As November draws to a close, Christmas Markets are starting to open across the country.
But let’s be honest, the best thing about the markets (aside from all the festive cheer), is the fabulous artisanal foods and crafts on offer.
Sample the finest cheeses, chocolates and chutneys, all made by producers here in the UK.
Here are the ones to travel to:
Produced In Kent Christmas Fair, Canterbury
’Tis the season for… finding gorgeous craft items, picking up unique gifts and sampling delicious, locally produced food at the first ever Produced In Kent Christmas Fair.
Independent businesses on site include Canterbury Cider, whose first blend is named after one of the family farm Tamworth pigs, Basher, Karara curries and chutneys, owned by Jodhpur-born Paul Babra, and English and Kent wine specialists Corkk.
November 28, producedinkent.co.uk
Royal Welsh Winter Fair, Llanelwedd
Firmly established as one of the most popular attractions on the British agricultural show calendar, the Royal Welsh Winter fair will feature the very best of Welsh food producers showcasing their fare, alongside competitions between local farmers.
Christmas shoppers can explore hundreds of stands, demos and exhibitions, and soak up the festive atmosphere. Traders such as The Celtic Pie Company, luxury hamper company Pantri Swswen and the Wickedly Welsh chocolate shop will be selling their wares.
November 29-30, entry price £16, rwas.wales/winter-fair
Food and Gift Fair, Lincolnshire
This year will be the 20th Lincolnshire Food and Gift Fair, featuring more than 150 exhibitors, Santa’s workshop, and top chefs and producers sharing their top tips to help you cook up a festive feast – with samples too.
November 27-28, lincolnshireshowground.co.uk
Christmas Market, Southampton
Transport yourself to a small German town where, housed in their traditionally designed Alpine chalets, stallholders will sell hand-made gifts including environmentally friendly and recycled goods, candles, clothing and jewellery, as well as Christmas decorations. Food treats include German bratwurst and waffles accompanied by live music.
November 18 to December 23, visitsouthampton.co.uk
Eats ’n’ Treats, New Forest
One of the biggest and best local food and drink events of the year takes place at Brockenhurst College in the heart of the forest.
It provides an opportunity to discover and sample a wide range of luscious local produce, including baked goods, jams and chutneys, savoury treats, coffees and teas, beer, cider and more.
There will also be lots of great crafts (including cute robins, above) to purchase too – perfect for stocking fillers.
November 28, adults £1, kids go free, brock.ac.uk
Festival de Noël Braemar, Scotland
Braemar’s Festival de Noël has a line- up of local food and drink producers, kicking off festivities in the Deeside village a fortnight before Christmas.
Revellers can enjoy mulled wine and a hog roast outside St Margaret’s Braemar before a Celebration of Christmas concert on December 11.
From December 10-12, stmargaretsbraemar.org.uk
Christmas Market, Chester
Sixty festive wooden cabins will sell gifts and seasonal food against the backdrop of the Victorian gothic town hall.
Artisans such as Josh Johnson Ceramics, who sells his own hand-made designs, Roberts Country Fayre, which makes award-winning layered pies and the Cheshire Candle Company will have stalls, and street food outlets in the indoor market will host their regular Foodie Fridays event.
From November 18 to December 22, visitcheshire.com
Christmas Market Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Blenheim Palace’s Great Court will be transformed into a spectacular seasonal market, with traditional wooden chalets showcasing a range of festive treats from more than 50 designer-makers and artisan food and drink producers.
Get in the festive spirit and try winter warming tipples, from local artisan beers, traditional and flavoured rums to US wines and gin from the Hebridean island of Colonsay.
Great British cheeses, award-winning sausages, gourmet nuts and locally sourced charcuterie are perfect for seasonal feasts and those with a sweet tooth won’t be disappointed by chocolate kisses, brownies, marzipan and much more.
November 19 to December 19, blenheimpalace.com/Christmas
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