Heathrow celebrates Christmas with a Great British Take-Off

Heathrow Airport Christmas Gingerbread model
Great British Bake Off 2016 winner, Candice Brown with the 50kg gingerbread model of Heathrow which features over 1000 gingerbread pieces.

On Thursday at Heathrow, Great British Bake Off 2016 winner, Candice Brown and food artist Michele Wibowo unveiled a 50kg gingerbread model of the airport, created to surprise travelling passengers this Christmas.

The hand-made creation required ten people to install, took more than 200 hours to make, features over 1,000 gingerbread pieces and measures 40m2. Using more than 20kg of flour, 30kg of sugar, 20kg of butter and thousands of detailed decorations, the sweet structure was designed, baked and assembled by Michelle Wibowo in collaboration with Great British Bake Off 2016 winner Candice Brown. The mammoth gingerbread features Heathrow’s four terminals, the runways and the control tower, as well as the much-loved stars of Heathrow’s Christmas advert, Doris and Edward Bair.

Heathrow Airport Christmas Gingerbread model
The hand-made creation took more than 200 hours to make.

New research commissioned by Heathrow shows that one in four Brits (25%) believe that the smell of gingerbread is the main scent that reminds them of the festive season. One gingerbread bread item is sold every minute at Heathrow during December, so the airport has created the gingerbread airport to inspire the nation’s love of this sweet, spicy, festive treat.

Heathrow Airport Christmas Gingerbread model
Heathrow Airport travellers check out the 50kg gingerbread model.

Candice Brown, Great British Bake Off Winner 2016 commented, “There is something very special about the smell of gingerbread at Christmas. Gingerbread is a classic recipe that is consistently popular across Europe and making a gingerbread house is a tradition I love to share and keep going.  I’m excited to see traveller reactions to this spectacular gingerbread creation.”

Michelle Wibowo, Food Artist said: “Heathrow approached me to bake and build my own interpretation of Europe’s largest airport and it was a pleasure to create such an ambitious structure. The construction alone took me over 200 hours and the end result looks, and smells, truly spectacular.”

Heathrow Airport Christmas Gingerbread model
Great British Bake Off 2016 winner, Candice Brown and food artist Michele Wibowo with the 50kg gingerbread model of Heathrow Airport.

Ross Baker, Chief Commercial Officer at Heathrow, says: “Gingerbread is a real festive favourite.  We are expecting 1m passengers in the week leading up to Christmas alone, and hope our gingerbread airport will give them a memorable moment on their journey to loved ones. We hope it spreads a bit of festive joy to our passengers.”

The show stopping creation comes after the independent study, commissioned by Heathrow, uncovered Britain’s love for gingerbread whilst examining what a typical British Christmas looks like.

Heathrow Airport Christmas Gingerbread model
The gingerbread model was created to surprise passengers travelling through Heathrow Airport this Christmas.

The survey reveals that Brits are up early on Christmas Day, with the average person expected to roll out of bed at 7.42am, before opening gifts at 9.12am; making time for a selfie upload at 11.11am; engaging in the first family argument at 12.47pm, swiftly followed by tipple at 1.22pm; before enjoying a Christmas meal at 2.48pm, a nap at 4.13pm and retiring to bed at 10.58pm.

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