7 Dec 2014

Christmas fairs and Santa on a motorbike

Mmm.... today has been what I like to call a typical 'Christmassy' day. When the weather is cold and you bundle up with warm coats and fluffy boots. When you do typical 'Christmassy' activities. Today was definitely one of those, as I went with my family to a local Christmas market in Ripley. When we arrived, the streets were lined with stalls, left, right and centre. Vendors, huddled under canvas shelters, smiled warmly while potential customers browsed tables, full with Christmas decorations, lucky dips and homemade treats. After a quick wander up and down a section of road, we passed Pinnock's coffee house, a free table in the window catching our eye- a rare sight as it had recently been voted best in the local area. The café looked like it was made for cold winter days such as this- wooden beams supporting the worn roof, large jars by the till, filled with marshmallows and other hot chocolate toppings, fabric bunting strung up above the till. It was downright cosy. Our orders placed, we sat back and enjoyed the warm and inviting atmosphere. Even the teapots and teacups were charmingly vintage. Being the typical English girl I am, my lunch consisted of Earl Grey tea and scones with cream and jam. Très anglais, non?

(Image sourced from http://www.theguide2surrey.com/Food-and-Drink/Food-Matters/February-2014/Counter-Culture-Pinnock-s-Coffee-House/)

After our lovely lunch, we headed out to browse the rest of the streets. Naturally, the only things I bought were food- two samosas and a pack of Spanish spicy sausages. Anything other than food isn't a worthwhile investment, in my opinion. It was later in the afternoon, once we had finished our mission to find Christmas presents, that we watched a truly fantastic display. Driving down the main road were several motor-biking Santas, followed by cars with more Santas and what looked like a Christmas mouse. The parade then dismounted their vehicles and after the wonderful switch on of the Christmas lights, we called it a day. To top it all off, a batch of freshly baked gingerbread appeared from the depths of our oven... Oh the joys of Xmas!

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