Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas in the City - Fairmont Hotel's Holiday Gingerbread Afternoon Tea and Giant Gingerbread House

Christmas in the City - Gingerbread TeaIt is that time of the year again when the city is dressed up for the Holidays. And there is no better place to see and experience the Christmas spirit than the Fairmont Hotel .  

Mijo and I made it to the Fairmont Hotel on Friday afternoon to see its famed Gingerbread House and also to experience its Holiday Gingerbread Afternoon Tea. I've posted both black and white and colored pictures in the blog.

I've been going to The Fairmont Hotel for three Christmases now to see its famed Gingerbread house but I never really paid attention until this year.  I guess it is because Mijo and I also stayed for the Gingerbread Afternoon Tea and this made me notice a lot of small details that I didn't see during my last two visits there.

The smell of freshly baked gingerbreads, cakes and candies greeted us as we pushed the revolving glass doors of the hotel. That was an instant Christmas high to me. Fairmont's lobby is the epitome of indoor Christmas decorations because there were a lot of colors especially gold, silver, red and green and lots of sparkling shiny things. There was also a children's choir singing in the background.

Christmas in the City - Fairmont Hotel lobby

We were told by the concierge that the afternoon tea is to our right. We reached their Laurel Court and it was lavishly decorateed as well.
Christmas in the City - Gingerbread Tea tree

Complete with a hotel staff dressed up as a fairy to the delight of the kids present that afternoon.
Christmas in the City - Gingerbread Tea dining area
I had originally made two reservations - one for a Saturday with Dinah and Karen and one during the week with Mijo. Unfortunately, they were totally booked all weekends the entire month so only the Friday one got reserved.
The tea service offers a pot of tea, select tea sandwiches, freshly baked scones and assorted pastries. For the adults, unlimited sparkling wines is included. We took the server's advice and ordered the Kyoto Cherry Rose tea for Mijo and the Fairmont Blend tea for me. The honey and lemon added layers of flavors to the teas.
Christmas in the City - Gingerbread Tea tea

The tea goodies came in this beautiful tiered serving tray. At first, the food didn't look like it was going to fill us at all but we learned later that day that it was more than enough. We were both surprised! I was totally romanticizing this moment because, growing up in the Philippines, we didn't have an afternoon tea. Though we do have what we call merienda or snacks but nothing close to this.
Christmas in the City - Gingerbread Tea goodies
The first layer consisted of white bread slices filled with deviled egg salad with radish and cornichons, coconut curry chicken salad with radish sprout and sourdough, cucumber and goat cheese with quince paste, smoked salmon pinwheel with chives and creamcheese pumpernickel, and dungeness crab and mango salad on sourdough. 
Christmas in the City - Gingerbread Tea Savory goodies

The second tier consisted of freshly baked homemade scones served withenglish devonshire cream, lemon curd and quince and pear compote. There were also jams in small jars on the table.
Christmas in the City - Gingerbread Tea Breads

Lastly, the lowest tier consisted of macarons, bon bons and fruit tarlets. 
Christmas in the City - Gingerbread Tea Sweet goodies

I was not sure how we were supposed to eat the tea sandwiches but we worked starting from the highest tier to the lowest. We were absolutely full after the tea service. For the unlimited sparkling wines, they were serving a cava sparkling wine.

We checked out the Gingerbread house right after the afternoon tea service.

 I was told this year's gingerbread house is the largest gingerhouse the hotel has ever had. Here's more information regarding the Gingerbread house this year: made up of nearly 2 tons of edible candies, gingerbread nad icing; 724 lbs of candy; 7500 gingerbread bricks; 1600 lbs of royal icing; 600 hours of work by the culinary team; 500 hours of work by the engineering team.

Here' s the back of the Gingerbread house.
Christmas in the City - Gingerbread House back

Here's the front of the Gingerbread house behind the Christmas Tree. 
Christmas in the City - Fairmont Hotel tree and house
Here's one side of the Gingerbread house. There is a toy train that runs non-stop inside the room. While no one was looking, I brought my nose close enough to the gingerbread house wall to smell the gingerbread. I do this every year.
Christmas in the City - Gingerbread House windows

Here's another side of the Gingerbread house. I wonder what happens to all these goodies after the holidays?
Christmas in the City - Gingerbread House soldier

Here's the view from the main entrance of the Gingerbread house. Did you notice the pink, red, green and white icing?
Christmas in the City - Gingerbread House entrance

Here's the Gingerbread doghouse. This one is located on the far side of the hotel and it is not part of the main gingerbread house.
Christmas in the City - Fairmont Hotel Santas Nook

There was also a donation area next to the Gingerbread house for The Leukemi and Lymphoma Society of the Greater Bay Area.

Here's a picture of one of the choir groups that performed that afternoon.
Christmas in the City - Fairmont Hotel carolers

We truly enjoyed this experience and would love to do this again next Holiday season.



renelee said...

gingerbread dog house? wow....and the sandwiches and pastries that come with tea.....yummerzzz!!!

maybe we'll look for a gingerbread house in the metro next holiday season as well:)

Roland L. said...

the dog house would fit rafa. :)
let's try the tea service at twg in gb5 next time. :)