If you know me well, you’ll know that I adore Christmas. I love feeling festive, I love the cold weather (any excuse to buy a hat), I love Christmas coffee and I have an obsession with fairy lights (although after Stranger Things…). About 20 minutes from my house, there’s a giftware shop/café; Alexander’s of Markethill. I’ve heard great things about their Christmas range and the events they hold; they have a Christmas sale as well as a festive evening in the run up to the big day where you get mulled wine, mince pies and of course, Christmas music.
Whenever my friends talked about going to their sale this year, I automatically said yes. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect other than something amazing because of what everyone had been saying. Markethill was heaving – it’s a fairly small town and it was the busiest I had ever seen!
The weather was awful; raining and fairly chilly so it did start to feel a bit like Christmas! When we went in, the place was already buzzing and there was a queue snaking the whole way up the stairs to the café/gift department. The theme was ‘Christmas At The Westend’ and in their upstairs department they had several inlets each decorated with a different musical; Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, The Phantom of the Opera, The Nutcracker and Elf (my personal favourite #santaaaaa #iknowhim)
As per usual, I took some pictures (sorry they’re crappy iPhone photos) and that’s when I decided I may as well write a post about it! This is my first kind of lifestyle post (is it a lifestyle post? I have no idea about these things) and is in no way sponsored by Alexander’s.
We started off downstairs where half of the department was decorated with all things Christmas. They had beautifully decorated trees all around and lots of cute wee animals; penguins, seals and a huge moving polar bear!
The area had so many accessories for trees (and so many pine cones ha) – ribbons, garlands, MILLIONS of fairy lights and lots of cute woven and material baskets to put under your tree! The rest of the floor was just their standard homeware things which we all love to look at (I really want a Kitchen Aid mixer) so we took a quick deco round there before moving on.
We skipped the queue for the cafe and went up to where the magic was happening. Upstairs they had their main floor where we spent most of our evening!
Our favourite inlets were Elf and The Phantom of the Opera so I have more pictures from them than the rest!
The Phantom of the Opera was AMAZING and definitely the most beautifully decorated of them all. The corner was spectacular with a frame suspended from the ceiling, the infamous mask as well as being enclosed within a cage. It also had what I think looks like an upside down Christmas tree! honestly it really captured the whole feeling of the musical and the decorations they had on sale were incredible. They were selling masks too, kind of like the masks you would wear at a murder mystery kind of event and Bex got this stunning black and gold one which she looks gorgeous in! Naturally the colours of choice were black, deep navy/blue, dark purple and grey. They had this amazing free-standing candelabra too but it was over £100 so I thought I better not!
We then moved on to Elf. Elf is literally my favourite Christmas film ever and I would watch it all year round if it was socially acceptable. I think it’s my favourite because although there are sad elements to it, it reminds us of the good in the world and the whole ‘community spirit’ kind of notion.
This inlet was back to the traditional greens and reds we all recognise at Christmas time; there were candy cane plushies as well as elves, elf shoes and little jolly Santas! There were dancing dogs too, which were cute but kind of weird too. One side of the wall had loads of hanging decorations; little hearts, reindeer, bells, Santas and the one pictured above that had a bell inside it. I picked up two of these; one for my house and one to give my sister (it’s her first Christmas in her new house so I thought I’d start her off!). Combining all of the above with Christmas music I was definitely tempted to go home and start watching Elf early!
The other rooms were amazing too; the Nutcracker room in particular was very regal, with lots of deeps reds and what I imagine Christmas time way back in history would’ve been like. They had a huge fireplace and a table with a gramophone surrounded by baubles with the most intricate designs and patterns I’ve ever seen!
Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin were the smaller of the five but equally as well decorated as the rest! Sleeping Beauty had a wonderful princess mannequin in the corner and a massive pink and purple Christmas tree! Aladdin had lots of bright, tropical colours and loads of tinsel which I think is always required for decoration at Christmas! To be honest, I didn’t pay as much attention to these rooms (mainly because I didn’t think about blogging until I got to The Nutcracker haha).
We took a quick look round the rest of the floor which was mainly Christmas cards, decorative candles (which were amazing) and cushions! I very nearly bought a cushion but put it back at the last minute (instant regret so I’ll be going back). In the middle of the floor was a “Box Office” stand where you could take a selfie with props so naturally I pulled Bex in with me to get a picture (gotta keep that Insta feed updated).
All in all, it was a really nice evening out! The effort Alexander’s put in to making it look magnificent is incredible, each tree decorated to match the musicals exactly and so much colour co-ordination! The atmosphere was buzzing all night and there was still a massive queue to get in whenever we left about an hour or so later! Proof that Alexander’s hold pretty sweet events.
It definitely cheered me up after a rough few days and even though it’s nowhere near Christmas, it definitely left me feeling festive! If you’re about the area, definitely call in for a look round! The cafe they have is class too and is a really popular spot for lunch or coffee dates!
I hope this wasn’t a truly horrible “lifestyle” post but I thought I’d write a bit about what I get up to whenever I’m not talking about MH! Also shoutout to Bex and her momma for letting me tag along!