With the festive season soon upon us, the York Christmas Market offers a wonderland of wooden chalets each filled with food goodies, gift ideas and piping hot street food to warm you up in the cold winter air. The market opens from the 16 November until 22 December with over 100 stalls in Parliament Street and the Shambles Market, a Yuletide Village and much more festive fun across the city. I have been lucky enough to have a sneak peek at which stalls are opening in Parliament Square so be sure not to miss them!
If you’re looking for something to fire up your taste buds, the Smokin’ Blues Smokehouse and BBQ trailer is here for another year offering street food such as Texas beef brisket and juicy BBQ rib meat rolls using locally sourced Yorkshire meat and artisan bread –a real taste of America right within our city walls. The York Roast Co. will also have their trailer at the Christmas market alongside their two shops in Stonegate and Low Petergate. They offer their famous YorkyPud Wrap with a festive twist, all the elements of a Christmas Dinner wrapped up in a giant Yorkshire pudding; if you plan on limiting yourself to buying just one thing, make it this.
The original YorkyPud wrap became a social media sensation making it onto the likes of LadBible and placing the business well and truly on the map, causing the two shops in York to have a constant queue bursting out of the doors. The queue is well worth the waiting time. Other favourites are hot roast potatoes covered in thick gravy, tubs of pork crackling and hand carved roast pork, apple sauce and stuffing sandwiches – try not to drool too much thinking about it. Looking for something sweet after your festive YorkyPud wrap? Krep (a crepe and galettes van) offer an ever-changing seasonal menu from vegetarian savoury crepes to the sweet Nutella with white chocolate, bananas and strawberries crepe. Alternatively, I recommend Brown and Blond Brownies, who to date have melted over 60 870 bars of chocolates to make their mouth-watering brownies. Flavours include such delights as butterscotch fudge, pecan and amaretto, white choc chip, and cookie dough caramel.
Of course, it would be rude to preview the market and not include the legendary Thor’s Tipi. With a setting of a roaring log fire and cosy ‘Viking’ furs scattered among the benches, there is a profound feeling of cosiness, making the Tipi a good shelter from both the cold and the crowds. If you are looking to get out from the general bustle of the market, try a tipple. The popular Tipi offers themed ales such as Thor’s Thunder and Dante’s Helle’s Lager, along with the more traditional choices of mulled wine and hot ciders. Even these more stable options provide a luxurious and festive edge: the cider can be spiced with cinnamon and orange, and the hot chocolate with the alcoholic extra of Baileys, Amaretto and many more. Thor’s Tipi invites you to “raise a tankard…and toast our Viking God” which I think is a perfect way to end a long day browsing York’s Christmas market. If you are interested in going to the Christmas markets, head down to Parliament Street to find all these stalls and more. York is brimming with festive activities so put on your hat and gloves and head into town to enjoy the twinkling lights, delicious food, unique gifts and a warming tipple or two (or more!). A full review of the markets will become available online once they have officially opened.