Christmas markets are a big tradition here – translated from the well-known German Christmas markets across the channel. There are a few here with German themes but most are ‘British’ in nature. Each city across the country hosts some kind of fair or market which lasts several weekends around this time of year and there are many in London. Last weekend we walked through the Southbank Centre market, which was a German-themed one with 50 or so little chalets selling hot chocolate, candies, bobbles, clothing, foods, gifts, etc.
This weekend we decided to see the Monocle Christmas Market and were not at all disappointed. Monocle started off as a world affairs, business, fashion and design magazine in 2007 by journalist Tyler Brûlé (previously founder of Wallpaper* magazine) and has since grown into its own brand, including a radio station, semi-annual newspaper, films maker and archive. I have subscribed to the print magazine for a few years now (just renewed today at the market and received a 2014 daytime planner (called ‘diary’, here)for free!) and really enjoy the quality of reporting, topics and the look and feel of the issues themselves.
Back to the market. It was a fantastically curated assembly of friendly international brands and entities, all showing their wares in booths in Midori House courtyard on Dorset Street. The outside portion featured a few stands, one was the Swiss Embassy where we tried a very tasty hot-cheesy baguette (in video below), a jolly Father Christmas greeting children and adults alike, and a real-live reindeer! Inside we tried our hand at tombola (like a raffle) unsuccessfully but ventured further to see the recording studios, small cafe and another selection of market booths. A very good showcase, overall and not too crowded. Here’s a video of last year’s production.
Afterwards we headed towards Camden but took a nice stroll through Regent’s Park. Probably one of our favourite (there’s your unnecessary ‘u’, Geoffrey) parks as it’s really large, easy to access (just a 5 minute walk from work) and a great way to get out of the bustle of the city.
Bandstand near the Boating Lake
This massive thoroughfare runs straight through though there are several pedestrian paths that crisscross throughout the park. Also lots of sport pitches, gardens, a few cafe’s and the London Zoo.