Why Plymouth Has The Best Christmas Market…

two ladies at Christmas

Festive markets are a fixture in many of our reasons for loving Christmas time!

They have been a calendar event for years. But recently they really do dominated our November and December schedules.

Almost every town and city now hold a Festive Market. Some big, some small. All offering the same atmospheric riches that can only be found during this picturesque time of year.

Here at Strathmore House Apartments, we LOVE Christmas and we LOVE the Plymouth Christmas Market too!

Each year, we are welcoming more and more guests. Returning to soak in the atmosphere and purchase some unique hand-made gifts for loved ones.

So for all those early birds who love to plan ahead, here are our top THREE reasons why:

We LOVE our Christmas Market by the sea...

That Festive Feeling…

With the sparkling lights, the smell of cinnamon filling the air, the festive tunes jingling in the background and the mulled wine flowing…the atmosphere of a Christmas Market, especially our Christmas Market, is the stuff of Little Women and Enid Blyton tales!

Carol singers, Christmas treats and traders sharing their crafts; it’s the perfect way of treating yourself to a less stressful Christmas Shopping excursion! A shopping trip fuelled with niceness and smiles, not elbows and frowns!

For much of the year, when we shop, we mostly choose convenience. Be that online, in Malls and out of town for parking ease or in supermarkets while we buy our bread and milk. Christmas Markets are an amazing time of year to support local crafts and independent traders and retailers, as well as high-streets.  Independent retailers are facing their toughest battles, not only as they are now competing with an army of online providers, but also the ever changing landscape of Britain’s high streets.

If you haven’t been to the Plymouth Christmas Market, make this year the first year you do. Not only will the atmosphere blow you away and feel sensational, the feeling you get when you make a purchase from someone with passion about their product or craft (or both) is the stuff that Christmas is really made of!

If this is to be your first year; we are certain it won’t be your last!

The FOOD…

Words will NEVER do the food scene in Plymouth justice at any time of the year – but especially at Christmas!

Never could you ever describe the taste, the smell and the satisfaction of the hearty, winter warming delights!

It’s not just the street food either that will blow your mind and fill your belly!  It’s not just the tasty German bratwursts, the roasted chestnuts or the homemade pastries from the market itself; oh no! The local restaurants, cafes and bakeries pull out all the stops to ensure you are fully sated for your shopping experience.

What’s more, if you are staying at Strathmore House Apartments you don’t have to worry about the drive home! You are just a short stroll away from the action.  So, you can wash all the amazing food down and warm your cockles with a mug of mulled wine whilst you continue shopping, for a truly sumptuous additional Christmas experience.

There’s nothing more enjoyable than walking around the market sampling the delicious Christmas offerings, whilst buying some extras for your Christmas Day treats.

The Joy Of Giving The Perfect Gift…

Christmas is the time for giving; it’s a time for thinking about the very best item for that very dear someone. It could be £1 or £100 – gifts are not about the price tag but about the thought.

What better way to say ‘ I saw this and thought of you’ than with a local gift, from a talented and passionate person, selling not only their product, but giving you a little piece of themselves while they do.

The great thing about any market is that when you wander around, seeing the amazing creations, you naturally feel inspired to ask questions. Then you get to hear all about the where, the when and the whys. So not only do you then take home the present, you also take home the narrative. When you share this with the gift, you have the perfect pair!

A handmade gift from a Christmas Market; whether that’s traditional crafts, scented soaps, candy and chocolate, unusual Christmas cards, to your favourite person’s favourite tipple, there really is something special for every special someone.

Whilst you are here, why not think about a little gift to yourself? Add a special something to your Christmas list, for your Christmas tree!

A gift or perhaps a new tradition; a little Christmas decoration for decorating your tree, then you will always be reminded of your special trip by the sea.

 

 

Away From Home At Christmas…

fireplace with mirror and christmas decorations

Christmas Is Magical…

For many of us though, the thought of doing Christmas away from home feels somewhat underwhelming. After all, for many of us the best part of Christmas is not leaving the house, just being altogether in your family home.

But for others, Christmas away from home makes perfect sense. Whether it’s spending the festive season cosying up in a cottage in the country, or staying with us in our seaside apartments; jetting off to spend Christmas away from the ‘normal routines’ is what can make.

Trudi and Mike and their two children do just that, and we ask them what it is that they love about…

‘Being away For Christmas’

“It’s a well earned break away after a long year. We both have jobs that mean throughout the year we get very little time off altogether. Throughout the year we have to take alternate holidays  to cover child care, so Christmas really is the only ‘real’ time all four of us have as one.

We never go to the ends of the earth, it’s always an hour or two away in the car, but for us it makes all the difference. We aim to be away for a day or two before Christmas Eve and then return home a day or two after Boxing Day.

Once there, we still have a tree, great food, songs and Christmas films; we FaceTime or Skype family scattered around the world on Christmas Day and we explore wherever we are on Christmas Eve. We wander around and look at the Christmas Lights and try and find Carol Services and a Panto.

When you are away from Christmas you are more focused on the people you are with, rather than things. For us it’s just how we like it and our very own, unique tradition.”

Our Tips For Having A Magical Christmas Away From Home…

Stay Connected:

When staying away from home, make sure you remember your chargers!! It may sound basic, but packing for a Christmas Road Trip can make you forget the most basic of things, write a list and check it twice!

Check that wherever you are staying has reliable Wi-Fi. It may be freezing outside; but you want to avoid screen freeze inside on Christmas Day when you are trying to Skype Aunt Mable!

Dec The Halls:

Check that the accommodation are happy with you putting up a tree and decorations. We are, but we have heard that some places prefer you not to decorate. They may suggest that you sign a waiver or give a larger deposit. That would be  in case you caused any tinsel damage!

Local charity shops are great for decoration bargains, that you can then donate back – this saves lots of room in the car, perhaps just take a few items that are sentimental to take. Choosing them, filling up the basket together is great fun, what’s more, you can kit you home away from home up for less than £10!

Being Local:

You can find  a lot out about the city/town you are visiting by following your accommodation provider on social media. Like us, many will share news and events. But also things like where and when local chemists are open over Christmas. Useful, local information.

Father Christmas:

If you have young children, a really nice idea is to send ahead a letter from Santa. The staff can have waiting on the pillow of their bed. It’s a magical way of them knowing straight away that he has the right address.  We love getting involved and helping to make memories and often do these kinds of touches.

You could go one step further and wrap everyone matching pyjamas! It could be a welcome present or Christmas Eve gift. Why not post that ahead too. It could be there waiting  for you when you arrive!

From Us To YOU:

Whatever you do, be you at home or away, we all wish you the most magical of Christmases. And a VERY Happy New Year.

 

 

Dementia Friendly Carol Service …

music book and drinks with lights

 

Unite in song this Christmas at a truly amazing carol concert…

decorative snowman

We are part of the New Continental Group. Included in this is our sister company, the New Continental Hotel. The New Continental Hotel was the first Dementia Friendly Hotel in Plymouth.

Something we are all very proud of.

Sadly; there are very few people now that have not had, seen or felt the impact of dementia. And we want to help, even if just in a small way.

So; join us and delight in the sounds of sensational choirs. Sing along to your favourite carols. Or simply be uplifted by our amazing community coming together this Christmas time.

Everyone is invited to attend; friends and family who wish to bring a loved one with Dementia; or simply to unite in song against dementia.

This brings us on to our proud announcement!

Plymouth’s annual Carol Concert will be held in the stunning St Paul’s church in Stonehouse on Wednesday the 12th of December between 3-4pm.

 

Join us for a magical evening of carols and festive treats all in support of The Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance (PDAA) .

Together we will unite against dementia. For more information please click here.

 

De-Stress This Christmas With Adam & Elinor…

lady sat by sign

From mindful meditation to keeping a journal; through to healthy eating and fitness tips.  Two of our staff  share their habits on how they best deal  with ‘life’ stresses during Christmas time…

Here at Strathmore House Apartments, we care about people. Not just their experiences whilst in our beautiful and charming city; but how they actually feel and how they look after themselves, even when they aren’t staying here with us.

We talk to our Development Manager, Elinor Eaton and Club Continental Manager, Adam Domyslawski about the magic of Christmas, but also the strain and stresses we can feel too.

 

Although a magical time, the energy that is needed can sometimes leave us feel a little out of sorts. Elinor tells us how she stays positive at Christmas Time.

“Trying to clear your inbox and finish projects ready for the New Year; planning the perfect Christmas and buying the right gifts; worrying you won’t fit into your Christmas jumper after all the office mince pies..! The list can feel endless! But you’re not alone! These are stresses felt by many of us in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

It can sometimes feel like a bit of a taboo subject! People expect a positive response to ‘how are you?’; the majority don’t really want to know if you are having a little wobble, let alone real life issues. We live in a social climate whereby we are used to seeing happy filters on photos and positive quotes on Facebook; and we have almost conditioned ourselves to feel envious of that ‘pretend’ life – yet unable to deal with the real one of others and our own!

The festive period is meant to be a time for getting together, enjoying each other’s company, exchanging presents and having a good time.  But sadly it can be a time where life becomes really overwhelming. End of year targets have only weeks to be reached. You haven’t got that gift which is ‘ALL’ they wanted. You can’t remember the name of Bryan’s wife next door for the Christmas Card; and you have over committed to festive events and family gatherings!

It may sound like I am trivialising things slightly, but this time of year can honestly be the most stressful – for all manner of reasons – both big and small.

The first thing to say is, it really isn’t just you that might be feeling this way. Be it work, money, home or simply life, we all have our wobbles … and it really is OK.  

I make sure I do certain things to keep my mental well-being in check and keep on top of the nagging voices and moments of sadness or worry. I know Adam is an advocate for exercise, being outdoors and a good diet, but I have always been a huge fan of meditation, keeping a journal and trying to keep a good work/life balance.

Strathmore House Apartments is perfect for this. It’s quiet and private for amazing meditation, and so light and airy. It also encourages you to put your life first, when you step out of the doors and almost straight onto the sea-front, you realise what is – and what isn’t important!

 

My biggest lesson, and one I will always keep pushing  to learn, is to love myself.  Even with the scars, the ones that people can see, but also the ones that people can’t see too. Because eventually those scars will heal and things will get better.

Secondly, I always make more time for being me during the festive period. Choosing getaways like Strathmore House Apartments gives you the perfect platform to reconnect with what matters.

If you haven’t planned a New Year break yet, then grab some amazing deals now and make time for you.

It really is so important that you grab happiness and realise that these wobbles are just part of the journey and Christmas, well Christmas is the perfect time to give yourself the most important gift; happiness above all else.”

It’s clearly important to feed your soul and although our favourite time of year Christmas, in addition to all the usual everyday related stresses, Christmas can bring with it a whole heap of additional challenges and obstacles that we have to smile through and make time for.

Adam Domyslawski from Club Continental shares his tips on how to stay ‘strong’, both physically and mentally this Christmas.

 “An unhealthy diet and a lack of regular exercise and sleep can have really adverse consequences on your well-being; both physically and mentally at any time of the year; but at Christmas we indulge that little bit more, sleep that little bit less and find it hard to find the time for our usual routines. The ingredients to a disaster! ”

 Stress isn’t just a state of mind; it really impacts your physical being too. It can exacerbate nearly every pre-existing condition and can lead to the development or worsening of anxiety, depression and much more, stress really isn’t something to joke about.

 

It’s a real chicken and egg situation though I know! The more you are stressed and the busier you are, the less likely you are to look after yourself. But it’s essential to find the time to think about you and your body this time of year. 

When you get on an aeroplane and they do their safety procedure in case of an emergency; they tell you to put your mask on before assisting anyone else. Hard to do; as your instinct is to help others first – but what help will you be if you haven’t helped yourself first? It’s the same principle with health and fitness – if you aren’t healthy and fit both physically and mentally – no one will have a good Christmas and your work load for next year will simply increase.

The key is to remember that it is essential that you find enough time in the day for you. Plan your meals so that you don’t panic and hunger buy; but instead you have it with you and ready when you are. Also, take the time to think through a little fitness throughout your week.  It can be parking a little further from the office or shops; taking the stairs or simply making the time for you to work-out. It’s really essential that you find a way. Even if during this crazy we weeks it’s less than normal – a little can go a long way!”

Club Continental is free for Strathmore House Apartments guests. It’s an amazing resource just a short stroll from the apartments.

Magical Memories & Festive Fun…

iphone taking a picture of a christmas tree

The Lights and Nights of Christmas…

With our city awash with beautiful sparkling Christmas lights, both in the city centre and on the beautiful Plymouth Barbican; there really is something magical about Christmas; no matter how old you are!

With only weeks away to the big day itself;  the magic never seems to fade; even with the stress of finding the right gifts; making enough time for family and friends and emptying the inbox before the out of office goes on!

We all know that the stress, well it’s always worth it in the end!

We know that finding the right base at Christmas is no mean feat; being away at this time of year you require a little different touch to any other time. Space and privacy are top – but also location to maximise the time you have for visiting friends and family (or shopping!)

There are so many amazing, unique and quirky places to call home in Plymouth and that makes us even more honoured that so many people have chosen us.

We are overjoyed that we have the opportunity to welcome everyone to Plymouth this Christmas. All with differing reasons for their visit. We have one couple coming down to welcome their first grandchild, due on the 25th December! Another family coming for their first time away from home at Christmas. Then a mother and daughter coming to spend the Christmas and New Year in their home-town after 17 years of living away.

Christmas brings many wonders and so much excitement, and so to be part of the Christmas celebrations, festive fun and magical memories is totally heartening.

We love this time year. And Christmas at Starthmore House Apartments really does make perfect sense and the most amazing place to make your home from home at Christmas time.

What’s more, with our location, there’s nothing quite like a winter walk on the waterfront, or a wander around the Christmas market to get you in the festive mood…or perhaps just to walk off some of those pre-Christmas calories!

Plymouth is by far one of the best cities to enjoy Christmas and we are truly thrilled to be having the opportunity to be part of so many wonderful Christmas memories.

From All Of Us; We Wish You The Merriest Of Christmases And A Super 2019.