The Chocolate Kitchen appeal
About the appeal
Historic Royal Palaces celebrated ‘The Glorious Georgians’ in 2014 to mark the 300th anniversary of the beginning of the reign of George I and the start of the Georgian age. We had a broad programme from April until the end of the year with celebrations across Hampton Court Palace, Kensington and Kew Palace. With the support from our members, we were able to restore the rooms that had once been the Chocolate Kitchen (situated on Fountain Court) and bring back the making and drinking of chocolate – the breakfast drink of kings - back to Hampton Court Palace.
Curators at Historic Royal Palaces uncovered the precise location of two rooms associated with chocolate making at Hampton Court. The first of these was the Chocolate Kitchen. Years of use as a cluttered store preserved the room, complete with its stove, shelves and fireplace. The other space is the Chocolate Room. Chocolate, spices and sugar were stored in this room alongside expensive silver and gold chocolate pots and cups.
The chocolate created in these rooms would be mixed with eggs, sugar, spices and sometimes wine, to be drunk rather than chewed. Chocolate caught on, and the ultra-smart would build special ‘chocolate kitchens’ in their houses where beans were milled and chocolate prepared by their own, personal chocolate makers. Not surprisingly, our Georgian kings and queens also loved chocolate. According to the Earl of Hardwicke, King George II drank chocolate shortly before his unseemly death in his water closet on 25 October 1760.
We asked our members to donate to help us conserve the Chocolate Kitchen and represent the Chocolate Kitchen to the treasure trove it once was, filled with spice, silver and porcelain. Visitors are now able to explore the unique story of royal chocolate making and drinking at Hampton Court Palace in the actual spaces where it was made.
The appeal was launched on 10 December 2013 and the final donation total was £4,558.77. Many thanks to all who donated. If you would like to make any further donations please call us on 020 3166 6327.
Historic Royal Palaces receive no money from the Government or the Crown; we therefore rely on the generosity and support of our members.