The 22-foot-tall, 3,300-brick life-size gingerbread house is back at the Fairmont Hotel atop Nob Hill, and you too can make a dinner reservation to eat inside of it, for what shakes down to about a $1,500 minimum.
World-famous tiki bar the Tonga Room has been bumped from being the most festive, kitschiest attraction at the Fairmont Hotel for the holidays, as it traditionally is. The Fairmont Hotel’s life-size gingerbread house is back for 2022, as KGO reports in a holly, jolly segment below. It’s the twelfth year for this delectable domicile, and since its original iteration, it grew to two stories in 2012, later added an internal dining room (for people!) and this year contains 3,300 gingerbread bricks, and took approximately 520 hours to build.
“With hundreds of bricks of real gingerbread baked by our pastry team and pounds of See’s Candies, our Gingerbread House display brings out the kid in everyone,” the Fairmont web page says. “Looking for a special treat? Book a dining experience inside the private Gingerbread [House] for up to 8 guests and take in the scents and sounds of the holiday season."
Does this look like COVID safe indoor dining to you? If so, two-hour private dining reservations in here are available for parties of up to eight people. The reservation itself is $300, and it’s a $1,200 minimum on food and beverage. So you’re looking at a minimum of a $1,500 for the experience, and that’s before taxes and gratuities.
But there's no denying it’s an architectural gingerbread marvel. “We started around November 7 or so, just like building a house, it’s literally brick by brick,” Fairmont executive chef Michael Quigley tells KGO. “For cement they use royal icing, and instead of bricks they use gingerbread bricks. We actually started baking the bricks for the house back in July.”
This year’s structure uses 1,500 pounds of royal icing, which is effectively powdered sugar, egg whites, and vinegar. “It’s better than Super Glue,” Quigley says. “It keeps the house together.”
Even if you don’t have the $1,500 laying around for a private dining experience, the Fairmont Hotel’s gingerbread house is free to visit. And it seems that kids enjoying relieving the house of some of its decorative candy.
“I have to have my little team of elves come through every morning and kind of replace the candy that children have eaten,” Quigley adds. “Especially those big chocolate Santas, they like to break them off.”