Many towns hold some sort of Christmas market, but for some reason Berwick has decided to go with a Dickensian theme every year. The justification for this appears to be that the great man himself gave readings in the town twice. Given the celebrated energy and frequency with which Dickens toured the country to give readings from his books, I don't feel this confers any particular distinction on Berwick. I'm also rather twitchy about any event where the general public are encouraged to appear in fancy dress, since it seems just to further the belief that Britain in general and the Borders in particular have no future other than as a theme park for the amusement of overseas visitors. I spotted a Japanese woman insisting that her husband take a photo of her standing beside the carriage, which confirmed this suspicion. (She got a shock when the horses moved off.) It's not like there's anything special about the stalls at the Dickensian market - they're a mixture of the same old stuff that's on sale at the ordinary weekly market and the same old stuff that's on sale at every farmers' market. And frankly the standard of the coffee that's available at most of these sort of events makes one look more indulgently at Starbucks' creative accountancy. Fortunately most of the locals seem to enjoy it all a lot more than I do, so I keep quiet.
If any of my readers are interested in visiting the hotel that boasts the above plaque, it's the Kings Arms on Hide Hill. But at the moment it's closed for major renovation work, after which they hope to be able to provide decent showers as well as a Dickensian ambience.