Sights and smells of Christmas
There may not be snow but it was cold enough to make the queue for the mulled wine worth the wait!
Tonight the first Christkindl Christmas Market at Stony River Hotel was delightful and with still 17 weeks to the holiday season it was a fun way to warm up the end of winter. Midwinter Christmas celebrations are becoming commonplace in New Zealand as Kiwi’s try to emulate a Northern hemisphere celebration with all the traditional Christmas trappings. It’s such a pity the camera can’t capture smells and scents alongside the images. If it could you’d be able to breath in the aromas on the air – hot roasted nuts, cinnamon, orange and cloves – delicious. All my festive senses were awakened as I then looked around at stalls rocking garlands and sparkling Christmas lights and we heard the first stirrings of a local choir singing carols. It felt like an intimate country Christmas market with local crafts people displaying their many talents.
We had followed a stream of cars out of New Plymouth, an unusual sight for rural Taranaki on a Sunday evening- they could only be going to the same place as us. Sure enough as we arrived cars were lining the road on both sides and a neighbouring farmer had obviously volunteered a paddock as a parking lot for the night – such a typical Kiwi thing to do. There were people everywhere, four deep in front of the stalls. European accents abounded, it seemed obvious that a Christkindlemarkt in the Naki was an appealing idea.It seems set to be an annual event.
As the wind picked up and I wound my scarf tighter round my neck, I decided it was time for mulled wine – my favourite winter beverage. The line at the bar nearly out did the crowds outside but I hung in there and 25 minutes later was rewarded with the most delicious blend I’ve tasted in a few years. I almost wish I’d bought two so I could bring one home with me.
Gordon was driving so wine was out for him, however he could enjoy a creamy Creme Brulee fudge we picked up, with a coffee. That immediately got me thinking about my own Christmas baking and I just had to get the recipe books out…..