Historic Royal Palaces will be celebrating ‘The Glorious Georgians’ in 2014. It’s the 300th anniversary of the beginning of the reign of George I and the start of the Georgian age. There will be celebrations across Hampton Court Palace, Kensington and Kew Palace. We have been able, with your help, to bring the making and drinking of chocolate – the breakfast drink of kings - back to Hampton Court Palace.
We’re talking here about chocolate 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.
Recent research has uncovered the precise location of two rooms associated with chocolate making at Hampton Court. The first of these is the Chocolate Kitchen. Years of use as a cluttered store has 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.