Hotel chefs create stunning model village made from gingerbread

The Principal York pastry chefs with their creation
The Principal York pastry chefs with their creation
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An historic railway hotel has honoured its heritage by creating a gingerbread model layout featuring a real train.

The Principal in York - formerly the Royal York Hotel - has unveiled the show-stopping miniature railway after planning the ambitious village scene for several months.

Pastry chefs spent four days working on the masterpiece, which is made entirely from gingerbread - with some staff even working overnight.

The 5ft x 4ft model features hills, a forest, three large houses decorated with sweets, an igloo made from Fox's glacier mints and a pond made from boiled sugar. The hotel's proximity to York Station inspired Martyn Edmonds, Jennifer Young and Jean-Pierre Amougou to add a working train with tracks and signals made from icing.

“The pastry team wanted to create something bigger and more intricate than last year. We came up with the idea for the village and with our proximity to the station, we thought we had to have a train in there too," said Martyn.

“We began the planning stage several months ago, looking at where it would go, how big it could be, what we wanted to have on there and how we could incorporate the train and track.

“The reaction we’ve had has been fantastic – everyone really likes it. It makes all the hours of hard work worth it when you see the enjoyment on guests’ faces. The question now is, what can we come up with for next year?”

The model can now be viewed at the hotel, which was opened in 1878 and became the London North Eastern Railway's flagship hotel. Queen Victoria would often stay overnight on journeys from London to her Scottish estate, Balmoral.