Whenever a holiday rolls around, I reflexively stop by The Peninsula hotel on Fifth Avenue. New York has no shortage of hotels that indulge in full-throttle decorating, but no one does it quite like the Peninsula. Or as often.
So here we are at Easter, and the Peninsula’s Art Nouveau lobby is awash in flora, fauna and, best of all, chocolate. The latter comes courtesy of Executive Pastry Chef Deden Putra, a man who looks upon sugar fondant and white chocolate the way Rodin viewed clay.
For Easters past, he and his minions fashioned a gigantic decorated chocolate egg (think brontosaurus size) and fanciful chocolate Easter bonnets (life size). This year he takes us to Mr. McGregor’s Garden with Peter Rabbit and two long-eared cohorts, Timmy and Tiggy, happily penned in by a flower strewn picket fence.
It’s a tour de force of white chocolate, sugar, fondant, shredded coconut, ground coffee and Rice Krispy treats (and edible food coloring and gum paste, if you want to get technical).
As you can see from the pictures, no detail is overlooked, no garden accoutrement short-shrifted. Peter holds a basket brimming with carrots, a watering can sits atop a brick shed and a leafy tree shades the proceedings. All candy, all edible. Carrots were never sweeter.
The Peninsula, 700 Fifth Avenue at 55th Street; 212 956-2888.