We Took 20 To Edinburghs Christmas Market To See What We Could Actually Afford

It is that wonderful time of year when the smell of pine needles and mulled wine is in the air, not to mention the opportunity to slip a disc on the city centre ice rink.

As is Edinburgh Live tradition, editors have sent me uptown to see what I can get my hands on for a Hampden roar (£20).

Now many of you may be thinking £20? Is that it?! He will be lucky to get a slice of Yule Log at the Edinburgh Christmas Market with that.

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But you would be surprised just how far that cash can stretch.

In reality, the real issue was deciding what product or item to splash my cash on, whether it was food and drink, or a wee stocking filler for my wee mammy or missus.

I walked around for a while in a daze, puzzled by the opportunities that had been put in front of me, a ride on the Forth One Big Wheel would be too large a dent at £10 and despite the Helter Skelter being only £3, I get vertigo on a bar stool.

So I decided it was best to leave the rides out of it and my lunch within my bowels as well as my money in my wallet.

I perused the various stalls, being blown away by the items on offer, from little porcelain ski lodge incense holders £17, to baubles £4 with intricate and flashy designs – it was at this point that I realised I am a sucker for anything and everything Christmas themed.

Again I resisted the urge but being honest, the money began to burn a hole in my pocket.

There was a stall in the corner of the market, hidden away but with a crowd gathered around it, and with a plethora of amazing socks on show.

I was instantly greeted by Tisya and asked her to bring me the most fantastically festive themed socks that she had in stock – of course I bought them on the spot – £5 down.

All of this wandering about and use of brain power had dried my throat and I became parched all of a sudden – time to find something to drink – so I headed to the mulled wine stand.

Abi, of Ho Ho Ho bars, talked me through my options. I’m normally a mulled cider kind of guy as the sugary taste appeals to my childlike pallet but I thought to myself ‘time to grow up’ and opted for the mulled wine – £7.

I contemplated an extra shot but this was not an option, after all, I have a budget to adhere to.

It was nice to see that despite the cost of living crisis, mulled wine had remained at the same price as last year, and they did not scrimp back by filling my cup to the brim.

Walking around the Christmas Market is dangerous on an empty stomach, there are so many options, from Bratwurst £8, to pizzas £10 and even curry £8 to choose from.

I felt like Scooby Doo being carried by the scent of the food as I passed each stand but the issue was I was only left with £8 at this point and did not want to blow it all on my rumbling belly.

Perhaps foolishly, I went for the so-called ‘chunky chips’ at £4.50, they were served to me a touch lukewarm and the portion was if Second World War rationing was in full swing – the term chunky certainly did not apply, these chips were less ‘Vice’ Christian Bale than they were ‘Machinist.’

Disappointed, and a bit disheartened, my thoughts turned to getting a little stocking filler for my mum. But what could I get for just £3.50? You would think this is where my quest would end however there was hope on the horizon.

Old Maggie is a lover of all things dogs, especially dachshunds, and unbelievably I found the cutest sausage dog keyring for only £3 – leaving me with 50p spare to stick in a charity bucket on my way home!

All in all, my £20 was able to get me a fantastic pair of Christmas socks to rock over the festive period, a mulled wine to warm my icy heart, a pocket of chips that left a sour taste in my mouth and a keyring to get me in the good graces of my old dear.


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