Executive pastry chef Anna Polyviou is spreading the Christmas spirit this year. She's creating an extravagant, four-metre long gingerbread train at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney.
Gingerbread baking has a serious rep. In fact, in the 17th century only professional gingerbread bakers were allowed to bake it, the only exceptions being at Christmas and Easter. Although no such restrictions persist, some things are still better left to the experts — like Polyviou's ambitious creation. The giant train combines 1000 kilos of gingerbread bricks, 500 kilos of lollies, 200 kilos of fondant, 200 lollipops and untold quantities of icing. It gives sugar high a whole new meaning.
And the festivities don't stop there. A festive high tea is taking place throughout December, too. Also designed by Polyviou, the menu features Christmas trifle, festive scones, choux, turkey sandwiches and eggnog pipettes. You can make your own gingerbread, too, when Polyiviou hosts two gingerbread-men making classes on Saturday, December 2 and December 16, between 11.30 am and 3.00 p.m (to partake in the class, you'll need to be booked into the morning high tea on that day).
If your sweet tooth still isn't satisfied — or you're looking for sugary Christmas presents — head to the pop-up store selling Christmas puddings, mince tarts, lolly jars and, of course, gingerbread.
The gingerbread train and pop-up store are open daily from 7am; the festive high tea is available daily from 12pm–2.30pm and 3pm–5.30pm, you can make a reservation for the high tea here or call (02) 9250 6295.