“Myself and the Pastry team (Jennifer Young and Jean-Pierre Amougou) wanted to create something bigger and more intricate than last year, so we came up with the idea for the village and with our proximity to the station, we thought we had to have a train in there too.
We began the planning stage several months ago, looking at where it would go, how big it could be, what we wanted to have on there and how we could incorporate the train and track. To assemble it took us about four days and we worked overnight to set it up in the Garden Room. We started with a 5.5ft x 4ft wooden board and covered it with cover paste which is a type of icing you can roll. Then we started to add the hills, the tunnel and the train track and covered it with royal icing. The pond in the centre is made with boiled sugar and blue food colouring (you dissolve the sugar with water and boil it to 125C and add the food colouring, then pour it out onto silicon paper and let it set). The team enjoyed making the houses and the station the most as you can be so creative and have fun finishing them with all the sweets. We also made an igloo with Fox’s glacier mints which looks great.
The reaction we’ve had has been fantastic – everyone really likes it. It makes all the hours of hard work worth it when you see the enjoyment on guests’ faces. The question now is, what can we come up with for next year?”