Gingerbread Heathrow takes shape in Terminal 5

Michelle and Candice admire the gingerbread airport
Michelle Wibowo, left, and Candice Brown admire the finished work of edible art

What has two runways, four terminals, two very cute bears and 30kg of sugar in its walls? And no, the answer isn’t the Heathrow Traveller staff canteen.

This 50-kilogram, 40 square-metre ‘gingerbread Heathrow’ is the work of food artist Michelle Wibowo. It went on display today in check-in at Terminal 5.

Mum and youngster pointing at Santa
Santa’s sleigh prepares for take-off

The sculpture was a challenge, even for Michelle – whose other works of art include Roald Dahl’s BFG made from Mr Kipling cakes and Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam in marshmallows and cake sprinkles.

But after 200 hours of baking, assembling and fine-detailing, Michelle had the finished airport model – complete with control tower, aircraft and Santa’s sleigh – ready for shipping to Heathrow.

Michelle said: “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.”

The sweet structure was unveiled at Heathrow by Candice Brown, winner The Great British Bake Off in 2016.

Sugar figures of Heathrow bears
Doris and Edward watch another festive take-off

Candice said: “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 travellers’ reactions to this spectacular gingerbread creation.”

Sharp-eyed admirers can find perfect sugar miniatures of the Heathrow bears, Doris and Edward, among the model’s thousands of detailed decorations.

A million passengers are expected at Heathrow in the week leading up to Christmas. The airport’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ross Baker, said he hoped  ‘gingerbread Heathrow’ would add an extra touch of magic to their journeys.

Sadly, after 24 hours on display the gingerbread won’t be in a suitable state for people to eat. But it won’t be wasted. The model will be recycled using anaerobic digestion, which in turn will create electricity.