Wednesday, 10 December 2014

BLOGMAS Day 10: Traditional Christmas Trip To Birmingham...

Me and Si have been going to Birmingham around this time of year for years now and for the past couple of years, my mom and sister have been coming too. They normally stay for one night and me and Si normally stay for two. This year, while we were there, we went to the BBC Good Food Show (blog post will be coming soon), the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market and the BBC Public Space. I thought I'd share with you what we got up to...

The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is such a lovely place to be and the atmosphere is fab! It usually starts in the middle of November and continues through to just before Christmas. It is full of lovely foods, drinks and crafts.

The big wheel and ice rink.

Some of the festive food, drink and craft huts.

Lovely crafts, perfect if you're looking for gifts.

A festive feeling.

Pretty Christmas lights.

Bright lights and lots of food and drink.

I normally like to drink the mulled wine and cider that they have to offer and Si likes the German beers. Usually we have a German Bratwurst but actually ate other things within the market this year. We had a look at the Birmingham Mail's, Birmingham German Market food and drink guide before we went there. I came across it online, so I was interested in what other foods the market had to offer, apart from the sausages. It definitely made my mouth water just looking at the food pictures!

This year, we didn't have any sausages but me and Si shared a tray of sweet potato fries from the Pip's Hot Sauce stand. The price was £5 for a tray of delicious, hot, sweet potato fries topped with as many of their toppings as we wanted. We opted for the slow cooked beef chilli with cheese on top of our fries. Unfortunately, we were really hungry and dove right in. If you look at the above linked food and drink guide, you will see an image of the loaded fries. It was pretty cold that night, so the hot food was a god send and so yummy. The chilli had sooo much flavour and was really well seasoned, not bland at all! It also wasn't spicy, just in case you're unsure about having chilli due to the spice.

Food board outside the Pip's Hot Sauce hut.

Pip's Hot Sauce hut.

This is similar to what we had, but without the sour cream and guacamole (image courtesy of Birmingham Mail).

To drink, I had a Pimm's Winter, mmmm! I have at least one of these every year. Pimm's Winter has brandy in it, instead of the usual gin. It is blended with spices and orange peel and the drink is topped up with hot apple juice. It is delicious! It's £4.50 for a single measure and the cup is quite small, so doesn't last long, but it's a lovely treat! Eager beaver here, once again, forgot to take her own photo!

A delicious, warming Pimm's (image courtesy of Birmingham Mail).

Although we have a good look around, we never seem to buy any of the crafty bits, we just go for the atmosphere, food and drink ha ha! They have entertainment on sometimes, usually weekends, so you have a bit of music to bop along to! I've only ever been to the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, I'd love to go to other Christmas markets though!

We also visited the BBC Public Space. If you've never been there, it's in The Mailbox and is open to the public Monday-Saturday: 9:30am - 5:30pm and Sunday: 11am - 5pm. You can pay to have a tour around the building (which includes areas which are out of bounds to those just having a look around the Public Space), but the Public Space is free of charge and you can just wander around certain areas, at your own leisurely pace. There are costumes worn by people from TV shows on display, aswell as props from TV shows. You can try your hand at presenting the news and weather (more about this later), take a touch screen tour of the radio drama studio where The Archers record, look into the windows of some of the radio studios, take a peek at the gallery used to put the news on air, treat yourself in the BBC shop and more!

There are some interesting things to see, so it's nice that it's free to just go in and wander around certain areas. If you want to find out more about the Public Space or book a tour, you will find more information here.

Doctor Who Tardis.

Props from BBC TV shows.

Quotes from BBC TV shows.

The production gallery where the news is put on air.

We had a right laugh having a go at presenting the news and weather. You might have seen me Instagram about it (@GemsGemz86). We were lucky to be the only ones there, so the four of us had several goes. Basically, they have pre-recorded bits of news and weather, a touch screen to set everything up and an autocue. You stand in front of a grey backdrop and read the autocue. There is another screen in the area that shows your recording with the news clips or weather map behind you, just like the real news or weather. We couldn't stop laughing at each other, as you will probably hear in the clips below. You can watch your recording back and receive a code so that you can download it onto your computer. I've included a few pictures below and you can have a laugh at my recordings (it's a lot harder than it looks on the TV, especially the weather when you're trying to point here, there and everywhere ha ha!).

Me presenting the news!

The autocue.

My 'presenting the weather' recording being played back.

Si's 'presenting the news' recording being played back.

Video of me presenting the weather!

Video of me presenting the news!

Is there anywhere you always go at this time of year?

Have any of you been to the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market or the BBC Public Space?

Don't forget to like, comment and follow to keep up to date with the rest of my Blogmas posts :).

Thanks for reading lovelies!
Gem XxOo

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