Lost London gingerbread Christmas scene debuts in Selfridges

A gingerbread installation representing London's lost and unbuilt architecture was unveiled this morning (25 October) in Selfridges as part of its Christmas display.

Selfridges' gingerbread installation
Selfridges' gingerbread installation

Made by food specialists Bompas & Parr and Notting Hill-based Biscuiteers, the display is made entirely of gingerbread, complete with a River Thames made of Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

The edible city, which took Biscuiteers 400 hours to design, bake and build, spans a total surface area of 10sqm and is 2.8m tall.

It consists of 25 ingredients including 353kg of Biscuiteers gingerbread, 245kgs of Tate & Lyle icing and royal icing sugars, over 80 litres of Lyle’s Golden Syrup and 85kg of Tate & Lyle caster sugar.

The exterior was held together using a litre of confectioners glue and decorated using 2kg of glitter.

The display features a fantasy scene of sugary delight made up of now demolished London buildings such as Euston Arch, Old London Bridge, Newgate Gaol and City of London Lying-In Hospital, as well as never-built architecture such as Selfridges Tower, the Glass Tower Bridge and a National Gallery Extension.

Sam Bompas of Bompas & Parr, said: "The project sees the ghosts of London buildings past and future arriving in Selfridges in gingerbread for Christmas. The installation started in the London Library. We scoured their records to discover the wonders of London that have been lost through bombings, negligence, bad planning or natural disaster.

"We also looked at epic buildings that have been planned for London and never built. The best were then designed using the same programmes normally used for designing trainers before being realised gloriously in gingerbread. It’s quite an epic undertaking and one on which it has been a joy to collaborate with both Biscuiteers and Lyle’s Golden Syrup."

Limited edition festive tins of Lyle’s Golden Syrup have also been used to create bespoke model planes, cars and buses to bring the Lost London installation to life.

Harriet Hastings, founder of Biscuiteers, said: "It’s been an extraordinary undertaking to build a city on this scale in gingerbread. It was a real technical and creative challenge and I’m incredibly proud of all the Biscuiteers who worked on it – the result is spectacular."

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