On Monday, I had the day off…to go Christmas shopping!! It’s actually a new thing which is even called ‘Christmas Shopping Day’, I was told last week. So, with my mouth still open in shock on this glorious day, I headed to my local shopping spot- Kingston-Upon-Thames. It’s a London Suburb, twenty minutes from Waterloo and ten minutes from Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace. People come far and wide to shop at Kingston, it even featured in last year’s Morrison’s christmas advert. So I’m rather proud to admit this is on my doorstep.
Kingston gets me in the christmas spirit. Firstly, Bentall’s shopping centre is decked out with over-sized decorations whilst robotic christmas teddy-bears sing carols to gawping children, the same teddy-bears I used to be entertained by but now find quite disturbing.
Furthermore, Kingston’s antiquated fruit and veg market (which has been around for 800 years) is dressed-up and extended upon to become a small German Christmas Market. It only boasts about seven food stalls, but what it does have is rather good. The expected food-stalls stand central selling Bratwurst sausages and mulled wine, but some other more unusual food temptations are on offer. Albeit not all in tune with christmas, other stalls include Middle-Eastern Chicken Sharwarma wraps, turkey roasts, fresh Italian pastas, uniquely flavoured cheeses and Italian pastries. Two food stalls which are present all year (with full seating and heated areas) are also there selling Japanese Donburis and Moroccan Tagines.
Here’s what I tried…
I also tried Italian Stall ‘Cooking Cook’s‘ hand crafted fresh pasta. As I arrived the chef was literally hand cutting tortellini individually. I tried the melt-in-the-mouth Gnocchi with olives, broccoli and Paprika and Cumin smoked sausage in a creamy sauce finished with a touch of spice and grating of parmesan. It was delicious and I don’t actually think it would get any better if you went to Italy itself. £4.90 a portion.
To finish, I visited the Italian Pastry Pick-a-Mix stall (£2.50 per 100g). I got a hard pastry filled with thick chocolate and hazelnuts and a crispy croissant-shaped pastry filled with cappuccino cream. I sneaked these into Costa to nibble on with a Coffee.