WHAT MERRY MATERIALS... do you go to when constructing a tabletop structure around the holidays? Gingerbread seems like a likely first answer, as gingerbread houses, with their gumdrop shingles and peppermint-lined pathways, are pretty ubiquitous when the holidays draw near. Houses made of graham crackers, or another kind of slab-type cookie, are also commonly seen (and, yes, these are also topped with all sorts of boiled sweets). Even the occasional all-cheese house makes an appearance. But to spy an enchanted, storybook-like structure made of sugar? You'll either need to A) peer through some sort of magical looking glass to see such a wonder or B) head for The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square, where not one but two sweet-tooth-ian, made-of-sugar buildings will go on display over several weeks, beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 22. Both buildings are the creations of Executive Pastry Chef Jean-François Houdré, and both will be on view in the hotel lobby through Tuesday, Jan. 2.
THE HANDCRAFTED CONFECTIONS? One is a Medieval Sugar Castle, complete with turrets and ye olde touches, while The St. Francis Enchanted Castle "... is decorated with a winter wonderland of elaborate gift boxes, gingerbread trees, and brightly colored candies." The sugar, if you're curious, isn't just scooped and heaped upon the sculptures; rather, it is "...meticulously pulled, blown, shaped, and molded, each taking years to perfect." And if you think you've seen the 12-foot-tall Medieval Sugar Castle before, well, it can trace its origins back to 2005. But it "grows more intricate every year" as new details are added, so stop by the Union Square-adjacent landmark for a peek at a classic, but ever-changing, castle made of sugar.