Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

The first sign that Christmas is approaching is the sudden appearance of the Christmas-inspired coffees but it's not until you head on to the Winter Wonderland over at Hyde Park that you know for sure that Christmas is on its way. It's a lot bigger this year, more rides, more stalls and a circus to top it all off. They've kept the fundamental idea - German Market, ice rink, rides and general happiness. It still gives you that familiar feeling, the feeling that just for a couple of hours, you can fully unleash the kid at heart.

The booth that I was on the lookout for - the one with the gingerbread hearts and candied nuts. I think after a couple of years, you start recognising some of the faces behind the counter and this one, I definitely recognised. Nothing like taking a stroll around the fairgrounds with a bag of candied nuts in one hand and a bag of gingerbread squares in the other.

We were missing Spain a tiny bit so when we saw Churros, we knew we had to have some.

Even Jamie Oliver decided to leave his mark at the Winter Wonderland this year. Food, and a little area where you can decorate your very own gingerbread man.

One simply cannot leave the Winter Wonderland without having had a round of Bratwurst. Topped with sauerkraut and settled in nicely in a roll, it's definitely not easy to just walk away from this one - not when one can hear the sizzle of the bratwurst cooking on the grill. Bratwurst, a cup of mulled wine or German beer and a space by one of the wooden barrels and you're set.

Sweets, for kids of all ages.

Sure, everything's just a tiny bit more expensive at the Winter Wonderland but with the sound of children (and adults) gleefully (and sometimes not so gleefully) screaming, the smell of candied nuts and roast pork, the bright lights, the elves and the familiar music, you cannot help but forgive it. In fact, you'll find yourself soaking up the Christmas spirit with a silly grin on your face.

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