A new survey has officially named Manchester’s Christmas Markets as the best in the whole of the UK.
In the run up to the festive season, the independent holiday cottage agency My Favourite Cottages anlaysed thirty Christmas markets in major cities across the UK to see which one provides the best Christmassy experience.
Each market was judged on eight data points including the number of stalls, the running time, the number of visitors per year, the entrance fee and the likelihood of meeting Santa Claus, before each being given an overall market score out of ten.
And low and behold, Manchester’s markets came out on top, with an impressive score of 8.39 out of ten. The website said of our epic festivities: “Arriving in the city in 1999, the Manchester Christmas Market scores highly in typical visitor numbers, recording approximately 9 million visitors at its last event.”
It also pointed out that Manchester’s Christmas Market is the most popular online, with it garnering the most online interest in the last year with over 114k Google searches, surpassing the Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park, which saw just 82k searches in comparison.
The Manchester Christmas Market also ranked highly across all eight factors analysed – including having 300 stalls and running for one of the longest periods of almost six weeks.
Birmingham’s Christmas Market came in at second place, while the York Christmas Market snatched third place and Glasgow came in at fourth.
Though things at our markets are going to look a little different this year; while the heart of the markets is usually centered around Albert Square, ongoing renovations to the Town Hall have forced them to move to Piccadilly Gardens, the council confirmed last month.
The area is in the process of being transformed into the ‘Winter Gardens’, with all the usual yuletide bars, market stalls and food huts being in attendance.
To see the full list of the UK’s best Christmas Markets, head over to the My Favourite Cottages website. Meanwhile, to see which traders will be at this year’s Manchester Christmas Markets, which open next week on November 12th, click here.
Gary Neville praised for calling out Boris Johnson over alleged Number 10 Christmas parties
Neville has even written to his local MP to find out who attended the alleged parties
Gary Neville has slammed Boris Johnson and his ‘cronies’ for allegedly partying in Downing Street last Christmas while the rest of the country remained under Covid restrictions.
The Prime Minister was reported to the police by Labour MPs last week over allegations there were at least two parties in Downing Street during lockdown restrictions last Christmas.
The Daily Mirror also reported that two events had taken place in No 10 in the run-up to the festive season, where officials are said to have ‘knocked back glasses of wine during a Christmas quiz and a Secret Santa’.
It was claimed that around ‘forty or fifty’ people were ‘crammed cheek by jowl’ into a medium-sized room in Number 10 for each of the two events.
The Prime Minister has not explicitly denied that the parties took place, but No 10 has insisted that ‘all Covid rules were followed’.
And now, as the allegations continue to be investigated by the Metropolitan Police, former Manchester United footballer Gary Neville has called out Boris Johnson and his government, slamming them for ‘partying in a tax payer funded residence’.
He wrote: “Are we really going to let this Number 10 party go? No chance! Last Xmas was a misery. Listening to him standing up there telling us what we couldn’t do.
“Families not seeing each other , loved ones dying alone. Whilst him and his cronies party in a tax payer funded residence!”
His impassioned tweet was quick to go viral, with thousands of people rushing to applaud him for speaking out.
One social media user urged the former footballer to not let the issue go, writing: “Last [Christmas] we lost so many loved ones and couldn’t say goodbye in person. We were not allowed to pay respects at funerals due to the restricted numbers.
“Gary, don’t let this go, we are with you. I am extremely angry, upset & saddened. I want this corrupt govt held accountable.”
Another person wrote: “Keep asking, @GNev2, and keep the pressure on. We also need to know WHO was at @BorisJohnson’s Christmas shindig. Somebody knows.”
Neville has since followed up his tweet with a copy of a letter penned to his local MP, Mark Logan, wherein he enquires for an explanation as to why Bolton residents were forced into lockdown over Christmas ‘while the Prime Minister was partying with his colleagues and friends’.
In the letter, Neville explicitly asks Logan if he had attended any Christmas party related events with the Prime Minister or Cabinet, asking him to also ‘state your position on this matter’ and to get access to the attendee list.
His letter continued: “We need MPs to stand up and show the courage to do the right thing and speak out against wrongdoing and admitting when it has taken place… Hancock, Johnson and no doubt many others are living by different rules.”
The former footballer has encouraged his followers to each write a letter to their own local MPs on the matter.
Though this isn’t the first time Neville has waded into the messy world of politics; back in October, he went head-to-head with former Tory politician Edwina Currie in a heated debate about the government’s plan to axe the Universal Credit uplift.
He slammed the Conservative’s language as ‘always divisive’ and ‘not helpful’, saying that it’s ‘really dangerous to remove Universal Credit payments at this moment in time, it’s brutal’.
He said: “I trust the population of this country, I work on the theory that people aren’t sitting there lazy, they really want a good job. They want to get good pay, they want their mental health to be sorted.
“They’re not sitting there thinking, ‘I’m going to take the chancellors money and live off of their money for the next ten to fifteen years.”
Floating Earth set to be reinflated at Salford Quays later this week, artist confirms
The sculpture was forced to close temporarily over the weekend
The artist responsible for the Floating Earth sculpture currently on display at Salford Quays has confirmed it will be reinflated later this week.
Over the weekend, images of the dazzling sculpture seemingly ‘sinking’ and submerged by water started circulating on social media, with many expressing concerns that it had been damaged by the turbulent weather experienced on the Quays.
Lightwaves 2021 organisers Quays Culture took to Instagram on Saturday to confirm the cancellation, saying: “Due to unexpected weather conditions here at The Quays, we’ve had to remove power to Floating Earth and close it temporarily.”
However, Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram has told Proper Manchester today that his sculpture hadn’t ‘sunk’ and had instead been partially deflated as a precaution of the high winds experienced throughout the last couple of days.
According to Jerram, there was ‘no major problem’ and the sculpture will be reinflated and back to its original state on Thursday, December 9th.
The Earth model, which measures 10 metres in diameter and features high resolution NASA imagery, was inspired by ‘the overview effect’, something astronauts experience when they first go into space and look down on the Earth from afar.
Speaking to Proper Manchester last week, Jerram said: “They [the astronauts] become overwhelmed by the beauty and the wonder of what they see, and when they return to Earth they often become environmental campaigners.
“So Floating Earth is designed to give people this overview effect, and let them experience what it might be like for an astronaut up in space.”
Jerram also pointed out that Floating Earth was created to ‘help people have those difficult conversations about what we can do to make our lives more sustainable.’
He explained: “We’re using far too many resources and our carbon footprint is through the roof. We really have to change society very quickly if we’re to avoid a complete climate catastrophe.”
For more information and to see the Lightwaves 2021 artistic lineup in full, visit the Quays Culture website
People are making garlic bread lasagnes and they look incredible
Two of the world’s greatest foods have come together as one…
The internet has brought to my attention ‘garlic bread lasagnes’, and I command that you stop what you’re doing and try them immediately.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that, out of all the many foods in the world, there’s nothing quite as delicious as a slice of garlic bread with a nice scoop of lasagne on top.
But this was before I came across garlic bread lasagne, courtesy of TikTok food page Food Made Simple, the very people who brought us cheesy garlic crumpets.
Their latest recipe is remarkably simple; to begin you’ll need to cook your garlic bread slices before assembling them into a large lasagne dish. Here, you’ll layer them in the same way you would regular lasagne pasta sheets.
After one layer of garlic bread, cover with your ragù or bolognese sauce which you can either make from scratch or buy in the supermarket. Then, you need to add a generous portion of cheese.
After that, add another layer of garlic bread slices and repeat the whole process again until the dish is full.
Finish with a third layer of garlic bread slices and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Then, all you’ll need to do is pop it in the oven until piping hot and golden brown.
Obviously, TikTokers have been going wild for the recipe, which has had just short of 80,000 views.
One person wrote: “Wait a minute it looks amazing!” Another commented: “Garlic bread lasagne?! Where can I get these full recipes PLEASE!!?”
Another viewer actually revealed that they’d already given the recipe a try for their family, and it was ‘an absolute hit’. There you have it, tested and approved.