Exeter Christmas Market (1)

Exeter Cathedral behind the market.
I only went into Exeter to get a late Advent calendar and some Christmas cards from the cathedral. Shopping per se wasn't on my mind but hanging out in St. Peter's is one of my favourite pastimes and any excuse will do. I've always loved their Christmas cards.

Not this year, however. Three really dull designs and not one Advent calendar left by 3rd December. But there was St. Gabriel's chapel to sit and pray in, as well as the lovely lady chapel and no visit to the cathedral is ever other than a delight.

Even better, a school choir was rehearsing I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day which, oddly, I'd never heard before and which took my breath away. You can listen to it here. Particularly apposite with the government's decision to bomb Syria.

And, all around the Cathedral, Exeter's Christmas Market glittered and assailed my senses. That was something else I'd not come across before, simply because we've only been here for three years and I managed to be sick at Christmas time for two of them. But oh, what a delight! I'm used to Birmingham's German Christmas Market but, frankly, this knocked that into a cocked hat.

I'll do a separate blog on a few more stalls including the aptly-named Amazing Chocolate Shop but here are some market photos and a few highlights. If you're anywhere in the area and can get down there, go, go, go!

Yummy non-seafood paella from Jences. Inspired me to go home and make more.
Don't go and look for Jences Paella on the internet however; their website has been compromised and I've just had a fun ten minutes comforting and reassuring my browser. It's nothing actually dangerous but I'm not risking it and I can't find a page for them on Facebook. So, it's the market or nothing for these guys right now which is a shame because the website says 'recipes' in the tabs and I'd sure like some of those.

Bush Farm Bison Centre's website is perfectly safe but ridiculously out-of-date (makes mine look efficient) so I've linked to their Facebook page instead. Not that that has a lot on it either. But they raise organic bison and elk and other tasty stuff and look like a fabulous place to visit. They have annual pow wows as well. The guys on the stall were really friendly and the meat both looked and smelt delicious. Unfortunately, I was already stuffed with paella.

Now this stuff, not even I can eat but it's a terrific idea even if it's not entirely photogenic and it's also a lousy photograph and I've cut someone in half. Devon Reclaimed is a company that beautifully restores all kinds of old, salvaged goods — mostly wooden and electrical stuff — and sells them. As well as the Christmas market, you can find them at Dartmouth Market on Fridays and Taunton Market on Saturdays during the winter months. 

This is just a picture of a sweater shop for Christmas. I didn't go in and I don't want one, thank you. Please, please don't get me a Christmas jumper.

To my shame, I can't remember the name of this stall but it's a lovely angel and what looks like a Santa with a serious hangover.


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