SHAKESPEARE, SUGAR, SPICE AND ALL THINGS NICE IN STRATFORD THIS CHRISTMAS
A Shakespeare-themed gingerbread house will be one of the highlights of Christmas this year in Stratford.
The house - a two foot replica of Shakespeare's Birthplace - has been created 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 hotel in the run up to Christmas and feature on the front cover of Stratford's official town Christmas Brochure, to be released this week.
The masterpiece was created by Phil and coincided with his anniversary of two years as Head Chef at the prestigious Chapel Lane hotel. Phil, who trained at Stratford College, has previously been Head Chef at both The Belfry and Billesley Manor. He 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, sourcing architectural plans and photographing the birthplace from all angles before spending hours experimenting in his own version of santa's workshop. 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. “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 start hitting doorsteps next week. In a print run bigger the previous years, more than 69,000 brochures will be delivered to homes within a 25-mile of Stratford and another 6,000 will go to BID businesses.
The brochure higlights the best of Stratford over the festive season, with businesses featured on themed pages covering categories of: Him, Her, Children, Wine & Dine, Stocking Fillers and Home. It is hoped that it will remind everyone that Stratford is the place to come and shop, eat and drink and be merry this Christmas! For suggestions on where in Stratford to buy gifts, things to do, places to eat & drink and stay go click here.
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 the talent we have in Stratford and hope to showcase over the festive season.”