Texan in Norwich

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Christmas, part III

By the time this is posted, James and I will be getting ready to head off to Texas! We’re very much looking forward to some warm weather and sunshine, seeing my family, and playing with out dog and cat! I’ll be posting some blogs about Christmas in Texas later, but for now, here’s the last of our Norwich Christmas.

Even though it’s been very cold and grey here, walking around town feels a bit special with all the lights and Christmasy storefronts. We’ve been doing a bit of Christmas shopping, in addition to all the Christmas knitting I’ve been doing. We’ve also been to a few Christmas markets, and have been drinking lots of hot drinks around town.

The Iron House

The Iron House, home of the best soy hot chocolate

The Royal Arcade

The Royal Arcade



The weekend before last, James and I made our way across town to the Dragon Hall Medieval Christmas Market. We’d never been to Dragon Hall before, so it was a good opportunity to see it and do some Christmas shopping at the same time! It was a very impressive building, built around 1430 as a trading hub. The market was a fun mix of slightly sinister medieval gifts (daggers for Christmas, anyone?) and sweet homemade decorations and gifts. Many of the sellers were dressed up in medieval costumes, so that was also fun.


The unassuming outside of Dragon Hall


Part of the market from the courtyard

Dragon Hall


Gingerbread Man

The only thing we ended up buying…

James and I also went to the Christmas Clutter City Market, and this nice one at the Forum, complete with school band.



Well, that’s it from England! See you in Texas!


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Norwich Markets

One of my favorite things about Norwich is the amount of creative people that live here. You can take classes for any type of art or activity (like knitting, which I am doing!), and the city center is full of art supplies stores and independent shops. There are also so many markets.

I love markets. At home we have a small farmers market and a couple of seasonal flea markets, but nothing like the ones that have come through Norwich. Nearly every Saturday there is some kind of market at the Forum, and there have been many coming through the church halls around where we live. I’ve been to a market for charity Christmas cards, vintage jewelry, hand made baskets, local produce, sausages (proof of this is below), and more.

My favorites so far have been the Clutter City Market at the Norwich Arts Centre (in an old church), and the monthly flea market at St Andrews’s and Blackfriars Halls (also an old church, a theme I will return to in a later post).

Clutter City Market

The Clutter City Market was full of handmade objects. Toys, jewelry, clothes, home decorations, art work, and so much more, all hand made by the people running the stalls. It was engrossing and inspiring. I didn’t take many pictures because it was quite crowded, but hopefully you can tell from the photo what a lovely experience it was.

For more information and photos, please check out the official Clutter City blog on the event. The market is coming back in December, and I can’t wait!

Another market we went to recently was the Norwich Original Flea Market at St Andrews’s and Blackfriars Hall.

St Andrews Hall

This market has been held once a month here for 37 years. It is 100 stalls of strange and interesting antique and vintage objects in a very impressive setting. It cost 1 pound to go in, but this month the flea market was raising money for Cancer Research charity. My guess is that every month the entrance fee goes to support a charity, but I can’t find anything that confirms this.

James and I are not big antique people, but I love looking at peoples’ old things. I love old post cards, old games, photos, newspapers, brochures, the weirder the better. Being someone who has a hard time throwing things away, I find it very interesting to see what other people find important enough to keep through the years. There was plenty of this at the market, in addition to the expected antique furniture, lamps, jewelry, and vintage clothes. One of my favorite stalls was simply thousands of postcards from all around Norfolk, lovingly organized into categories (like “churches” and “windmills”) as well as geographical locations.

James and I considered purchasing this game, but realized we didn’t actually have any money with us. We loved how dressed up the characters on the box are. Betting on imaginary football matches is a classy affair.

It was really a lot of fun, and we are looking forward to the one in November!