Christmas at Holkham Hall will be extra sweet this year with a festive creation of a huge, handmade gingerbread house.
Made of ginger and spice and all things nice, the specially-made house measures three feet high by three feet wide, and will be on display at the estate this weekend.
The confectionary creation took over 120 hours for a North Norfolk baker to complete, not including planning, sketching and trialling the idea.
Emma Thorburn 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.”
The first plans were put in motion three years ago and after much careful planning, the finished product looks good enough to eat.
The harlequin path consists of 785 hand-cut fondant tiles, while the garden is filled with 256 hand-crafted fantasy flowers, in addition to the other flowers covering the base.
There are 870 hand-placed mini gingerbread men on the brickwork of the house and chimney.
More than 100 Jelly Tots have been used to create ridge tiles and hand-made finials, while the garden path is lined with lollipops decorated with hand-made fondant leaves and bay trees made of hardened fondant and sprinkles.
She added: “To make things a bit different to the average gingerbread building, I added a dog and his kennel, carol singers in bonnets and capes and garlanded Christmas trees as well as a few surprises.”
The house, which is topped with roof slates made of 594 large tiddlywinks covered with sugar, glitter and studded with 358 silver balls, will sit amid the sparkle of the Victorian decorations in the Hall’s north dining room.
Holkham Hall’s Christmas celebrations are happening this Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm each day.
Visitors will be able to see the decorated grand state rooms of the North Norfolk estate while meeting Victorian characters dressed in traditional costumes.
There will be story-telling, dancing, carol singing, an opportunity to watch the preparation of festive fare and meet Father Christmas.
Tickets cost £12 for adults and £8 for children, with family tickets available for £36. For further information, go to www.holkham.co.uk