The Tudor kitchens at Hampton Court Palace are famous throughout the world for being those of King Henry VIII.
In fact they continued to be used as Royal Court kitchens for a further two hundred years, feeding the tables of Tudor, Stuart and Georgian monarchs and their many courtiers...
And for the last few years, they have been home to a fascinating research project run by Historia food archaeologists who regularly bring the kitchens to life experimenting with traditional recipes, ingredients and cooking methods to prepare feasts fit for a king!
Video: Watch the cooks at work >
The Georgian Chocolate Kitchen
On 14 February 2014 we opened a unique survival at Hampton Court Palace to the public for the first time - a royal chocolate making kitchen which once catered for three Kings: William III, George I and George II. It's the only surviving royal chocolate kitchen in the country and, having been used as a storeroom for many years, it is remarkably well preserved with many of the original fittings, including the stove, equipment and furniture still intact.
The 18th century Chocolate Kitchen was once the domain of Thomas Tosier, personal chocolatier to King George I, whose wife Grace was something of a celebrity in Georgian London, trading on her husband’s important role to promote her own renowned chocolate house in Greenwich. Visitors will be able to peer behind the scenes into the very rooms where Tosier and his staff prepared the special chocolate drink - the preserve of the rich and sophisticated - for the royal family’s most intimate dinners and entertainments.
Throughout the year our historic chefs will be in the Chocolate Kitchen hosting Georgian chocolate making sessions, so visitors can learn more about the elaborate and complex processes used to create the King's luxury chocolate drink.
The live cookery will take place during palace opening hours on the following dates:
5-6 April 2014 Tudor cookery only
18-21 April 2014 Easter: Georgian chocolate cookery
3-5 May 2014 Tudor and Georgian chocolate cookery
7-8 June 2014 Tudor and Georgian chocolate cookery
5-6 July 2014 Tudor and Georgian chocolate cookery
3-4 August 2014 Tudor and Georgian chocolate cookery
6-7 September 2014 Tudor and Georgian chocolate cookery
4-5 October 2014 Tudor and Georgian chocolate cookery
1-2 November 2014 Tudor and Georgian chocolate cookery
6-7 December 2014 Tudor cookery only
27 December 2015 - 1 January 2015 Christmas: Tudor cookery only