We were ripped off at ‘unoriginal’ Christmas market – sausage bap with measly cup of wine cost us £15…it takes the p*** | The Sun

FUMING punters slammed Manchester's famous Christmas market around the city, branding it "rubbish", "expensive" and "unoriginal".

Marketgoers were raging after being asked to fork out £15 for a traditional hog roast roll, £9 for a simple sandwich and £5.50 for a small glass of festive mulled wine.

The famous market runs from November 2 to December 24 every year and is the largest German Christmas market outside of Germany.

This means tourists can enjoy classics such as schnitzels, bratwursts and steins of beer.

But, disgruntled locals claim the markets have "gone downhill" and extortionate prices have killed the Christmas spirit they once offered.

Others have said they can't afford to buy anything from greedy stall holders and their disappointed kids can only wonder through to soak up the atmosphere.

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Tony Ward, 52, told The Sun that he was “dragged” to the markets from his Ardwick home by his 27-year-old son Thomas.

He said: “There’s nothing much about it, and its well expensive. This isn’t the Christmas spirit, is it heck, the amount they charge is ridiculous!

“The prices take the p*ss – the whole thing is just a money-making scheme.

"I know one lad who comes from abroad every year to run a stall here and he makes £80k in the two months.”

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While Thomas added: “It’s overpriced but I love it. It’s £9 for just a sandwich!”

If hungry Brits fancy some loaded fries, it would set them back £12 at Eat Greek, meanwhile a bagel at Triple B bagels costs as much as £9.50.

Visitors who want to sample treats from popular stall Waffle Kart will have to shell out as much £13.50 for some chicken dishes.

The market is spread out across the city centre with the main attraction positioned at Piccadilly Gardens.

Steve Mayall, of Manchester, was walking through when The Sun asked him if he uses the markets.

“Yes, I do. I use them as a shortcut to get to the next place,” the 66-year-old joked.

“It’s all basically the same and it’s too expensive, it’s just rubbish and you won’t find me going to them.”

Meanwhile, 85-year-old Barbara West was visiting the city with 89-year-old husband Les, both of Scunthorpe.

She added: “I used to work on a market for years, the atmosphere isn’t the same here. The atmosphere used to be really different, really good – it’s just not the same.’

But, there were some Festive market fans amid the fed-up visitors.

Lawrence and Bernie Delahoyde, both aged 62 explained that they try to visit the markets “two or three times a year” despite the inflated prices.

“It’s not the same without Albert Square open, we get that they’re doing work on it but it isn’t the same as last year”, Lawrence said.

“Today we’ll be looking to spend as little as possible, but it never works out!”

I know one lad who comes from abroad every year to run a stall here and he makes £80k in the two months.”

Bernie added: “They are just so expensive – you can buy a bottle of mulled wine for £3 but you’ll be charged double that for a glass here.

“We do like coming here though, to take it in, have a look around and have a drink or two.”

In Morrisons, a bottle of mulled wine retails at £2.50, while over at the Pig & Barrel in Piccadilly Gardens a glass is sold for £5.50 and punters can buy a small hog roast roll for as much as £9.

However, eye-watering prices were not the main worry for 51-year-old Michaela Pivesso, who hails from Monza, just north of Milan, Italy, but moved to the country 30 years ago.

“I come every year but I might not spend any money because it is so expensive, I usually come to have a look around,” she said.

“It’s gone downhill in the last 10 years, it’s just shops who have businesses in the town already, and you don’t get people coming from far and wide anymore – there used to be a really good Vietnamese stall, but I don’t think they come anymore.

“In Europe it’s more people who do things at home and then come to sell, or show off, their goods – and it’s unique. Here, there’s just a lot of food and it’s not unique, it’s unoriginal.”

Meanwhile, Eloise Southgate, 26, visited the city with 27-year-old boyfriend Alan Palmer, both from Northampton.

Eloise explained that living in the East Midlands town the couple usually visit Bath’s markets for their festive cheer.

Eloise, heading to Old Trafford for the Manchester United V Luton match, said: “It’s different to Bath, this one doesn’t look as good to be honest – but we’ve not come here for the Christmas markets, we’re just here for the football and passing through.”

If punters wanted to experience all of Manchester’s Christmas markets, they would have to make a tiring trek through the city centre to several locations.

They are just so expensive – you can buy a bottle of mulled wine for £3 but you’ll be charged double that for a glass here."

These are: Market Street, New Cathedral Street, Exchange Square, Cathedral Gardens, King Street, Exchange Street, St Ann’s Square and Piccadilly Gardens.

It comes after a mum told how she was "taken for a mug" after taking her children to the event this year.

Emma Gill says she spent a fortune on food when she took her three kids to eat.

Writing for Manchester Evening News, Emma explained: “When I took three kids along for a bite to eat, I wasn't expecting the bill to come to almost £60 – without drinks!

And, the Manchester Christmas markets battled similar criticism last year.

Brits blasted the "rip off" stalls that charged £9 for a hot chocolate.

Outraged punters claimed it would be "cheaper to go to Germany" than stay in Manchester as the cost of hotels and transport soared.

Meanwhile, others dubbed it the 'worst Christmas Market in Britain' after a hotdog and a pint set them back £20.

Some claimed the stalls were "badly laid out" and Manchester needed to "lower their prices and up their game".

Manchester City Council has been contacted for comment.

Manchester City Council's Christmas spokesperson Pat Karney has previously said: "We don't set the prices on our market stalls and nor could we as we don't know the costs involved in producing the goods on sale.

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"Whilst we'll always check out any complaints that are brought to us, it's down to individual traders to set their own prices that reflect their overheads and the quality of what's on offer.

"Stallholders are however obviously subject to the same market forces as other retailers in that if what they're selling is too expensive, customers won't buy their products."

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