It's time for his annual grumble - does he have a point though?

So, Christmas Markets in the town square: chestnuts roasting on crackling braziers, mulled hot wine brewed with care in large stockpots fresh every day; snow falling, cold ears and hot sausages. Beer flows freely from the local brewers whilst people tumble out of shops laden with presents on Xmas eve, carol singers and good cheer all round.

If Jesus visited, he’d weep. It’s the worst form of capitalism delivered by a council that should know better.

Or, starting in mid-November, tat stalls spreading across a city centre like a particularly nasty rash filled with junk bought in container loads for pennies selling for pounds, baubles that disintegrate before you get home, cheeses wrapped in weird plastic-like substances printed with union jacks that declare themselves as every different variety, but all taste the same; at prices twice that of the local cheesemonger in the suburbs who take pride in their selection.

Gordo Smiling At A Christmas Decorations Stall At Manchesters Xmas Markets 2021
A rare shot of Gordo smiling at the Xmas markets Image: Confidentials
Gordo Mark Garner Eats A Vegan Bratwurst At Manchester Xmas Markets
What did Gordo think of a vegan Bratwurst? Watch the video to find out. Image: Confidentials

Pizza slices that are chosen cold on a slab, re-warmed, various lukewarm fried chicken dishes. Roasted pork sandwiches that are steamed, tasteless with no crackling and apple sauce bought in large buckets at Costco. 

"German Sausages" that arrive in containers from lord knows where, tasteless and a bit… watery? Served with abominations as buns.

The utter banality of it all is depressing. The outrageous piss-taking of the public, coupled with the eye-watering prices, is infuriating. 

Manchester Christmas Market Stalls On Piccadilly Gardens
Piccadilly Gardens plays host to the main Christmas markets this year Image: Confidentials
The Christmas Markets On Manchester Market Street
The Xmas markets also run the length of Market Street - but are there better options around? Image: Confidentials

If Jesus visited, he’d weep. It’s the worst form of capitalism delivered by a council that should know better.

And don’t get me started on that fucking Santa. He’s a dick.

Cold, wet and miserable is the reality. Twenty years or so later, our Xmas markets in Manchester have become an utter disgrace. I am ashamed of them. 

We are in the middle of a city region with a hospitality industry that now delivers world-class experiences with countless different cuisines delivered with class at prices that are keen.

The Xmas markets deliver 17, second-rate pick and mix sweet stalls at prices that are horrific.

Bah humbug?

No, I’m a Manc not a mug.

An indie Xmas. Here are just some of the independent bars and restaurants we recommend you visit as well as/instead of the markets

Near Piccadilly Gardens:

Afflecks 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW

Beatnikz 35 Dale St, Manchester M1 2HF

Bundobust 61 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2AG

Chapter One Chatsworth House, 23 Lever St, Manchester M1 1BY

Dusk Til Pawn Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DN

Evuna 79 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1LQ

Foundation Coffee 11 Portland St, Manchester M1 3HU

Go Falafel 3 Newton St, Manchester M1 1HW

Herd NQ 24 Dale St, Manchester M1 1FY

Idle Hands Coffee 35 Dale St, Manchester M1 2HF

Mala 19 Lever St, Manchester M1 1BY

Near Market Street

The Arndale Market (one of the best places for cheap, good food in Manchester) 49 High St, Manchester M4 3AH

The Bull & Bear 4 Norfolk St, Manchester M2 1DW

Habas 43A Brown St, Manchester M2 2JJ

Rosso 43 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 2BG

Salut 11 Cooper St, Manchester M2 2FW

Near Exchange Square

Sadler's Cat Hanover St, Manchester M60 0AB

Salvi's 1 The Corn Exchange, Corporation St, Manchester M4 3TR

Sinclair's Oyster Bar 2 Cathedral Gates, Manchester M3 1SW

Sixes Cathedral St, Manchester M4 3TR

Near St Ann's Square

Annie's 5 Old Bank St, Manchester M2 7PE

Corbiere's Alliance House, 2 Half Moon St, Manchester M2 7PB

Mr Thomas's Chophouse 52 Cross St, Manchester M2 7AR

Pot Kettle Black Barton Arcade, Manchester M3 2BW

Sandinista City Centre, 2 Old Bank St, Manchester M2 7PF

Salt Dog Slim's 17 Bow Ln, Manchester M2 4FW

Wright's Chippy 86 Cross St, Greater, Manchester M2 4LA

Near King Street

Crazy Pedro's 55-57 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BQ

El Gato Negro 52 King St, Manchester M2 4LY

Factory Coffee 38 King St W, Manchester M3 2WZ

Federal 194 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3ND

Kala 55 King St, Manchester M2 4LQ

Masons Ground Floor, Manchester Hall, 36 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BT

San Carlo 40-42 King St W, Manchester M3 2WY

Speak In Code 7 Jackson's Row, Manchester M2 5ND

Tast 20-22 King St, Manchester M2 6AG

Tipples of Manchester 16 Lloyd St, Manchester M2 5ND

You could also visit one of the other Manchester Christmas Markets

Gordo Eats A Very Hot Vegan Bratwurst With Steam Coming Out Of His Mouth In The Cold Air Of The Xmas Markets In Manchester
It's freezing out there Image: Confidentials

Read next: Bar Rumbug, The Salford Rum Company launches Christmas pop-up

Read again: Top things to do in Manchester for December, Xmas and New Year 2021

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