Local Christmas markets spark festive cheer

Illustration: Nicole Slyusareva

As the winter holidays approach, cities across Europe are preparing to host their annual Christmas markets. Between selling Christmas wares and serving seasonal food and drink, Christmas markets often fill a prominent place in winter festivities. For those hoping to get into the spirit of the season without going too far from home, St Andrews may have the answer. Three local businesses will host Christmas markets in the course of the next month: the Christmas Emporium at the Old Course Hotel, the Christmas Market at Mitchell’s Deli and the Luxury Christmas Market at Fairmont St Andrews. They are each hosted on different dates with no entrance fee, so those interested in visiting all three Christmas markets will have the opportunity to do so.

The first of these events is the Christmas Emporium, hosted by the Old Course Hotel on Sunday 29 November between 11 am and 4 pm. An established favorite beginning to the holiday season in St Andrews, this year the Christmas Emporium is one of the concluding events of the St Andrews Food and Drink Festival. The Festive Market and Food Hall will be open throughout the day, offering a wide range of crafts and gifts ideas from Fife, as well as food and seasonal produce from around St Andrews. The hotel itself will be festively decorated, with visits by carol singers and Santa Claus throughout the day.

Additionally, the Christmas Emporium will offer other events elsewhere in the hotel. These will include cookery demonstrations from 12 pm until 3 pm and a café in the Sands Grill restaurant, which will serve hot chocolate, tea and coffee. From 12:30 pm until 2 pm there will be a jazz brunch in the Road Hole Restaurant (pre-booking recommended) and from 12 pm until 3 pm there will be a hog roast at the Jigger Inn. The final event will be afternoon tea from 2 pm until 4 pm (again, pre-booking recommended). Turnout throughout the day is expected to be somewhere around 2,000 people.

Illustration: Nicole Slyusareva
Illustration: Nicole Slyusareva


The second event that will take place in the coming month is the Christmas Market hosted by Mitchell’s on Tuesday 8 December between 5 pm and 8 pm. At a smaller venue and for a shorter duration than either of the other two events, the Mitchell’s Christmas Market will likely be a more low key affair with a greater emphasis on socializing with food and drinks. While there does not promise to be a wide range of gift ideas for sale, Mitchell’s will be offering special samples of Christmas coffee and cocktails, and will have mulled wine and cider available.

Mitchell’s Christmas Market will feature live acoustic music, as well as a visit from Santa Claus. Additionally, seven other businesses will hold stalls at the Christmas Market. These include Thistly Cross Cider Co Ltd, Allan’s Chilli Products, Good Life Farming, Watson’s Chocolates, Amaryllis, Gourmet Dog Treats and Sofia’s Aloe Secrets. Though not as large as the other Christmas markets, the Mitchell’s Christmas Market may prove more subtle but just as festive.

The final Christmas market in St Andrews this winter will be the Luxury Christmas Market, a two-day event on 12 and 13 December from 11 am until 4 pm at the St Andrews Fairmont Hotel. In the past, this event has been part of a Christmas in November event put on by the Fairmont. While Christmas in November will not be returning, the Luxury Christmas Market will take its place. As the name may suggest, many of the market stalls at the Luxury Christmas Market will offer higher end items, such as handmade tweed accessories and fine jewelry. Stalls will also offer artisan bread and cakes.

The market will include stalls and displays from thirty exhibitors, ranging from Eden Mill to Little Bird Café and The Jewelry Tree. Like the Christmas Emporium, the Luxury Christmas Market will feature additional events alongside the main market. The full schedule is yet to be released but promises to include live entertainment, seasonal movie showings and visits with Santa Claus. This will also likely be a large event, with turnout expected to be well over 2,000 people during the two days of the event.

For more information on the markets, check out their Facebook pages.


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