At the 102-year-old Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, excitement for the hotel’s holiday decorations starts months in advance. Every year since 1964, the Broadmoor’s pastry team has built an ornate gingerbread display that draws guests and local spectators to see its construction and final form.
“There are groups of people that come to the property every morning, from all age groups; they have their coffee, and it’s sort of their morning routine,” says the Broadmoor’s executive pastry chef, Adam Thomas. “They look forward to it all year long … they come check the progress every day. So it’s really a part of the Colorado Springs community.”
Because of the pandemic, the Broadmoor and other hotels around the world will not have the same audience to enjoy their holiday traditions. That doesn’t mean you can’t try to re-create some of the holiday magic at home. Here are eight recipes from famous hotels to make at home this year.
Hotel d’Angleterre’s Christmas glogg
Make cocktail hour special with a recipe from Copenhagen’s Hotel d’Angleterre, a property that was established in 1755 (and even hosted Hans Christian Andersen as a guest during Christmas in 1865). You can make its signature white glogg with white wine, cane sugar, whole cardamom pods, fresh ginger, cloves, cinnamon, oranges, apples, white port wine, brandy, rum, raisins and almonds. For the true Hotel d’Angleterre twist, top the drink with brut champagne, and garnish with a maraschino cherry, cinnamon stick and pine twig, if you have one handy.
Blantyre Country Estate’s hot chocolate
At Cafe Boulud in the Blantyre Country Estate in Massachusetts, the winter menu isn’t complete without its signature holiday hot chocolate menu. Visitors at the 1902 Gilded Age mansion in the Berkshires can pick one of the three different Valrhona chocolates — dark, “blonde” or white — which is then prepared with fresh milk and cream from a farm nearby. Adults can spike their hot chocolate with spirits such as Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, hazelnut liqueur and brandy. To make something like it at home, the most important tip is to start with the best-quality chocolate, milk and cream, and prepare it over a double boiler to avoid burning the ingredients.
Claridge’s Christmas pudding
One of London’s most beloved hotels, Claridge’s has been making its signature Christmas pudding for a century. With a laundry list of ingredients — including sultanas (a type of dried grape), grated carrot and apple, cognac and dark rum — it’s a labor of love to make but worth the effort. You can find the recipe online or in the hotel’s cookbook, which covers a litany of historic Claridge’s breakfasts, desserts, drinks and main courses.
Four Seasons Resort Whistler’s tipsy snowman
The star of the show of this holiday treat isn’t the hot chocolate (although that’s obviously a lovely part of it) but the decorative garnish. In Whistler, B.C., the Four Seasons Resort’s “Tipsy Snowman” is only complete if it is topped with a marshmallow snowman, which can be made at home using three marshmallows held together with a toothpick or pretzel stick, more pretzels for the arms, chocolate for the mouth eyes and buttons, plus candy corn for a nose. Adults can upgrade their hot chocolate with liqueur just like the hotel does, with options like Baileys, whiskey, peppermint schnapps, Kahlua or amaretto.
Nimb Hotel’s risalamande
After a classic Danish holiday dinner of roasted duck, guests of the five-star boutique Nimb Hotel in Copenhagen are treated to traditional rice pudding with cherry sauce, called risalamande. If you make this for Christmas Eve, follow Danish tradition and hide a whole almond in the dish. Whoever finds the whole almond in their serving — or cheats and adds one to their serving themselves — wins a small prize, like candy.
The Broadmoor’s gingerbread houses
If you wanted to replicate the Broadmoor’s gingerbread constructions, it would take you hundreds of hours with a team of pastry chefs and actual construction workers. You don’t have to build a life-size train car like the hotel did this year; you can make a much smaller one from scratch with this recipe. One of the most important steps, according to Thomas, the hotel’s executive pastry chef, is to be patient. “The gingerbread house dough needs to be baked all the way, and needs to be dried out for a day,” he says.”Otherwise it’s just going to crumble with the icing.”
Red Lion Inn’s sticky toffee pudding
Dubbed the “Best New England Christmas Town,” Stockbridge, Mass., is home to the Red Lion Inn, a historic property that dates back to 1773. It is such an iconic American hotel that it’s featured in Norman Rockwell’s “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas” painting. Each winter season, the hotel hosts holiday programming including a Santa brunch, but this year it’s encouraging would-be visitors to make one of its desserts, its sticky toffee pudding, at home instead.
Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa’s champagne mulled wine
When at a hotel in the heart of France’s Champagne region, it’s only natural to ask them for a good champagne cocktail recommendation. The Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa’s signature champagne mulled wine comes from its award-winning French pastry chef, Cedric Servela. You can learn to make it from this Instagram video tutorial, just one part of the hotel’s “5 Stars at Home” Instagram series which encourages hotel lovers to re-create special elements of the property at home.
Travel during the pandemic: