London's most delicious exhibition returns this Christmas, with a new theme and a different location.
The Gingerbread City is exactly that — a miniature city made from gingerbread. Houses, skyscrapers, railway stations, bridges, shopfronts and other infrastructure are crafted from the spiced biscuit, held together with all manner of fondants and icings, and decorated with sweets, chocolates and goodies. Basically, every child's (and lots of adults') dream.
LEDs illuminate the biscuity buildings, and in the past, a train set has been sent weaving seamlessly among the sweet structures (fingers crossed for the same this year).
Don't fire up your oven just yet though. The Gingerbread City is put together by teams of architects, civil engineers and other professionals, who all get competitive to make their structure the sweetest of them all — with first, second and third place prizes up for grabs. Each company or team is assigned a plot within the model town, and then designs, makes, bakes and decorates a structure for that plot.
This year is the fifth time The Gingerbread City has been exhibited in London, and it's taking up residence in Belgravia for the first time. It's open to visitors for five weeks over Christmas and New Year. Nature and the City is the theme, with a focus on rewilding. Forests, flood plains, urban farming and wetland plots were made available to participants, though we don't yet know what the results will be. A herd of rewilded gingerbread bison, perhaps?
Here's what the 2019 incarnation of The Gingerbread City at Somerset House looked like, when transport was the theme:
Oh, and if you're thinking of nibbling a chimney or roof tile, don't. We, er, made enquiries of this nature back in 2019, and were told that due to the length of time the exhibition runs for, the gingerbread is treated to prevent it from going mouldy.
The Gingerbread City 2021 is at 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, from 4 December 2021-9 January 2022. Tickets are £14 adult/£8.50 child, and need to be booked in advance. Money raised goes to the Museum of Architecture Charity Fund.
We suggest you refer to the Baker's Tube Map for directions to get to The Gingerbread City.