Queue to polish up for Christmas

Queue to polish up for Christmas
A large queue outside Angel Nail Salon in the Englsih Market. Today saw Cork City fill with shoppers in the final few days before Christmas. Cafes and Resutraunts were filled. Shoppers Queued up outside business such as hairdressers and salons, and the streets were filled with a festive feeling as many carol groups were scattered throughout the city. Pic: Damian Coleman

7,000 sides of smoked salmon and a 'reckless' amount of spiced beef will be sold in the English Market before Christmas Day.

Busy traders are deep into their busiest time of year, with dinner essentials and special treats being snapped up in abundance.

As well as the food overload, one of the busiest market traders is Angel Nail Salon where long queues have formed through the plaza from morning until evening every day, with women and young girls eager for a Christmas beauty treat. Nail bars throughout the city have been doing a roaring trade.

Famed fishmonger Pat O'Connell says that it is a joy to be part of the market at Christmas.

"There’s an incredible sense of tradition in the market this time of year, with all the smells and noises, those Christmas foods like turkeys and spiced beef: it oozes character," he said.

As ever, renowned butcher Tom Durcan is busy with his spiced beef set to grace tables all over Cork, Ireland and beyond.

Last year, Tom sold 13 tonnes of his award-winning spiced beef; how much is he going to shift this year? He doesn’t have a final tally but it’s “an amount bordering on the reckless,” he says.

"This year, we’re sending out spiced beef to Sweden and Spain, and loads to the UK," his wife Yvonne added.

The 230 year old market is a crucial part of Christmas tradition on Leeside, but it's not all classic dishes on sale this year.

As well as smoked salmon and spiced beef, traders are selling some newer products this year. Spiced tongue, spiced buffalo, smoked butter - ideal for topping vegetables - raspberry wine, Mediterranean cheese and, even, kelp and seaweed are all catching the eye too.

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