I can count the good things about Winter on one hand... and most of those reasons involve the word 'Christmas'.
The Leeds Christmas tree (before the lights were on)
But one thing about Winter is that your resident city inevitably becomes lit up all gorgeous, and will probably have a lovely market happening.
Christmas lights in Leeds' Victoria Quarter
In Leeds the German Christmas market is quite a big deal; everyone really enjoys it - maybe because of the litres of beer or the hot mulled wine - but it could be for the lederhosen-clad band playing Bavarian takes on 80's classics; why not?!
This week I went out with the flatmates and 'them downstairs' to the German Market and then for cocktails at Brown's - a lovely evening by all accounts:
The Lads - bit excited, maybe because they had too many...
...of these. Yes sir, that's a litre of the good stuff.
More Christmas lights (apologies for the BlackBerry-quality pictures)
For those who don't speak German, it says 'Will you marry me?'
Not sure how anyone could turn down that proposal!
...and finally, a moose head. It spoke, it moved. It had a very camp German accent. Why not?
Then... to the warmth! For cocktails!
(Please note this cocktail is not actually from Brown's but one I had at The Living Room, Leeds a couple of weeks ago. Sorry for cheating!)
At Brown's I had a Berry and Pomegranate Martini... scrumptious! (and holiday-appropriate, I felt.)
I also very much enjoyed the food of the German market, tucking into white-chocolate covered strawberries and a pretzel the size of my head. The mister (my lovely boyfriend Marc) had himself a Berliner (a jam doughnut auf Deutsch). See here for some interesting stuff on those!
Of course, the only thing about said evening was that it posed a bit of a clothing dilemma; how to keep warm at the mostly-outdoor market, and how to still feel appropriate for cocktail hour.
I plan to do a detailed post soon about winter layering (something that took me years to get any real grasp on), but for now I'll just give you the run-down of my multi-purpose outfit, which took me from lectures, to daytime shopping with the mister, to dinner in a local bar, to the german market and then for cocktails.
I wore a black shift dress from River Island (great staple, also good for funerals - depressingly enough) with a nude French Connection belt, the obligatory black opaque tights and black pumps.
I layered a couple of cardigans over that and then my new favourite blazer from Modcloth (get the blazer itself here). Add a scarf I bought from Prague (because the Balkans know how to do warm), some soft leather gloves my Nana passed on to me, a mug of mulled wine and a good friend to huddle with and you've got yourself a toasty situation!
Only thing I should have thought of was a hat... Oops.
Remove several layers once you're in the sanctuary of the cocktail bar and voila, appropriate dressing.
Enjoy whatever pre-pre-Christmas festivities are happening your way and remember to wrap up warm but stay stylish!
Ciao for now,