Southbank winter market 

Southbank is again this year hosting its notorious Christmas festival. It is expected millions will visit the area in the run-up to Christmas. The winter festival will have a variety of different stalls selling everything from hand-carved wooden wine bottle holders to handmade soaps all located along the waterfront in Southbank. The winter market starts  November 9th  and will continue until January 6th, 2019. The festival also features great places to get food, a Rekorderlig winter bar selling all sorts of winter-themed drinks including mulled wine and spiced cider and festive rides.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by a flock of tourists who all seemed to be mindlessly walking and routinely stopping to stare at lights or take pictures of something on the ground who knows.  I walked up to the entrance and was immediately approached by a security guard who checked my bag which I can only assume was to make sure I didn’t have any alcohol in with me and would be forced to spend £6 plus on a drink.

The floor plan was unexpectedly bumpy considering the Southbank’s floors being relatively flat. As you follow the path around you are met with the aromas of hog roast mixed with mulled wine and there are lights everywhere and you really do start to get in the festive mood. There were various different types of food there,  from your bog-standard chips to authentic Jamaican food it all looked great but what stood out the most was the free-standing two-floored bar built purely for the Christmas festival.  Inside the decor was unexpectedly nice with large oak tables, white faux fair sofas and Christmas anthems playing in the background, the staff, however, looked less than happy to be there but who could blame them I wonder how many times a day they had to explain what mulled wine is to tourists.

I decided to go for the spiced plum Rekorderlig which definitely did not disappoint! The taste was everything you could expect at a Christmas festival fruity, tangy but with a slight kick of cinnamon. As I sat and sipped my lukewarm pint on the balcony of the bar I had a good look at customers on the ride in the festival, a giant swing which appears exciting for the 3 people on it but who could blame people for not wanting to ride it when it cost £7 to ride. When it came to finally leave, the guests are asked to take a back street exit that backs on a side road in the Southbank area and is ushered out by hostile security guards.

Whether you want to get dad some moonshine to get him through Boxing Day or your sister a ridiculous wooden duck in wellingtons Southbank Christmas market certainly will not fail to get you in the festive mood but also be prepared to be ripped off