There is, of course, our own Christmas Stammtisch on Monday, 12 December at the Mansion House in Jesmond.
Starting at 7pm with a Glühwein reception, our dinner includes Hühnerleberpastete mit Zwiebelmarmelade (chicken liver pate with onion marmalade), Champignoncremesuppe mit Mandeln (mushroom crème soup with almonds), Gebratene Weihnachtsgans mit Apfelrotkraut, Badischen Klössen und Schwäbischen Spätzle (Christmas goose with apple red cabbage, potatoe dumplings and spaetzle) and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (blackforest gauteau), Stollen and Pfeffernüssen (biscuits).
For those that are not so much into the birds, we also offer roast loin of pork stuffed with prunes as an alternative.
Please state your preference when booking. As the Mansion House caters specifically for our group, you need to pay by latest 5 December – cost per person £20 – simply call the Mansion House on 0191 281 0836. If you haven’t told me yet that you’re coming, please email me so I can track numbers for this event.
On Saturday, 26 November the German Christmas Basar will be held from 11am to 2pm at St James United Reformed Church in Newcastle (close to City Baths). And two weeks later, an advents celebration will take place on Sunday, 11 December from 5pm in the Martin Luther Church in Clarence Street/Copland Terrace in Newcastle.
This weekend it’s all happening of course in Durham, where you can enjoy Lumiere 2011 until Sunday. As part of the Winter Festival, Gatehead’s Saltwell Park will turn into Enchanted Parks from 7 to 11 December.
But if you want to experience a German Christmas and don’t want to venture off the island, just head north on the train to Edinburgh, where the Traditional German Christmas Market starts already next week on Thursday, 24 November and lasts until 24 December 2011.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) also has a special offer on – from London you can get to your favourite German Christmas market for €49 in 2nd Class one-way. Journey times are around 5 hours and for information, just click here for further details. From Newcastle there are also direct flights to Düsseldorf where you can easily get to many markets in the west of the country. Earlier this month, Lufthansa also announced one way fares of £39 from London, Birmingham and Manchester to Berlin, which is also a good gateway to the historic cities of Leipzig and Dresden in Saxony. And maybe with the launch of the new Berlin-Brandenburg Airport in 2012, the North East eventually gets good transport connections again to middle and eastern parts of Germany?
Also not too far from Berlin is the Harz National Park, which is partly in the states of Saxony Anhalt and Lower Saxony and covers an area of 24,700 ha. Click here for images and information on Christmas events in the region and here for a Deutsche Welle film about the countryside, its towns and villages and legends.
I hope that has put you in the mood for Christmas and travelling near and far and look forward to seeing many of you at our annual Christmas dinner.