Not your granny’s gingerbread house

Gingerbread houses are the stuff of fairy tales, so how fitting that Seattle’s 20th Annual Gingerbread Village chose the theme “Once Upon a Time”. Fresh from my walk along Candy Cane Lane, I couldn’t resist a visit to Gingerbread Village at the Seattle Sheraton. To my surprise (and delight) they weren’t houses at all, but the most magical of castles conjured up from far, far away and long, long ago. Architecture firms from around the city collaborated with the Sheraton’s culinary team to design and create a slew of extraordinary fairy tale castles for this year’s display. Here are a few of their dramatic creations.

gingerbread castle house village seattle sheraton christmas

Ariel’s Underwater Castle

aladdin magical castle sheraton seattle gingerbread house castle village christmas

Aladdin’s Magical Castle

narnia snow queen castle gingerbread house village sheraton seattle christmas

Narnia’s Snow Queen Castle

The next two were close contenders for my favourite castle of the evening – Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Castle and The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Castle – they were both truly enchanting and guaranteed to bring out your inner child.

Beauty and the Beast enchanted castle gingerbread house village seattle sheraton christmas

Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Castle

beauty beast enchanted castle gingerbread house village sheraton seattle christmas

Just one little kiss

brothers grimm castle fairy tales seattle sheraton christmas gingerbread house village

Brothers Grimm Castle of Fairy Tales

gingerbread house village brothers grimm fairy tale castle seattle sheraton christmas

The two brothers responsible for our fascination with gingerbread houses

But I saved my absolute favourite for last. Designed by Weber Thompson and realised by Executive Sous Chef David Mestl, the Alice in Wonderland Castle was so delightful I had to go around a second time to get another look at it. I have a total nerd crush on the team behind this castle.

alice wonderland castle gingerbread house village seattle sheraton christmas

Alice in Wonderland Castle

alice wonderland castle gingerbread house village seattle sheraton christmas queen of hearts

alice wonderland castle gingerbread house village seattle sheraton christmas white rabbit alice rabbithole

alice wonderland castle gingerbread house village seattle sheraton christmas cheshire cat

alice wonderland castle gingerbread house village seattle sheraton christmas tweedle-dum tweedle-dee

alice wonderland castle gingerbread house village seattle sheraton christmas caterpillar mad hatter

If you’re in Seattle over Christmas, make a point of checking out the Gingerbread Village for yourself. It’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through to January 1st and is free but donations are encouraged; all proceeds go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. For a little video action of these gorgeous creations, and some more shots of Christmas in Seattle, see my next post and join in this week’s travel theme, which is suitably festive.

About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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83 Responses to Not your granny’s gingerbread house

  1. ledrakenoir says:

    Lovely story with wonderful photos… 🙂

  2. ahecticlife says:

    Wow! They are amazing. The Alice in Wonderland one is my favourite too. The detail is incredible!

  3. What can I say? Back to the drawing board for me.

  4. Amazing stuff! So many talented people in this world!

  5. fgassette says:

    AWESOME PHOTOS! I love gingerbread houses. These would take a team to make. Thanks for sharing,


  6. Debbie says:

    Alice gets my vote also. I have seen this display in the past-some years it’s a winner and others not so much but the theme lent itself to awesome-ness this time around.

  7. megtraveling says:

    That would be a great place to visit in Seattle! I like the Narnia castle too… 🙂

  8. Wow and Holy Cow! These are incredible but yes, Alice would make me double take. 🙂
    Great shots, Ailsa.

  9. markd60 says:

    My vote (for the one I’d eat first) goes to the Brothers Grimm!

    • ailsapm says:

      I was torn between Alice and the Brothers Grimm, Mark. Alice won on detail but I agree the Brothers Grimm one looks tastier, best use of Smarties ever! 🙂

  10. says:

    Thank you! Fantastic and so creative. My vote goes for Alice…Which one won?

  11. kristc99 says:

    Wow, amazing! Thanks for posting this

  12. kristc99 says:

    Reblogged this on The Panama Adventure and commented:
    I just had to share this one! totally amazing gingerbread houses

  13. Very cool. I like the Alice in Wonderland, too, but think I like the Brothers Grimm house even more.

    • ailsapm says:

      They both filled me with childlike glee. The white rabbit, the Cheshire cat and the card soldiers just tipped Alice a little ahead for me. 🙂

  14. Culinary team – does that mean these gingerbread castles are actually (sort-of) edible??

    The detail is amazing, especially in the Alice in Wonderland castle – I can see why it’s your favorite. I love the Mad Hatter – his posture, with his shoulders hunched up defensively, and expression are perfect. One question, though – who’s the character in gray standing on top of the short brown tower brandishing a sword?

    • ailsapm says:

      Yes, they’re totally edible, every last bit of them. Although they’ll probably be a little stale by the time Jan 1st rolls around. The character in grey is Alice, dressed in armour, ready to fight the Jabberwock who’s lurking on the roof – at least I’m guessing it’s Alice and assuming they based it on the Tim Burton movie, because Alice didn’t fight the Jabberwock in Through the Looking Glass.

  15. I’m debating between Brother’s Grimm and Alice – they’re all amazing! – Suzan –

  16. Amy says:

    Wow! Can’t imagine how much time and effort to put these together. Thanks, Alisa!

  17. Gracie says:

    Wow! These are amazing!

  18. Thank you for sharing these wonders! Seattle – here I come! If, only…but it’s too far away for me, unfortunately. Such fantastic handicraft and so much fun in making them!

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  20. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Aren’t they just fabulous? My favourite is Aladdins castle but only just! The detail is wonderful. Did you see my Thursdays Windows gingerbread house from KL?

    • ailsapm says:

      Yikes, a human-sized gingerbread house, how cool. Now I’m guessing that one wasn’t really edible though, right? Where would you find an oven big enough? 🙂

  21. They’re are just fabulous, Ailsa! Thank you so much for sharing… my inner child is jumping right now, wishing she could be there, or even better, somehow, be part of this ginger bread castle scene! Happy Holidays! 😮

  22. These are amazing and surprising, Ailsa!

  23. geogypsy2u says:

    These are deliciously fun. Such intricate detail for an edible that probably won’t get eaten.

  24. Hi Ailsa,
    Sometimes I forget that you are right here in Seattle! I haven’t been down to see the gingerbread houses yet this year, but now I know I have to get the family downtown for that. They are pretty spectacular this year, and as a storyteller, I have a soft spot for the fairy tale theme. Best wishes for a happy holiday and a bright new year.

  25. livvy30 says:

    These are amazing!

  26. Karen Purcell says:


  27. Jo Bryant says:

    WOW – these are incredible Ailsa

  28. restlessjo says:

    I’m on the search engines for a flight to Seattle NOW, Ailsa. Unbelievable, and you’re so right- the Brothers Grimm and Alice. Amazing!

  29. ideflex says:

    Alice – hands down!

  30. hugmamma says:

    My goodness! I live in the area. Are these still on display? If so…where exactly…and when? If not this year, then next for sure. Thanks for bringing these to my attention. Loved them! Absolutely charming! Will reblog. 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      Hey hugmamma, yes, they’re still on display – I put the details in the last paragraph – the Sheraton is in downtown Seattle on 6th and Pike. Hope you get to visit! xxx

  31. Robin says:

    Wow! These are amazing. Wonderfully captured too. 🙂

  32. Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe this! Spectacular might work!

  33. Gunta says:

    Absolutely lovely. I vote for them all. Great job capturing them, especially the details!

  34. What artistry. I can’t imagine how many hours each of these took to create. Thanks for sharing.

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  36. Harold Green says:

    Thanks for some fun captures of these amazing creatives.

  37. Deepali says:

    Wow! these are amazing! I’m surprised by the amount of effort and intricate detailing that has gone into making them, specially Brothers Grimm and Alice castles. Thanks for taking us along this spectacular fantasy world 🙂

  38. Wow! These are absolutely gorgeously stunning! Thank you!
    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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  47. petit4chocolatier says:

    Absolutely amazing!!

  48. eof737 says:

    Fascinating! 🙂
    ¸.•*¨*•.♪♫♫♪Happy Holidays to You & Yours!.♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ♥
    ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.★★.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜” ♥ ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.★★.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜”

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