If you’re a Scrooge and aren’t afraid to admit it, I admire your honesty. I can’t relate to you in any way, shape or form… but I admire your honesty.
This year, I’ve found myself feeling more festive than ever. And as this week has gone on, it’s only heightened as the Aberdeen Christmas Village has been built and opened outside the P&J’s Marischal Square offices.
While there are, of course, the fairground rides, my interest lies with the food and drink offering — which has been improved significantly from previous years, to say the least.
For 2023, the focus is firmly on a line-up of local businesses including The House of Botanicals, Cookie Cult, Vegan Bay Baker, Big Mannys’ Pizza, The Hot Chip, 10 Dollar Shake and Fierce Beer.
Andy and I had a look around earlier today to try out all the new food and drink options.
But don’t worry, you can still get your bratwurst fix too…
Read on to see what dishes we tasted, and our ratings for each…
Big Mannys’ Pizza
I was delighted when Big Mannys’ Pizza revealed on social media that they were among this year’s food and drink stallholders at the Aberdeen Christmas Village.
At their ‘Slice Bar’, they’re serving up square slices of not one or two, but three different pizza flavours.
The Cheesus Chrust and Roni are among them. But we went for the Xmas Turkey Special — priced at £7.
The thick crust pizza slice featured a gravy base, mozzarella, roasted turkey breast, stuffing and pigs in blankets topped with cranberry sauce and crispy onion.
I’m admittedly more into thin and crispy pizzas, however, I thought it was great. The savoury treat is hefty — which is a recurring theme — so I’d say it’s one to share.
The stuffing was the standout while the onion added a nice crunch. Oh, and the dough was nice and fluffy too.
- Andy: 4/5
- Karla: 4/5
Stuffed cookies are on the cards at the Cookie Cult stall. I’m a massive fan of the business — as are many — so I couldn’t wait to see what was on offer.
The pair of us requested a milk chocolate cookie with salted caramel sauce and marshmallows. Other toppings include melted Nutella, white chocolate sauce and Smarties, to name a few options.
Whatever you choose, it will set you back £8.
In true Cookie Cult style, the cookie was huge. Again, it’s a sharer.
It was warm, rich and gooey. Andy and I would have loved the salt to shine through a tad more in the sauce but other than that, bravo.
- Andy: 4.5/5
- Karla: 4/5
The Hot Chip
Andy and I got behind our food from The Hot Chip — running in partnership with Smoke and Soul, Angus and Oink, and McWilliams — straight away.
I decided on the £9 Christmas Special, which included a substantial amount of chips topped with mini pigs in blankets and a drizzling of cranberry sauce.
The sweet and salty ratio was superb. As for the pigs in blankets, you could tell they were made with high-quality meat.
- Andy: 4/5
- Karla: 4.5/5
10 Dollar Shake
The team at 10 Dollar Shake have curated a series of festive cocktails for the market this year, so booze lovers are in for a treat.
We sampled two — Mocha Around the Christmas Tree (£9.50) and ‘Sloe’ is Falling (£9).
The first of the two included Baileys, crème de cacao, coffee liqueur, nutmeg and coconut flakes. It was incredibly sweet, which I loved.
Our second drink was more on the citrusy side, and is perfect for those who adore a light and refreshing cocktail.
- Andy: 3.5/5
- Karla: 4/5
Some people may turn their nose up at the prices of the items on offer. However, for me, they’re good value for money.
Food and drink is never going to be cheap at a Christmas market, but the sweet and savoury treats we tasted came in substantial portions that were fit for sharing.
As for the drinks, they certainly weren’t short on the booze front.
The Aberdeen Christmas Village is open from noon to 10pm Monday to Thursday, noon to midnight on Fridays, 10am to midnight on Saturdays, and 10am to 10pm on Sundays.
During school holidays, it is open from 11am Monday to Friday.