Photos by Berylee Baker: Left -Gingerbread House you can walk through at the Fairmont; right-Gingerbread Castle at Westin St. Francis hotel.
November 30, 2019-January 1, 2020
A San Francisco tradition for over a century, is annually produced by the talented culinary team.
950 Mason Street
San Francisco, California
Fairmont San Francisco two-story, life-sized Gingerbread House in the hotel grand lobby is meticulously planned, with this year's attraction even larger! The stunning, two-story-high Victorian is an impressive, edible abode more than 25 feet high, 35 feet wide and 10.5 feet deep. It is comprised of 6,000 house-made gingerbread bricks (largest bricks to date), 1,650 pounds of candy and 3,300 pounds of royal icing. The gingerbread house railroad track is one of its favorite features.
The colossal gingerbread two-story-high display you can walk through is a fantasy candyland of ribbon candy, gum balls and Starlite mints. It has a moving train that runs around the diorama with a Tram and little people scattered throughout. Next to the Gingerbread structure is a 23-foot-tall Christmas tree tickling the center of the ceiling in the Main Lobby. The Gingerbread display is in the hotel lobby through January 1 each year, subject to change.
In a previous season the construction was led by Executive Chef Oscar Gonzalez and Executive Pastry Chef Kimberly Tighe, Fairmont's culinary team. They meticulously planned for construction of the enormous 22 feet high and 23 feet wide Gingerbread House. A stunning, two-story-high Victorian includes thousands of home-baked gingerbread bricks and more than a ton of royal icing and candy decor.
Gingerbread Holiday Tea at The Fairmont San Francisco on weekends adds to the charm and taste of this delightful tradition. fairmont.com /san-francisco/promotions/gingerbread-house/
Gingerbread Castle at the Westin St. Francis Hotel November 27, 2019-January 2020
335 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA
Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 11:00 am The Westin St. Francis Executive Pastry Chef Jean-François Houdré will unveil his signature 12-feet rotating holiday sugar castle in the Landmark Lobby of The Westin St. Francis on Wednesday, November 27 at 11:00 am. The Westlake School for the Performing Arts choir will be performing just after at 11:30 am. This event is open to the public. Hot chocolate and tray passed holiday cookies will be available.
The rotating 12-feet-tall winter wonderland features brilliantly colored ornaments, elaborate gift boxes, candies and Christmas trees. Elves can be spotted climbing all the way up to a towering all-white sugar castle. Each item is intricately handcrafted using the practiced techniques of sugar art including pulling, blowing, shaping and molding, each taking years to perfect.
Chef Houdré, born in the Southwest region of France, learned the refined art of pastry by working in his family's bakery where everything was created from scratch. The French ptissier was trained by his father who taught him not only the technique but also a true love for the craft. This exciting event is open to the public and will feature music and complimentary coffee and cookies. The St. Francis Enchanted Castle will be on display November 25 - January 2.
Originally created in 2005, the magnificent castle continually grows larger and more spectacular each year. Resembling a French chateau, it weighs over 1300 pounds and features more than 20 grand circular towers, approx. 30 rooms, glowing windows and a running train. New in 2012 is the "newsmakers" display throughout the castle. Spectators can identify well known personalities in life-like elf replicas. The inspiration for the Gingerbread structure the chef's trips to Europe with his family. While visiting La Cite de Carcassonne, one of the best examples of a fortified city, the chef drew inspiration for his edible creation which contains 120 lbs. gingerbread, 160 pounds of pastillage, 30 pounds of pulled and bubbled sugar, 50 lbs. molasses, 400 lbs. sugar & egg whites, and more.
The Palace Hotel Gingerbread House Check out the Palace's 600 pound gingerbread chateau. The sugary structure is 8 feet by 16 feet and also includes a chocolate pond. The multi-room house is on display in December and is part of a campaign to raise funds for the San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children program.
Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.