Monday, 1 October 2012

Ginger And Spice Make All Things Nice At Holkham This Christmas

A Sheringham baker will be adding her sweet magical touch to Holkham’s Christmas celebrations this winter with a specially-created house made of ginger and spice and all things nice.

Emma Thorburn, the baker behind Sheringham-based business ‘Buns of Fun’, is the creator of an impressive three feet high and wide gingerbread house which will be on display at Holkham over two magical weekends of traditional family entertainment this Christmas.

The hand-built confectionery creation, topped with ‘roof slates’ made of large tiddlywinks covered with granulated sugar and a dusting of holographic glitter, will sit amid the sparkle of beautiful Victorian decorations in the Hall’s North Dining Room, ready to be enjoyed with a sprinkling of entertainment, seasonal food and a visit from Father Christmas himself.

With a commission from Viscountess Coke, the product of their meeting almost three years ago at the North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival hosted at Holkham, Emma has been gingerly planning the biscuit building. With plans for ridge tiles made of Jelly Tots and hand-made finials, the house promises to look good enough to eat. The garden path will be lined with lollipops with hand-made fondant leaves and bay trees like cake pops made of hardened fondant and sprinkles will sit by each side of the front door. The chimney will be clad with mini gingerbread men sprinkles to look like brick work, carried around the house in several bands.

When asked what her inspiration for the sugary project was, Emma said: “When Lady Coke approached me to ask whether it would be possible to build a giant gingerbread house for Holkham, I was extremely excited about the challenge – I wanted to make something really special and set about designing the most magical gingerbread house I could. To make things a bit different to the average gingerbread building, I plan on adding a dog and his kennel, carol singers in bonnets and capes and garlanded Christmas trees as well as a few surprises!

“My largest creation to date has been as a student at college, studying Art and Design, some 20 years ago, when I designed a theatre in 3D. Since then a combination of making Fimo wedding cake toppers, cakes and goodies has seen my business grow to creating quirky bespoke small and large cakes for any event. The popularity of my cakes (travelling as far as Denmark, Sweden and Edinburgh) has prompted me to launch my own website and social networking sites.”
Holkham’s Christmas Celebrations are on December 1 - 2 and 8 -9 from 11am to 5pm each day and Emma’s creation can be seen in the North Dining Room. Visitors will also be able to see the magnificently decorated grand state rooms of the north Norfolk property and meet Victorian characters dressed in splendid costumes. There will be story-telling, dancing, carol singing, an opportunity to watch the preparation of festive fare, buy Christmas gifts and crafts, and a special treat for children will be a visit to Father Christmas to collect a gift and leave him their secret Christmas wishes. There will also be a unique chance for visitors to see Father Christmas’s reindeer enjoying a welcome short break at Holkham before their hectic schedule of present deliveries begins on Christmas Eve.

Tickets for the two weekends of Christmas Celebrations are £12 for adults, £8 for children (2 to 16 years) and £36 for families (two adults and two children). For further information on these events or to book tickets contact 01328 713111, email or visit

Emma Thorburn’s website is, Facebook page is ‘Buns of Fun’ and Twitter is @BunsoffunEmma.

Holkham Hall is a member of the Treasure Houses of England, ten of the most magnificent palaces, stately homes and castles in England.

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