Design & Décor, Holiday


Gingerbread Mansions of Newport

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The Breakers, Newport, RI 2015

It’s the first day of the festive month of December. What better way to celebrate than admiring the just unveiled selection of gingerbread houses at The Breakers. But not just any “gingerbread houses!” These are renditions of the Preservation Society of Newport County’s 30,000+ sq.’ holdings throughout Newport — Rosecliff (above), Marble House, Chateau-sur-Mer, to name a few.

Staged on the second floor enclosed porch, overlooking the ocean on one side and The Breakers’ grand hall on the other, the views alone are worth the trip up the long flight of stairs.

The Newport area’s bakers and confectioners were invited to pick their favorite of twelve properties and interpret them in their Christmas finery, all made of edible materials (including the interior decorations and  surrounding plantings.) No small feat! To complete the scene, a model train ran around, and under, the creations mounted on one large, raised platform that took up most of the room.

All this under the beautiful and artfully painted ceiling of this grand porch (a design rendered in a scarf that is still one of my favorites).

The Breakers, Newport, RI 2015

You can imagine the fun of judging all these creations, for which I was invited to participate. Enjoy our selections and don’t overlook the finely wrought details!

1st Place — Hunter House
(Edible Creations by Gerry)

Hunter House is one of the finest examples of Georgian Colonial architecture from Newport’s “golden age” in the mid-18th century.

The Breakers, Newport, RI 2015

The Breakers, Newport, RI 2015

2nd Place — Chateau-sur-Mer
(Chef Gloria Cabral & the Baking & Pastry Arts students at Bristol County Community College, Fall River)

Chateau-sur-Mer is a landmark of High Victorian architecture, furniture, wallpapers, ceramics and stenciling (1852).

The Breakers, Newport, RI 2015

The Breakers, Newport, RI 2015

The Breakers, Newport, RI, 2015

3rd Place — Chepstow
(Fatulli’s Gourmet Bakery, Middletown)

An Italianate-style villa built in 1860…as seen during the day

The Breakers, Newport, RI 2015

The Breakers, Newport, RI 2015

…and magical at night with the windows lit.

The Breakers, Newport, RI 2015

The frosting on the cake. ..a 20′ poinsettia tree adds to the festive spirit of Newport’s largest mansion, The Breakers,  as well as it’s tiniest mansions, rendered in gingerbread.

The Breakers, Newport, RI 2015

Inspired?  To try your hand at creating a gingerbread house, here are some familiar sources to consider: Food Network and Martha Stewart.

For more information on viewing the gingerbread houses, visit the Preservation Society of Newport County.

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

10 thoughts on “Gingerbread Mansions of Newport

  1. Bettie. What a treat this was. I loved seeing this amazing competition. And who better to judge it than YOU. Thanks for this holiday fun and joy.

    1. Oh dear Nancy, so much fun to hear from you…and yes,seeing all these wonderful creations in the setting of The Breakers truly got me in the “holiday spirit.” Merry, Merry to you, xo

    1. And thank you for your kind words, Pamella! I debated doing this story but now I’m so glad I did. Have a Merry Christmas.

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