Continuing a tradition begun way back in 1997, James Glucksman and James Boussy, the owners of Oamaru’s luxury lodge, Pen-y-bryn, have revealed the gingerbread house that they have crafted as part of their Christmas decorations. Normally the pair model the gingerbread house after a significant building that they had seen during an overseas trip during the course of the year, but this year the main “architect” of the gingerbread house, James B, did not leave New Zealand, staying behind to work on the lodge’s massive expansion project that was completed during the winter. So they set their sights closer to home, choosing an Oamaru landmark to serve as the inspiration for their gingerbread creation.
Oamaru is uniquely full of architectural treasures, making the selection process a challenge, but the Jameses eventually hit upon the iconic 1883 Waitaki District Council building as their inspiration. Originally constructed as the Oamaru Main Post Office, the building was designed by the same architects who designed Pen-y-bryn Lodge, Forrester & Lemon. Also like Pen-y-bryn, the Waitaki District Council building holds a Category One listing with Heritage New Zealand, recognising its architectural significance.
Like all their other gingerbread creations, this one is constructed solely of edible materials–gingerbread dough for the structure of the building, royal icing for the decorations, pastillage for the clock faces, and caramel for the windows.
The gingerbread house will be on display at Pen-y-bryn through the holidays, after which it will be transferred to Real Food Pantry on Eden Street and displayed there for several weeks. To visit a gallery of earlier gingerbread houses by the Jameses, visit this site.