The last assignments of the term are in, the Galaxy advent calendar is well underway and Mariah Carey is back in the charts. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas isn’t it? Although a lot of students will have returned home, for those of you sticking around Plymouth over the holidays or you just happen to be visiting, I thought I’d round up some of my favourite things that the city has to offer to get you in to the festive spirit!
As cliché as it might sound, the luxury Christmas treats at Costa are real guilty pleasures. It’s not Christmas for me if I haven’t organised several coffee dates as an excuse to divulge in trying each of their speciality drinks. There are now four Costas in town (I’m still not 100% sure why) so it’s even harder to resist! May I recommend the Mint hot chocolate and the Amaretti latte if you’re struggling to choose...
The Jack Rabbit
I only recently discovered this pub and it is now my favourite place in Plymouth to go for a drink with friends. The only downside is that it’s up near Derriford so it is a bit of a trek from the centre of Plymouth, but everyone has a friend with a car so it’s just a matter of persuading them to join you for a drink. It’s a really warm and cosy inn with log-fires and a friendly atmosphere – the perfect place for a glass of mulled wine and card games when it’s freezing outside.
Christmas markets are very hit-and-miss, but the log cabins set up in Plymouth have got some great things to offer this year. If you’re struggling to find those last few stocking fillers, there are plenty of sweet gifts that you can find, and you can treat yourself to some festive food. I picked up some amazing chilli chocolate that I would love to say was for someone else, but it lasted less than a week in my cupboard.
Is it just me that thinks that wrapping up and heading out on country walks feels extremely Christmassy? It’s tempting to stay cooped up inside around Christmas when it’s cold outside, but a good walk and some fresh air can make you feel so much better! Dartmoor has some magnificent views, as well as the coast around Plymouth, and if you want to make it a proper day out, stop off at a local pub afterwards for a hearty, warming roast.
Speaking of roasts, particularly around Christmas, there’s always a bit of stress when it comes to preparing one. You can play it off as being a fun, relaxing event, but I feel more pressure hosting a roast lunch/dinner than when I go up for a race. If you are in charge of the cooking for your flat Christmas dinner, and you’re looking for a good chunk of meat at a fairly affordable price, the butchers on Mutley Plain have some really great quality meat. It always feels like Christmas when you get it from a proper butchers!