By Jack Titley
Delighted customers and stall-workers braved the cold as Manchester’s traditional European Christmas markets opened last Thursday throughout the city centre.
The prestigious annual event was opened this year by ex-Coronation Street star Tina O’Brien and usually the average Mancunian’s thoughts turn to turkey, tinsel and mulled wine.
The bratwurst and weiss beer of Germany are a staple part of the markets, as are French cheeses and Dutch pancakes but one stall stands out from the bustling crowd, bringing a certain unique taste of the Mediterranean.
‘Little Spain’ stands out from the crowd in Albert Square and gives an opportunity to cater for those who like a Mediterranean flavour, away from festivities elsewhere in Brazennose Street and Exchange Square.
An integral member its Spanish staff, Enrique Segura, 27, from Bilabauo, moved to Manchester two years ago and first set up the stall with a group of friends last year.
Speaking over the Spanish guitars serenading in the background, Mr Segura explained: “We don’t have such a tradition for Christmas markets back home so we thought we’d make the most of living in Manchester by giving chilly Mancunians a taste of our own traditional dish.
“We are very different from the rest and help people here forget about the cold with our unique style of serving paella from such a large melting pot.”
The stall surely is something very original among the fun and friendly atmosphere, as enticing food aromas fill the air, adding to the exciting sights and sounds from St Anne’s Square to Spinningfields.
Little Spain and the majority of markets will continue to be open until the 21st of December.