Forget grottos, and ignore igloos: this year, there’s one festive trend that’s taking over the city, and it smells bloody brilliant.
Maybe it’s a second-wave reaction to ‘Bake Off’. Maybe a naughty witch is trying to fatten us all up, ‘Hansel and Gretel’-style. But, for whatever reason, gingerbread houses are popping up all over London, scenting the capital’s pubs and museums with spicy, oven-baked goodness.
And London isn’t just stopping at the humble house, either. No, no: all kinds of structures are being treated to the biscuit-building experience. Want to see it for yourself? Get your ginger nuts over to these:
Somerset House has always been a ‘go big or go home’ kind of place. From its annual ice rink to its summer gig series to its constant rotation of top-level exhibitions. If Somerset House is going to do something, it’s going to do it properly. Welcome, then, to the Gingerbread City: an entire tiny baked town, designed by architects and made of dough. Responding to this year’s transport theme, there’ll even be bready buses and the like.
Gingerbread houses are great, but gingerbread houses that you can climb inside? SO much better. That’s the vibe at Spitalfields pub The Gun, which has built a life-sized gingerbread chalet out of biscuit bricks, complete with an inside seating area and edible snowflakes. That’s next-level festive commitment.
Back in the day, important folk would get their likenesses painted, to immortalise themselves on canvas for evermore. The good people at Covent Garden have gone one better (or at least one more delicious), commissioning a replica of the area’s famous market out of gingerbread. Made by fancy baked goods purveyors Biscuiteers, the model took more than 100 hours to complete, is four feet wide and weighs a whopping 10kg. Better put the kettle on.
Fentimans Pink Gingerbread House
Gingerbread, by definition, is usually ginger (duh), but Fentimans is adding a splash of colour to proceedings, celebrating its Pink Ginger soft drink with a life-sized baked building, clad in the same hue. It's nestled on the ninth floor of Skylight in Tobacco Dock, so you can go for a spin on the scenic ice rink and then settle down for a drink and a munch. Home, very sweet home.
York and Albany’s Gingerbread Cabin
OK, so this one’s cheating a bit: the cabin at this Camden Gordon Ramsay gaff is merely gingerbread-inspired rather than made of the stuff. However, you can dine on a gingerbread sharing menu next to the fire, safe in the knowledge that the flames won’t turn your biscuit walls to burnt dust.
Still not had your fill? Head to London’s best bakeries for more of the good stuff.
Keep up to date with all of the city’s best festive fun with our dedicated guide to Christmas in London.