December 17th: Walking in a Winter Wonderland

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This year I have visited Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland twice already and I would gladly go back. Having been for two years previously, but never with Gary and never a night, we decided that we needed to give it a visit. So two weekends ago we hopped on a train and traipsed with the crowds to check out this year’s offering.

We turned up at about ten to 5 and were turned away by police warning us that it was so busy it would take about 2 hours to get to the front of the line, and it was so busy that we’d be shuffling through the crowds to get anywhere any how. So we turned back and went to some other places in London before coming back at about 8pm. By this time the crowd has dispersed but it was still very busy.

We weren’t disappointed by the food offering – food from everywhere, but mostly Germany as it’s a German market, duh! We had already eaten dinner by this point, not knowing if we would make it back into the place after being turned around to start with. I’ve had the bratwurst and red cabbage there before though, and it’s amazing! Gary and I spotted a lot of places we wanted to try, but as soon as we saw the sweetcorn stand we knew we had to buy. A massive corn cob, boiled and then painted with melted butter and sprinkled with salt. It was outstanding!

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We carried on walking around and headed towards the Giant Wheel which looked amazing against the black night sky.

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There was a fun fair next and more food stalls, bars with live bands and market stalls. It’s a very festive place to be, with Christmas music playing everywhere. We headed up to the Bavarian Village which I’d been to before, but only in the day and it sounded amazing inside. We didn’t go in, needing to head back for our train. We had such a great time, and will definitely be going back next year. I only realised afterwards that we’d missed the Ice Rink and I would have loved to go and watch the skaters. Next year perhaps.

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On Friday, for my work Christmas party we packed up early and I headed to Winter Wonderland again! It’s a great place to go with a group of friends. We grabbed some pints and headed to see what was what. The rain started pretty lightly as we were heading in, but soon it was coming down heavily and we escaped into a Carousel bar. The bar was in the centre of a moving carousel and you stood around it. It was a great laugh singing and dancing as the world spun around you. Then we moved onto the Bavarian Village where you could get steins (2 pints) of beer and there was a live German band playing, followed by a very entertaining middle-aged German man named Joseph who really got the crowd going. You could buy food and drink inside and it was dry and very warm so we spent about 2 and a half hours inside before heading out to try some of the rides before they closed. A great time was had by all!

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Winter Wonderland is the kind of place that groups of friends, family, young and old can appreciate and there’s something for everyone. I’m so glad I’ve been able to visit not just once but twice this year, and I can’t wait to visit again next year!

Have you visited Winter Wonderland or a German Market this year? What’s your favourite thing to do there?
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