Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Whirlwind weekend of Xmas Markets in Cologne (Part 1)


Last weekend I found myself escaping the crisp snowy weather in London for more snow and cold in Cologne.

The large holiday party arrived at the airport when the sun is still asleep and we were thinking to ourselves, are we crazy for choosing this time? All was forgotten when we arrived after a short flight and breezy clearance through the airport.

After dropping our bags, off we went to the Christmas Markets. There are 7 Christmas Markets in Cologne - floating Xmas market, traditional Xmas market, Heinzelmannchenmarkt, Medieval Xmas market, Angels Xmas market, Christmas market of the myth and lifestyle & feeling Xmas market.

alter market

We were sidetracked on our way to the main market next to the Cathedral to the Heinzelmannchenmarkt. Largely due to many starving tummies! This Xmas market is located on the Alter which is the Old Town Hall. Half-timbered stalls lined the open space which transports us into a different era and right into the holiday mood.

It also caters to kids and families as evidenced by the ferris wheel and other children’s delights!


We were greeted immediately by the sight and smells of cooked sausages and mulled wine. First stop was for some currywurst €3.50.

bratwurst n pomme frites

 This was absolutely delicious. We also ordered Pomme Frites which came with generous dollops of ketchup and mayonnaise. Thin and crispy, yum! One of the guys ordered a Bratwurst as well.


Walking along, we arrived at another stall that had a generous crowd. Reibekuchen with cranberry sauce (fried potato fritters w cranberry sauce) €2.50. This was amazingly light and fluffy, the cranberry sauce bringing out the sweetness. Hello, Mr. Fluffy & Light Fried Potato!


Next we passed a stall which had a wood fire going on with large fillets of salmon hung to be cooked. The aroma of wood burning and charred salmon was almost too hard to resist but resist I did (my tummy thank me for it!).


Passed a stall with a baker making savory buns. How gorgeous do these look?

rum and bailey nuts


Spied a stall with caramelized nuts on offer. A few of us stopped when we saw the words amaretto, rum and baileys. Never to say no to food with alcohol in it, we bought a bag of Baileys and Rum almonds €3. The Baileys was ok but the rum version was tasty enough that it was devoured by the group in minutes.

Needing some dessert, crepes was the next order.

Apfelmus & Calvados €4, Banana, chocolate & marzipan €4

Sauerkraut with sausages. All I can say is yum!

bakes apples
Another sweet dish, baked apple with vanilla sauce. The girls really liked this one.

Meat on sticks €5. These are huge sticks and we got a pork and chicken on sticks.

We were so stuffed by this point, that was the end of the xmas market food journey for the afternoon.

papa john

Decided to rest our feet and to warm up our bodies from the shivering cold. Our fingers were literally frozen as we needed bare fingers to eat the food. Off to a pub for some mulled wine before heading back to the hotel for some rest. I was seriously dozing off and a catnap was required.

This was Heinzelmannchenmarkt which we all thought was really great with fantastic food.

See Part 2 for the next part of the Cologne Xmas market weekend away.
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