The smell of warm spices and sweet molasses is filling the streets and Rows of Chester as a gingerbread takeover sweeps across the city as part of this year’s Christmas celebrations.
Led by the team at CH1ChesterBID, this year’s special gingerbread theme is apparent throughout the city centre for Cestrians and visitors to enjoy, with shops, hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions all getting behind the campaign.
Families often marvel at the elegant black and white timbered walls of The Chester Grosvenor as they walk through the city centre, but the hotel has now taken on a stunning transformation after staff recreated the Grade II listed building out of gingerbread.
The bespoke gingerbread hotel is now on display near the entrance hall for visitors to enjoy and will be available to view throughout Christmas.
The popular eatery, Zugers of Chester, has also handcrafted a completely authentic gingerbread village to complement the city’s theme. Available to view on St John Street, the village was created by the staff at Zugers and is in keeping with Chester’s traditional look and atmosphere.
A Chester High Street Christmas tree has been decorated with gingerbread ornaments, created by staff from local businesses as part of Chester Cathedral’s 7th Annual Christmas Tree Festival with more than 40 trees on display.
A giant gingerbread house has been built at the Grosvenor Shopping Centre which will host a number of kids workshops, gingerbread biscuit decorating and an art station available. Children can get creative at the workshop space in St Michael’s Square and take part in a gingerbread themed hunt for the chance to win a selection of prizes during both weekdays and weekends.
For families, the Gingerbread Village at Frodsham Square, which is acting as the focal point for the city’s transformation, is also open every Thursday – Sunday between now and 22 December. Supporting Hope House Hospice, Chester’s Gingerbread Village will provide families with a free craft zone for kids to create their own eco-friendly gift bags and wrapping paper.
They can also write letters to Santa and complete colouring pages at different workstations in the gingerbread decorated space, which is hosted by gingerbread men and women. Adorning the walls, a gingerbread paper chain has already begun to take shape in the craft area, with plenty of completed drawings from the city’s youngsters featured here, in The Forum Shopping Centre and in city-centre businesses.
For children who visit the village, a brand new ‘Christmas in Chester Passport’ is now also available and aims to encourage families to take part in the full Gingerbread Christmas programme with eight different locations for children to get their personalized passports stamped.
Emily Ghazarian, Events Manager at CH1ChesterBID, said: “It’s wonderful to see the whole city come together and completely embrace this year’s gingerbread theme.
“Gingerbread has been associated with Christmas for centuries, but it works so well for Chester at this time of year because the Romans were enchanted with ginger and would make biscuits with the spice at the heart of the recipe. The history and tradition that our city is so famed for, lends itself so naturally to this theme and has so far been embraced by all our business and partners with gingerbread photo opportunities, clothes, accessories, luxury beauty products and delicious food and drink options.
“We hope all the families and visitors who make special trips into Chester really enjoy the gingerbread experience this year and make wonderful lasting memories in the city centre.”
To further decorate the city, a Gingerbread Window Competition is also now live, with local businesses encouraged to make the city look its best this Christmas and decorate their storefronts in line with the gingerbread theme.