By Kirstie Pratt
We’re pretty blessed in Winchester to have a Christmas Market that runs from November 19th- December 22nd in the middle of town behind the cathedral. The market has many booths set up that include shops, food, crafts, and much more! All of them are centered around a huge ice rink where you can book a slot for ice skating. I have been a couple times now and I will definitely be back. Here’s some things that I liked the most so far at the market.
The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Company
Theres a bunch of food and snack stands that you’ll find throughout the market selling delicious items but my favorite so far is definitely these grilled cheeses. They have many different kinds you can get with many different cheeses and ingredients but I opted for the straight cheese. It was so warm and when you took a bite you could see the melted cheese. It even came with a pickle on the side! It is a must if you’re at the market.
The Ice Skating Rink
The ice skating rink is always super busy whenever I go so you can tell people really enjoy it. Theres lights that flash snowflakes onto the ice giving it a true winter feel. For the younger kids they even have little penguins that they can push around to help them stay up on the ice. It is a definite must during the holiday season.
The Homemade Crafts
All of the shops in the market have unique gifts. From candles, to jewelry, to hand carved wooden statues, there’s something for everyone to buy. I found many things that I wanted to buy at the market like these candles with magnificent scents made with a mold to have a bunch of bumps on the sides. They also had these paper stars that you can hang from the ceiling making any boring room a work of art. If you need to buy a christmas gift for someone this is where I would go.
Something you can find a lot of places throughout the UK and Europe during the holiday season is mulled or hot wine. It’s perfect to keep your hands and body warm during the cold while you’re walking around outside. They have it positioned on the outside when you walk in so you don’t even have to fight the crowds once inside. Don’t forget to grab a thing of freshly made churros right beside it!
By Kirstie Pratt
American Football dominates our country during the fall all the way to the Super Bowl which is usually held in early February. I have gone to many football games from little league, high school, college, and even professional NFL games. I have always enjoyed my time at any game I went to, even if I was freezing or it was raining. In America, I have only been to a few soccer games. I played it when I was younger but never really knew of any professional teams or followed my school teams. It just wasn’t something I was interested in when I grew older. While studying in England I had the chance to go to a premier league game. It was definitely a crazy, fun night, but I still believe that American football is better in many ways.
First of all, the price was super cheap. I got a front row ticket to the match for 7 pounds, which is about 10 US dollars. An American football game would cost usually over 50 dollars for just a nosebleed seat. Second, there is no tailgating in soccer. The best part about going to Redskins games with my dad is getting to tailgate in the parking lot before hand with the meal that my mom made us. At the premiere league game they had concessions within the stadium but it wasn’t cheap. Third, they don’t allow alcohol inside of the stadium and don’t sell during the game. I was really excited to go to a sporting event over here because in the states I am not legally able to drink at one. I was shocked to find that you couldn’t drink while the game was in progress or at your seats. In American football they have people walking around the stands with beer so you never have to leave your seat and miss the action.
The one similarity I did find was the fans. They definitely loved to support their team. In soccer over here they separate the fans of each team so they are not sitting in the same section. I was lucky enough to be seated right next to the opposing team’s section. This mean every call or play was followed by cheers and chants insults from both teams toward one another. Soccer definitely has the most dedicated and enthusiastic fans from any other sport that I have seen. I definitely enjoyed going to a game and being able to join in with the craziness of the European football experience but I can’t wait to get back to the states and have Monday night football.