Christmas is an extremely traditional affair with all the flavour expected from the British overseas territory. From family festive fun and entertainment with the annual Christmas Fair, open every day from the start of December up until mid-January, with traditional fairground rides and Christmas tunes. The opening of the fair coincides with the turning of the Christmas Lights. This year’s event, generally on a Friday, was delayed one day due to heavy rain.
Nonetheless, everyone enjoyed the evening, evidenced by the thousands of people who turned out to witness the festive display and enjoy the corresponding winter party in Casemates, and Christmas market led by the incredibly talented cover band Coldplace.
Visiting Gibraltar in December is reminiscent of a London High Street, with all the shops decorated for the festive season.
December is the busiest time of the year for many retailers in Gibraltar. The pressure to provide everything required for residents and nearby ex-pat visitors from Spain looking for traditional Marks and Spencer mince pies and Heston Blumenthal Christmas puddings.
Expect to see the odd cruise ship here and there dropping in to experience all the fuss and ceremony.
In fact, Gibraltar is a great place to stock up on all those Christmas food essentials, with Eroski (in fact a Basque chain supermarket) providing locally sourced fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, and Spanish favourites and delicacies including savoury jamón ibérico’ sweet turrónes and polvorónes. We are lucky to have a complete range of Waitrose Christmas stock. Not forgetting the immensely popular Morrisons, a popular Christmas food shopping destination for that Christmas turkey, Brussel sprouts and boxes of Quality Street. Practically any food product required for a traditional British Christmas table is available in Gibraltar.
Thursday, November 28th is the day to mosey along to The Convent for its annual Christmas Fair. Each year The Convent picks several charities to support, and the funds raised go directly to these charities. This year’s support goes to Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer and Cancer Research support groups. The event runs for two days from 12 pm to 6 pm and has many stalls selling festive crafts, gifts, cards and decorations. Also, Father Christmas will be on-site, taking a well-earned rest from his Christmas duties. The quality of the goods, entertainment, refreshments (including mulled wine and carols) and knowing any money spent supports these great charities makes this a worthwhile visit.
For the main Christmas shopping event, visit Main Street. This is the central shopping district and the days leading up to Christmas and Christmas Eve itself, is buzzing with hundreds of people looking for gifts for loved ones. The variety on offer ensures that everyone will get what he or she desires for Christmas, from decadent lingerie, locally handmade crafts, perfume, cosmetics and artisan chocolate. If its designer labels on their Christmas list visit Trends for Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and Versace, plus many more.
Be sure to stay on Santa’s nice list to ensure your stocking holds some of the delights of Gibraltar!
Original Content by Tracy Jennifer on behalf of City Guide Gibraltar