There may not be any snow outside, but it’s starting to feel a little bit like Christmas at the Ritz-Carlton Montreal.
The iconic Montreal hotel marked the beginning of the holiday season with the launch of its very own Polar Express on Sunday.
The Polar Express is an electric train that makes its way through an edible village, made of chocolate.
The creation came together in large part thanks to the Ritz-Carlton’s pastry chef Claude Guérin, who was crowned the best pastry chef in the country by Canada’s 100 Best.
“It took 80 hours of intense labour, 35 kilos of chocolate, 25 kilos of coconut,” said Katia Piccolino, director of public relations for the hotel.
Piccolino said Sunday’s event is a way for the Ritz to strengthen its ties with the community, and to give back.
“We have a collaboration with Sainte-Justine,” Piccolino said, explaining that children with the hospital’s Bye Bye Allergies program were invited to take part in the festivities.
The children, who suffer from various allergies, had the chance to take part in different cooking ateliers featuring allergy-free recipes concocted by hotel chefs.
“They got to decorate their cupcakes, they got to decorate their cakes, a lot of things they usually cannot do because of their allergies,” Piccolino said. “We’re happy to do it with them and really bring in the Christmas spirit.”
IN PHOTOS: Cooking at the Ritz
Special guests were on hand to make the day that much more special, including Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty and Impact player Eric Kronberg.
The Polar Express and its magical village is on display for all to enjoy in the hotel lobby.