I am guilty of a whole lot of impulse purchases when it comes to makeup. And part of those purchases are triggered by fellow bloggers (bless your perfectly contoured soul TamTamBeauty) This Clarins Limited Edition Stylo 4 Couleurs belongs to the same set of purchases. And one that I am really happy with.

Clarins Limited Edition Stylo 4 Couleurs has a nostalgic make and design, which propelled me to buy it in the first place. It reminded me of the 4-coloured pen I used to scribble around with at 12. It had black, blue, red, and green pens, and was one of my most cherished possessions.

Clarins dug up the same concept, and replaced ink pens with 3 eyeliners (black, brown and green) and a lip liner (pink). You select and push down one of the four options, and the product is dispensed when you twist it clock wise. It is firm, much like an eye/lip pencil, so outlining is easy but filling in (e.g. lips) can require some effort.

The colours last a long time, and are mostly smudge proof. I bought it from Clarins’ website and used Tara’s discount to save 5€ from its retail price of 34.55€. Recently, I have been using this pen and TamTam’s Beauty palette as my on-the-go essentials.

Am I happy that I bought it? YES! Should you buy it? Double yes. Sometimes, it is good to indulge in limited edition pieces, for old time’s sake.

by Shaheen Rajan

Happy New Year everyone! A brand new year, with endless possibilities and a handful of interesting events, has arrived. Let’s kick in with a roundup of all that is happening in Cologne in January.

5th January 2019: Winterjazz Köln 2019

18 bands and musicians gather at Stadtgarten to show you what the Cologne jazz scene has to offer – from fusion and free, to avant-garde and modern jazz. And all with free admission. 

Deets: https://www.facebook.com/events/366241477280197/

14-20th January 2019: imm Cologne

The international furnishing show exhibits trends and decorating ideas for the coming year. As of 18 January, the fair will be open to public as well.

Deets: http://www.imm-cologne.com/

14-20th January 2019: Passagen

An exhibition event focusing on current trends in interior design, but beyond the walls of Messe. The exhibitors are international manufacturers, furniture stores, initiatives, galleries, showrooms, networks, design offices, institutes and universities.

Deets: http://www.voggenreiter.com/passagen2019

19th January 2019: Fantasy Filmfest White Nights 2019 Cologne

10 films, 2 Days, and a program of breathless thrillers, obscure scifi reveries, harsh horror shocks and soulful art pearls. From A like Arthouse to Z like Zombie-Slasher, the Fantasy Filmfest offers space for all those quiet, loud and shrill tints that are not heard everywhere else. 

Deets: http://www.fantasyfilmfest.com/dt/FFFWN_Koeln.html

20th January 2019: Flea Market Nippes

In the heart of Cologne-Nippes, more than 150 dealers offers antiques and bargains.

Deets: http://www.coelln-konzept.de/markt/nippes.html

25th January 2019: India Cologne Fest

Who said festivals can only take place in summers? Nobody! Presenting the winter edition of Indie.Cologne.Fest at Club Subway., with live acts by Belitzki, Accomplices of the rules, Mondo Mashup and The Mañana People.

Deets: https://www.facebook.com/events/316053448997790/

25th January 2019: Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Festival

The festival will open with the moving family portrait “Mamacita” at Film Forum NRW. Best and rarely seen documentaries to be showcased, and it will be an intense 10 days for doc lovers.

Deets: http://www.strangerthanfiction-nrw.de/programm-2019/spielplaene/

25th January 2019: Fünfzehnminuten

The studiobühneköln opens its stages for a weekend to art in every form -performances, dance, mini-drama, short concert, reading, multimedia-happening, lecture, audio play, exhibition, discussion, live painting, short film, music video, street art, discourse battle and more. There is a 15 minute slot for an artist to sweep you off the floor.

Deets: http://studiobuehnekoeln.de/fuenfzehnminuten/

26th January 2019: Weinwanderweg Agnesviertel

Three hour guided tour of Cologne Agnesviertel with 5 different wines to taste and small bites to indulge in.

Deets: https://www.xn--stadtfhrung-weinwanderweg-kwc.de/index.php/k%C3%B6ln-anmeldung/404/tour-ag-am-sa-26-01-2018-detail

by Shaheen Rajan

Hola! How is it going? Are you excited for 2019? I am, and before we ring in a new year, I wanted to go down the memory lane and look at the best of 2018 one last time. I feel 50 shades of narcissistic but this isn’t the first time I am oversharing, so, what the heck! Let’s go. I had so much fun writing this, and hope you can relate and rejoice at some point while reading this.

  1. Family: This year had been amazing on family front. I spent a year with N (yea, in 5 years of marriage, we haven’t spent a single year in continuity together), I met so many children (Awab, Abaan, Umer, Francesca, Monica, and Zara), went to Karachi twice to visit mom, dad and MIL, celebrated Nani Ji’s 80th birthday (extra special), met N’s family – blessed with a whole lot of love and togetherness. And you know what that made me realise? Family is all that matters. Nothing can give me the kind of peace and love that these eccentric souls have this year.
fbt

2. Red Hair: I dyed my hair red and LOVED IT. I even blogged about it, and threw in some style advices on how to carry red hair without looking jungli and shaddy.

3. Friends: This year, I reconnected with a whole lot of people who were very very important once upon a time but I had lost touch recently. I am awful at keeping in touch, so this was a little difficult and awkward- whatsapping people that I haven’t spoken to in years. But every single meeting ended with a happy face, and I am so glad I did it. In addition, a few friends became even more special and closer. And alas, German and I had our yearly fight, which ended in three months of complete silence, a blog post to whine aloud, teary patch up and treaty to take turns to ensure that our fights don’t escalate to the point of no communication. I think we are ready to grow up. Almost.

4. Travel: It was while writing this post that I realised that I have lived/travelled through 17 cities this year. It sounds phenomenal to me. This was when N and I actually made an effort to not travel, because we have been doing so much of it in last 2 years. Despite that, I ended up going to 17 cities this year – some for work, two for the blog and others for family or leisure.

5. Work: Ah, one of three loves of my life. Once I resigned from MC, the remaining two months were actually fun. My clients were awesome, their events always made me feel important and my team was a joy to work with, day in day out. Once that ended, Cherry Cross became a full time gig and has been one heck of a ride. From Bata Fashion Week in Milan to London Fashion Week, a handful of collaborations that I truly endorse (I signed my first legal blog cooperation agreement this year as well!) and a guy calling me Cherry Cross at the airport at 5AM, it has been eventful to say the least.

6. Tattoo: I got my first tattoo this year as well. When they say that it is addictive, be sure to listen to them. I wanted another one within next two weeks. But I have decided to stick to only one inking pleasure per year. Another reason to be excited about 2019!

7. Colourful Shaheen: Black is and will forever be my favourite colour when it comes to clothing. Pushing boundaries, I decided to wear anything but black for a month!! It was difficult, but I discovered many hidden gems in my closet. Win win. You can check it all out under #colourfulshaheen.

Shaheen Nouman Rajan
Shaheen Nouman Rajan

8. Mulaqaat with Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, Aga Khan: Spiritually uplifting, connecting to something bigger than I am.

9. Tandem Biking: I still can’t ride a bicycle but had my first ride on a tandem bike with N. He balanced and I (kind of) pedalled. It was such a thrilling experience! Wind through my hair, singing like a bird…it was AMAZING!

10. Food: Another one of my three loves.  From discovering the best brunch place in Cologne, to spending Rs.18,000 for a dinner for three and having chai and fries at Sarak Siyasat, food has been one constant source of pleasure. I am a Taurean, and food is LOVE. And I nailed Suji ka Halwa as well.

11. Emma’s Wedding: I finally attended a wedding that I cared about this year. After 5 years. None of my remaining few single friends were getting married, so thank god Emma decided to walk down the aisle. I have known Emma since 2006, and feel so glad that I was able to participate. Also, she made a stunning bride!

12. Saree from Mehboob Market: And for her wedding, I also bought my first ever saree. I have never bought one, and sought out Saree Champion, Fattu, to help me out. Anyone who wants to buy a fabulous saree without breaking their bank, please check out Mehboob Market. And bargain for your life.

13. All nighter, in Berlin and Karachi: I always wanted to be a badass who can party all night, but never quite got to do it. This year, I did it, in two cities, going all the way to 7AM. I have a weird bucket list, which also including popping a pill that I neither know contents of or supplier. Gotta go back to Berlin for that one.

14. Vlogging: I shot my first vlog, featuring me, this year. I even bought a ring light. And one of my videos reached over 45,000 views. But this one is my favourite. I am being very ambitious and hoping to post at least one vlog a week in 2019. And on that note, have you subscribed to my YouTube channel? Please do, as a new year’s present to me from you 😀

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you a whole lot of love, success and laughter for 2019.

Shaheen Rajan

by Shaheen Rajan

2018 had more box office disappointments (like Race 3, Thugs of Hindostan, and Zero) than entertainers, but trust Ranveer Singh to save the day. Rohit Shetty’s Simmba is one of the good ones, and here’s my one minute movie review of Simmba for you:

Ranveer Singh brought his A-game to Simmba. Sara Ali Khan’s role was disappointingly short. Sonu Sood is the kind of villain that we all love to hate. Every supporting actor, from Ashutosh Rana to Siddhartha Jadhav, has done justice to their characters and added significantly to the film’s success. I laughed out loud, and choked on my unshed tears as well. I love that despite the high quotient of masala, this movie mamages to also talk about an epidemic that is eating up our ecosystem – rape culture in our society.

Verdict: Definitely worth a watch.

by Shaheen Rajan

We have been chilling with Netflix for most part of the year, and have ran out of shows to binge watch. Actually, that’s not true. I still have a list to watch on Netflix, but decided to change flavours with Amazon Prime. Some of you asked for recommendations, so here it goes – 6 shows that I have watched on Amazon Prime and loved enough to recommend.

The Bold Type

The show is inspired by the life of “Cosmopolitan” editor in chief, Joanna Coles. The show is a glimpse into the outrageous lives and loves of those responsible for a global women’s magazine. Alongside are two other characters – a social media genius who’s in a relationship with a Muslim lesbian, and an executive secretary who has a serious talent for fashion.

Hands down one of the best shows on Amazon Prime. The Best!

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The series stars Rachel Brosnahan as the eponymous Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a housewife in 1958 New York City who discovers she has a knack for stand-up comedy.  She comes from a jewish family, and the series has a whole lot of religious anecdotes that are hilarious.

It is very different from anything that I have watched recently. Set in 1950, funny, stunning fashion and binge worthy.

Electric Dreams

A sci-fi anthology series with stand-alone episodes based on the works of Philip K. Dick. Very similar to Black Mirror in terms of concept and storylines, but with more sex scenes in one episode than in all of Black Mirror.

I do like the crazy, just not with dinner. Watch if you liked Black Mirror. And watch Black Mirror first if you haven’t already.

Mirzapur

The iron-fisted Akhandanand Tripathi is a millionaire carpet exporter and the mafia don of Mirzapur. His son, Munna, is an unworthy, power-hungry heir who will stop at nothing to inherit his father’s legacy. An incident at a wedding procession forces him to cross paths with Ramakant Pandit, an upstanding lawyer, and his sons, Guddu and Bablu. It snowballs into a game of ambition, power and greed that threatens the fabric of this lawless city.

It is Amazon’s version of Sacred Games, and quite nice.

Dietland

The morbid, delusional vibe from Electric Dreams continues. Plum Kettle is a ghostwriter for the editor of one of New York’s hottest fashion magazines. Struggling with self-image and fed up with how she’s treated by her boss and society, Plum sets out on a wildly complicated road to self-awakening. At the same time, everyone is buzzing over news reports about men, accused of sexual abuse and assault, who are disappearing and meeting untimely, violent deaths.

Mistresses

Amazon Prime’s version of Desperate Housewives. It’s about the scandalous lives of a group of four girlfriends, each on her own path to self-discovery as they brave the turbulent journey together. Also, it has 4 seasons, which means you can get your girls and a pint of ice cream, and run an all nighter.

Happy holidays!

by Shaheen Rajan

It took me a long time to accept that Cologne will be my hometown in Germany. At least for the foreseeable future. We moved into this apartment in May 2016, and I am yet to hang curtains. So you see the struggle and denial at play here? I am a big city girl, and adjusting in a relatively small city was more difficult than I had assumed. But now, I have almost made peace with the city, and have decided to show our apartment the love that it deserves.

I knew we’d be home bound on Christmas, and decided to use it for an early spring cleaning. Kitchen is the smallest and messiest of them all in our apartment, so let’s get started with that. I did mine and survived to share the lessons.

So here is presenting 5 of the most common kitchen organising challenges, that many women face, and my personal solution for them. All tried and tested yesterday. Pictures for clarity (and impressing my sasu maa).

Challenge: Cabinets deeper than my soul

I have limited shelf space, and even more limited counter space. To make it a tad bit more challenging is that half of that shelf space is in the form of deep cabinets (the ones where even kanoon ke haath can’t reach).

Hack: Big Baskets

To make those deep dark spaces usable, I bought baskets (from Penny) and stuffed them with food items that I rarely use (e.g. my keto diet supplies). This took care of the first shelf. For the one beneath it, I pushed cooking utensils that seldom make an appearance to the back. Big pots for biryani and woks for karahi. We hardly entertain at home, so normal sized utensils are enough for the two of us.

Challenge: Lack of space

As I mentioned, I have all of two cabinets, with a total of five shelves, in my kitchen. I didn’t know how much space you need to stay sane while cooking when we built it. Pehli baar and all that.

Hack: Separators

I bought separators from Ikea, which create flexible layered space. Excessive height in shelves is pretty useless for me, so with these separators, I can deck cups and masala boxes. For lower layer, I placed boxes on a tray, so I can slide them out without creating a mess. Genius.

Challenge: Hospital lookalike

Everything in my kitchen is from Ikea (other than appliances), so everything is white. It sounds great in principle but in reality, it looks bare and cold. 

Hack: Colourful frames

I bought a foodie poster and placed it in a colourful frame. Instead of mounting it on a wall, I placed it on a shelf, so I can move it around.

Challenge: Doubles of masale, paper towels and troubles

I have four packets of Shaan Bihari Masala. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. But I do have them, and they take up a whole lot of space.

Hack: Cellar

Most apartments have basement storage. I moved everything that I had double or in excess to cellar. Like most people, if it is out of sight, it is most likely out of mind as well. So I have vowed to visit cellar before buying any condiments. I also plan on taking a picture of what I have and hanging it in the kitchen.

Challenge: Cleaning supplies

Wood furniture is highly susceptible to water. So how exactly should I be cleaning my shelves, counter top, etc?

Hack: Wipes

If there is dust, then wipe the surface with a dry kitchen towel, and then use a wet wipe. I have been using DM’s Denk Mit, and am happy. No stains, fresh fragrance and inexpensive.

Happy holidays everyone!

by Shaheen Rajan

I love curling my hair, even more so in winters as my hair goes flatter than flat. But the time and effort it takes are a big turn off (hi, I am lazy). So, susti barkarar rakhte hue, I tried Philips StyleCare Auto Curler for a quicker curl solution and absolutely loved it.

This automatic curling iron creates three different kinds of styles (beach waves, festive and ringlets), using three different temperature and time settings. It is so much quicker and easier that I can’t imagine using a normal curling wand anymore. I have shared the results in my latest vlog, in case you are more of a watcher than a reader.

HOW IT WORKS:

How it works is simpler than you’d imagine – choose a desired setting (temperature – 170, 190 or 210 , time –  8, 10 or 12 secs, and curl direction – left, right or automatic), insert a strand of hair, and then press and hold the lock button. Hair strand is automatically wrapped around the curling iron and you need to hold in your hair until there is a rapid beeping.

I tried all three combinations of time and temperature, and loved the result of 190 for 10 seconds. If you have finer hair or only want beach waves, go for a lower setting. Similarly, for well defined curl, opt for 210 for 12 seconds.

VERDICT:

What I loved about Philips Auto Curler is its ease to use and quickness. Also, the wand has a ceramic coating with keratin goodness, which helps distribute heat evenly and allow hair to wrap effortlessly. The design protects you from accidental burns and the curls last long enough.

I have already used it multiple times and need an intervention to stop using it after every hair wash. I love the volume and dramatic hair flips, and can’t seem to stop.

For me, Philips StyleCare Auto Curler  is a solid 10/10.

DISCOUNT CODE:

You can use my discount code ‘thecherrycross15‘ to avail 15% discount (on top of current festive discount!). It is a limited time offer only (valid until 31.12.2018), so make sure to use it in time.

You can either go to Philips online shop and look for Philips StyleCare Auto Curler BHB876/00, or simply use this link.

Happy Friday – Hope your day is as fabulous as your hair *hair flip* 

by Shaheen Rajan

I get a whole lot of admiration for living in Germany. Folks back home assume that I have it sorted, I have arrived, and my future is a bed of Casa Blanca lilies. My naive, naive tribe. If it weren’t so endearing, I would be very tempted to dig out that shoe from 2008 that I have been saving for a special occasion and aim for their nether region.

Dear Pakistani bhaiyon, life is not easy here and far from perfect. In fact, my life was at least a 10 times easier in Karachi. It is brutal, unforgiving, won’t take a few thousand bucks to make concessions for me, and more often than not, it is dedicated to help me understand the Urdu idiom – naani yaad aajana – to the fullest.

Before you look at me or any other expat with lusty eyes, understand our challenges.

Patriotic jharoo

Being constantly judged and beaten with patriotic jharoo by Pakistanis for leaving the country. No, they call it flee. Or abandon, in throes of passion. Maaf kerdo yaar.

Scrub, scrub, scrub

Jharoo, pocha, bartan, kura, karkat, bayt ul khala, all by your own weekly manicured hands. Sorry, no more weekly manicured for you Susan. Saal mai teen bar. Like clock work.

Halal hoax

Can you really trust Turkish? With that beard, I got my doubts dude. Who’s to say what happens behind those closed doors of a slaughterhouse? I swear I might have heard Tupac muffled under cows’ moos.  Oh, and God forbid if you eat meat that is not screaming halal! *dramatic inhale* Jahanum for you Susan!!

Na idher ke, na udher ke

Too firangi for Pakistan, too desi for Deutchland. Skinny jeans under Generation’s androgynous kurta for the win. Fashion be damned.

Khaane ko tarse hue

Garam garam boti roll with sugar free chai ki qeemat tum kya jano Hot & Spicy ke upper rehne walo.

Expectation to have it sorted

I am where most 21 year olds are (FYI I am 30). Starting fresh, figuring out where to go, how to get there, stumbling all along. Sorted? That’s only my sock drawer. Maybe. Okay fine, that’s a mess too.

Naukri ke laale

Imagine not finding anything suitable after being employed for over a decade. Welcome to my life. *Amma ki awaaz haunting in the background…kis ne bola tha writer bano! Abba suggesting, why don’t you work at Wal-Mart?* Dad, Germany doesn’t have Walmart. And no. For the seventeenth time. Not happening.

What doost?

Jis zabaan mai dil se gaali nahi de sakte, uss zabaan ke doost bekaar hai. Hashtag true story.

These are some of the superfluous challenges of expat life for you. I am not saying you shouldn’t want it (that’d be hypocritical on a whole new level), but just be aware that is not a bed of Casa lilies. I swear upon döner. Which is all that you are likely to eat, for about six weeks or so after landing here.

by Shaheen Rajan

I love Bhindi. You may know this green, shapely vegetable as Okra or Lady Finger. Yes, we Asians have a sense of humour and knack for naming the underdogs in an inappropriate, sexist manner. Which is usually factually inaccurate. I mean ‘Lady Finger’ – I am a lady and none of my fingers resemble a Bhindi. Open invitation – check for yourself.

Anyway. Back to Bhindi, my love. It enrages me when someone cannot appreciate the flavours of this vegetarian marvel and has the audacity to despise it. Like seriously! How can anyone dislike Bhindi? It is the queen of veggies, trend starter, mood maker, love enabler and satisfaction guarantor. If I had a daughter, I would have named her Bhindi. If I ever launch that fashion label that I have been meaning to since 2014, I would call it Okra. If I ever open an adult toy store on outskirt of Cologne, no brainer that it’d be called Lady Finger. It’s freaking genius!

If you only think about the versatility of it, you’d be amazed. Open admiration. Surrender. You can make it as a bhaaji by adding your tired-but-trusted spices. Fill them up with some masala and fry them for a finger licking audience.  Mix it with achaar, aloo, qeema or even besan, and it will manage to stand on its own two (or one?) tasteful feet. There is no beating this woman. Don’t ever try, Susan.

For people with higher conscious (read: too bloody demanding), Ms. Bhindi comes with a whole range of health benefits as well. Take a page from Mother India’s diary – she soaks them overnight and makes dad drink the water next day to help with his sugar and cholesterol levels.

Heck, it would even help Susan grow her hair thicker and longer (I understand S, blond and Russian, for no fault of your own. It will get better darling). If this isn’t throwing ball out of the park, pray tell me what is.

Oh, you want more? Listen to this – Okra’s stem has fibre that is now being used to make rugs and carpets in India. I mean, I am all for a bhindi throw in my lounge. Bring it on.

Lastly, confession (read: coming clear about this ridiculously brilliant piece that you just read). I desperately needed to write at 2AM. Imagine an alcoholic, needing that chug of whiskey on a cold, lonely December night. That is exactly how I felt. But I didn’t have anything to write about – or more like that I lacked mental organisation to pen something serious, sombre and snore-worthy, so I decided to beat the keys for bhindi, for what deserves more love than THAT lady.

DO NOT HIT UNSUBSCRIBE. Pyaar, Bhindi Gang.

by Shaheen Rajan

Sorry boys and girls, there is no calendar, as this month is all about CHRISTMAS MARKETS! Every weekend, and weekdays if you can manage, ought to be spent with cinnamon-sugar roasted almonds and mulled wine. I have yet to start my Christmas Market hopping, so let’s hear it from Culture Trip and their list of best Christmas Markets in Cologne:

1. The Angels’ Market

After a day of shopping, stop at the Angels’ Christmas Market at Neumarkt to pick up some last gifts and warm up with a mug of Glühwein or hot chocolate. Angel figures and stars carved from wood, garlands and Christmas wreaths decorate the market square and create the illusion to be in a forested area in the midst of the city centre.

Markt der Engel, Neumarkt, Cologne, Germany

2. Christmas Market at the Dom

Cologne’s largest and most popular Christmas market certainly has the most imposing setting, having giant gothic Cologne Cathedral as a backdrop. Vendors sell typical trinkets, crafts, food and drink at their red-roofed wooden huts. Under a roof of fairy lights, the stage at the centre hosts musical performances that make for the Christmassy atmosphere.

Weihnachtsmarkt am Dom, Roncalliplatz 1, Cologne, Germany

3. Stadtgarten Christmas Market

The small Christmas market at the Stadtgarten park is a favourite among locals who appreciate the quieter cosy and rustic atmosphere, but only a few tourists venture out that far. The wooden huts are wedged in between towering chestnut trees, strings of lights taut between them, and vendors sell handmade trinkets and crafts.

Weihnachtsmarkt im Stadtgarten, Venloer Strasse 40, Cologne, Germany

4. Saint Nicholas’ Village

At the Nikolausdorf, half-timbered houses decorated with evergreen garlands and fairy lights spread across Cologne’s Rudolfplatz. The cosy market with 60 stalls is a highlight for families. Why the grown-ups can do the Christmas shopping and enjoy a mulled wine, kids can join supervised arts and crafts classes or meet Saint Nicholas.

Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem Rudoflplatz – Nikolausdorf, Rudolfplatz, Cologne, Germany

5. Harbour Christmas Market

The maritime-themed Christmas market at Cologne’s harbour and right in front of the Chocolate Museum has a unique flair to it. White pagoda tents resemble reefed sails, and the staff dress in sailors’ uniforms. The products sold all revolve around Christmas and seafaring and come from both local designers and international vendors.

Kölner Hafen-Weihnachtsmarkt, Am Schokoladenmuseum, Cologne, Germany

6. Old Town Christmas Market

The Old Town Christmas Market is great for the whole family. Huts and stall sell the best of German Christmas foods and drinks, gifts, handmade products and more. The market’s highlight is the ice rink that’s open all day for the season. You can rent skates right there and cruise around the market or participate in a round of curling.

Heinzels Wintermärchen, Heumarkt 1, Cologne, Germany

7. Chlodwigplatz Advent Market

The community-run Christmas market at Chlodwidplatz is where the locals mingle and meet for a hot drink in the Advent season – they claim to have the world’s largest Feuerzangenbowle, a German speciality drink of rum and red wine. Local designers and craftsmen and women showcase their work, and the communities’ choirs and societies arrange the entertainment line-up.

Adventsmarkt am Chlodwigplatz, Chlodwigplatz, Cologne, Germany

8. Christmas Avenue

Being Germany’s self-proclaimed gay capital, the city has a gay and lesbian Christmas market as well, which delivers an alternative Advent experience. The entertainment programme lists, Bitch-Bingo, Burlesque dance and Schlager music acts, the food and drink menu includes hot cocktails, and you might find the one or another unconventional Christmas tree decoration.

Christmas Avenue, Schaafenstraße, Cologne, Germany

 

by Shaheen Rajan