t break character once.

The Frightmare Festival consists of 5 Live Scare Attractions; Caged, Haunted Hayride, Seance, The Offering and Wonderland. You can find out more about each of the attractions here. The dates for the festival are the 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th and the 24th – 31st October.

As well as the Live Scare Attractions, Frightmare has plenty of food and drink on offer. From the Over Farm Barbecue to Fat Toni’s Pizza, Waffles and the Castaway Kitchen serving Greek Gyros and Halloumi Fries. Which one are you going to go for? The Gyros and Halloumi fries are taking my fancy…

You can find Over Farm Market just outside of Gloucester at GL28DB. And if you’re local I’d definitly recommend a visit, even if you can’t make the Frightmare Halloween Festival itself. They have a farm shop, deli, butchers, bakers and a tea room. As well as animals (ostriches, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep and ponies) to say hello to. Even pick your own strawberries in the summer which is one of my favourite things to do.

Tickets to the Frightmare Halloween Festival can be bought here. Have fun!

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

Be sure to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my latest posts!
You can find all of my social media links in the sidebar. I am @AmiRoseBlog on everything.