I had no idea they did Christmas markets in China. Honestly, the first Christmas market that I ever experienced was last year in Paris on the Champs-Élysées. I didn’t even know what they were! In case you are as oblivious as I was, a Christmas Market is basically a street market held during December with multiple food and shopping stands. While it started in Europe, Christmas Markets have spread across the globe.
Every year, German brewery, Paulaner Brauhaus, holds a Christmas market in the French Concession (150 Fenyang Road; 汾阳路140号) for one weekend. My friend Vanessa* (name has been changed) invited me to go. We had such a great time looking at the different local stands and examining possible Christmas gifts for friends and families. They even sold mini Christmas trees! I had to stop myself from buying a Christmas wreath.
Of course, the best part of any Christmas market is the food. Vanessa was so happy to see real German food and I was over the moon when I spotted mulled wine!!!
Possibly the most exciting food discovery were cronuts! They finally made their way to Shanghai! For anyone wondering, cronuts combine the best of a flaky buttery croissant and a cream-filled donut.
We did more than just eat, I promise. I also discovered Pinyin Press by Sarah Armstrong. Sarah, hailing from Scottland, is the nicest person ever and incredibly talented. She graduated with a degree in textile design from Central Saint Martins and started her line about a year ago. She sells cute T-shirts, cards and bags that all celebrate the wonderful phonetic language that is pinyin. I bought a TON of her bags (she even told me I was her best customer) and have already decided that all of my American friends are getting bags for Christmas (sorry guys, you know what your gifts are). While Sarah doesn’t have a store, if you’re interested in purchasing her goods, you can check out her website and email her. I’m sure she’d be more than happy to make a bag for you!
It was a lovely afternoon and I really enjoyed feeling some of the holiday spirit in China. Just a few more weeks until I can go home to celebrate Christmas with my family!