We spent three days in Buckhead Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead. The details of our business trip are for another blog post. I wanted to focus on a most delightful part of our stay. The Ritz Carlton was decorated for the holidays and in full celebration. Just off the lobby is a model of Neuschwanstein Castle (a fairly realistic likeness) with a working gondola on the mountainside, Santa and his reindeer spinning above, and two a-model trains in the valley below that passersby can actually start and stop pushing a button.
The Hotel’s engineer asked permission to set up the display as part of the Hotel’s holiday celebration years ago. The display grows every year with some new addition (sometimes grand and other years more subtle). He is a shy, gentile man eager to share his display with those appreciative of his careful construction and creativity.
The newest addition to the decorations at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead is the entirely edible gingerbread Advent calendar which adorns the lobby by the elevators. Each evening one of the assistant chef’s prepares the advent calendar for the next day’s revealing. This careful preparation precedes Santa’s selection the next afternoon of a child attending the Ritz Carlton Santa Tea. It is this child’s great fortune to open the advent door and reveal that day’s culinary creation. The bakery chef at the Ritz Carlton has made each item by hand with chocolate or cookies. They are exquisite.
We had the great fortune to be guests at the at the hotel during this magical time. My first encounter with a member of the Pastry Chef’s team was Sunday Evening, December 11, as one of the assistant chefs was preparing the advent display for the next day’s revealing. I explained my obsession with collecting gingerbread cookies. This collecting began years ago while visiting my parents who were living in Munich Germany at the time. My first cookie ornaments were painted Lebuchen cookies purchased at the Cristkindlmarkts. Those cookies are 20 years old this Christmas. They are still well preserved and beautiful and are hanging on the tree in the kitchen as I write this post. How I preserved them for this long will need to be another blog post.
Pictures of cookies from days gone by
I asked the assistant chef at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead if he thought it possible for me to purchase a cookie as a memento of my trip to Buckhead. He took note of my request and told me that he would be sure to ask the Pastry chef.
We had our meetings the next day as scheduled. I did mention my request as we were shown around the hotel and provided some details regarding the rich history behind the traditions found at this hotel. I was very surprised to find the most beautiful red star cookie in a beautiful box when I returned from our day of meetings on Monday afternoon.
It was a delightful trip. I cannot say enough about the staff, service, and charm found at the Ritz Carlton, Buckhead – especially during the holidays.
Check out their website for their calendar of events and activities during the holiday season.