The Daily Mail has run a story (“It’s the Great Brideshead Bake Off!”) about a project by the new occupants of Castle Howard to remake the building in the form of a cake in an effort to promote Christmas season visitors:
It’s a cake that even Marie Antoinette might have considered flamboyant: a giant £20,000 concoction of gingerbread and icing representing one of the most famous stately homes in Britain. Measuring a whopping 13ft by 10ft, the giant confection will depict Castle Howard – where the classic 1981 TV drama Brideshead Revisited was filmed – complete with intricate columns, its trademark dome and some of the architectural features found in its 10,000-acre grounds. The cake, more elaborate than anything seen on the Great British Bake-Off, will form the centrepiece of the estate’s Christmas festivities, going on display to the paying public from the middle of next month.
The house was also chosen as the setting for the 2008 film adaptation of Waugh’s novel. The Mail goes on to note some of the background for the project, which may have its origin in a recent dispute within the Howard family over occupancy of the estate:
Some say its extravagance reflects the change of regime at the stunning 18th Century country home that has followed a dramatic family upheaval. As The Mail on Sunday revealed a year ago, Simon Howard, 59, who had presided over the estate for 30 years, was served with an eviction order and has now moved out with his wife Rebecca and their family, making way for older brother Nicholas, 64, and his wife Victoria, a former chief executive of publishing giant HarperCollins. It is the new chatelaine who has ordered the giant cake, sparking criticisms it was needlessly ostentatious – especially after the estate had to sell £12 million of artwork last year to ‘preserve and nurture’ Castle Howard for the future.
The story continues with a report of dissatisfaction among the locals because the project has been contracted out to London confectioners rather than those in the neighborhood. There are also reports that local events that were traditionally held at Castle Howard are being rescheduled elsewhere. Nanny Hawkins would not be pleased.