SHAKESPEARE sugar and spice combine for Christmas in Stratford this year.
A two foot replica of Shakespeare’s Birthplace has been created in gingerbread by Phil Bailey, head chef at the Falcon Hotel, to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.
It will be on show at the Chapel Lane hotel in the run up to Christmas and features on the front cover of Stratford’s official town Christmas Brochure.
Phil, who trained at Stratford College, said: “Having been classically trained in pastry by a French chef at the age of 16 it had been a while since I’d tackled gingerbread, but it’s always good to test yourself.
“I’m hugely competitive with myself and I’m a stickler for detail so the project became a labour of love.”
Phil meticulously researched his project, sourcing architectural plans and photographing the birthplace from all angles before spending hours experimenting. He spent 36 hours recreating every detail of the building, from its historic beams to leaded windows replicated in intricate icing, as well as adding festive details of a snow-covered roof, snowman and Santa stuck down the chimney.
He added “The hardest bit was the construction – but I’m really pleased with the end result and I loved adding the finishing touches of sugar-spun trees and Father Christmas trapped in the chimney.”
Stratford’s Christmas Brochure – produced by Stratforward – will see some 75,000 copies distributed throughout the area.
Ruth Wood, events manager at Stratforward, said: The idea for the gingerbread house came from a brainstorming meeting of our Events Committee who thought that a gingerbread reproduction of Shakespeare’s Birthplace encapsulated Stratford at Christmas, particularly in this anniversary year”
“Phil stepped up to the plate and did an amazing job of recreating the intricacies of the iconic medieval building, all in gingerbread, which is no mean feat.
“His labour of love is just one example of some of the talent we have here in Stratford and hope to showcase over the festive season.”