December is here!
The frost is crawling in, normal shopping becomes 10x harder to do and it is agonisingly difficult to get out of bed in the morning. They are just a few perils of winter, but as any adult should know, it's not complete doom and gloom.
I should admit, I'm actually a grinch. Normally I hate Christmas time. I love Christmas day, but what I hate is how retailers ram us into a Christmas frenzy as early as October, meaning we're soundproof to long-outdated 80's Christmas hits by the time December even arrives. Christmas draaaags these days.
My policy: no festivities before December 1st. December is the time to go bazerk with tinsel, binge eat, and by the time January comes, it's all forgotten about and we're all looking towards the year ahead.
This year followed suit. To kick off December, a trip to the Beaumaris Victorian Christmas Market was in order.
Me and Sean drove into Anglesey, which, when I think about it, still has some Victorian charm about it, with it's lighthouses and bay window cottages. We paid a visit to the lighthouse at Penmon Point, which stands guard by Puffin Island which is famously inhabited by thousands of puffins.
After tip-toeing around the sea foam and rock pools, we drove into Beaumaris.
The small town of Beaumaris is landmarked by its castle. The name 'Beaumaris' is unusual compared to typical Welsh place names. French castle-builders once referred to the town as 'beaux marais', which means 'beautiful marshes', and thus Beaumaris was coined.
The town was heaving for the market. We went for a walk along the pier, which was slicked with a caramel afternoon sunlight. The view of the Snowdonia park was crisp, as was the air! Brrrr.
After a bit of serenity on the pier, we walked into the town, towards the sound of carnival organs and batting drums.
We found the source of the commotion right away.
An electronic Victorian circus orchestra! Dazzling.
Winding through the narrow backstreets, we got onto the high street, the length of which was lined with shops, stalls and choirs. Gaps in between were filled with a few bobble hats dancing and darting around.
Just as we were taking it in, an enormous roar came from overhead, and the entire street was engulfed in a blizzard of snow!
The market organisers installed 'snow' machines, which blasted foam confetti into the air. Fantastic effort!
Time to get down to business: FOOD.
Due to the nippy whether, we warmed up with some freshly mulled wine and warm shortbread rounds.
Then we sampled some local chilli sauces, produced by Môn'stir. The sweet chilli sauce was gorgeous, perfect for anybody who likes the taste of chilli, but not so much the heat, like me! Sean was a huge fan of their hottest sauce, so I got him a jar for his Christmas stocking!
Then it was onto the hog roast, which consumed the entire street with its sweet, meaty smell. The other food stalls could not compete...
Poor hog didn't stand a chance.
I mean, just look at the queue!
However, the main highlight of this tiny little seaside town is its ice cream parlour.
The Red Boat is incredibly famous for its ice cream. It produces a huge variety of flavours which tend to rotate. Every time I've been in, their assortment has changed. I love that. You never know what's on scoop when you walk through the door.
The Red Boat had caught on to the Christmas theme, and had a festive moodboard of ice creams which appealed greatly to a ice cream slut like myself!
Some particularly awesome ice cream flavours included:
Mince Pie & Brandy
White Chocolate & Champagne Truffle
Winter Wonderland (White Choc & Smarties)
My (first...) choice was...
Spicy Apple & Cinnamon
It's an absolutely champion. Tastes like apple strudel!
Sean's (first) choice was christmas pudding ice cream, and impressed he was!
It wasn't long before seconds...
I decided to go a step further, and started with a choc-dipped cone.
On top of that, I had...
Sean's second choice was the white chocolate & champagne truffle flavour. Once I tried his, I immediately regretted choosing chestnuts. It was loaded with shards of white chocolate and little champagne bombs that made your taste buds explode like landmines.
After our ice creams, we checked out the shops along the high street, which were all showing off their christmas merchandise in full glamour mode.
The local florist went to a lot of effort, for example.
The toy shops and antique shops were dolled up for the market-goers.
After checking out some displays, we stopped yet again for some grub for the long 8 minute drive home.
Seriously though, this place does the best fish and chips I've ever had, I couldn't leave without getting one.
I've had fish and chips in Whitby, supposedly the best, but Neptune's in Anglesey is the boy.
I was skint at that point, so I had to go for a fishcake and chips instead of my usual fish & chips.
With our full tummies, we headed back along the coastal roads. A truly delicious, festive day.
CHRISTMAS-TIME IS HERE!