As part of the Baroque building, the Chocolate Kitchens at Hampton Court Palace were built for William and Mary around 1689, but mainly served the Georgian kings. George I even had his own personal chocolate maker, Thomas Tosier.
After falling out of use, the Chocolate Kitchen lay hidden for years. Reopened in February 2014, these are the only royal chocolate kitchens in Britain and a remarkable discovery.
The Chocolate Kitchen had been mentioned in many documents but its location remained a mystery until 2013 when one of our curators discovered an 18th-century inventory of the palace pinpointing its location.
Until very recently, it was a flower store filled with shelves, pots and vases, but previously, it was a kitchen that served the Grace and Favour Apartments above.
Thankfully, the 18th century fixtures and fittings all survive – you can see a Georgian fireplace and smoke jack within the chimney, a pair of charcoal braziers, plus a folding table, cupboard and shelves.
Just down the cloister from the Chocolate Kitchen, next to Chocolate Court, is the Chocolate Room. As with many parts of the palace, this too was recently a store and would have been used by the neighbouring Grace and Favour Apartments.
Our helpful 18th-century inventory is quiet on the use of this room, but we know from work records that the King’s Chocolate Room was next to Chocolate Court.
This room held the beautiful serving equipment used to present chocolate to the king. It includes china and delftware cups with silver chocolate frames, chocolate pots, and molinets.
‘Sweetmeats’ or items of confectionary were regularly served with chocolate and would have been placed on delicate glass serving dishes.
The transformation into the decorated Chocolate Room has been the careful and considered work of a team of HRP experts and skilled craftspeople.
We have painstakingly re-created all of the serving equipment from archaeological and documentary research with the help of traditional craftspeople.
These craftspeople use the same materials and methods as their Georgian predecessors to recreate the objects with historical accuracy.
The newly restored Kitchen Garden recreates a taste of the gardens that would have fed the Royal Household at Hampton Court Palace through the reign of the Georges.
Explore Henry VIII's Kitchens at Hampton Court and transport yourself back to the heyday of royal feasting and entertainment.
Come along and enjoy a fascinating talk by Nicola Tallis on her newest book, Elizabeth's Rival: The Tumultuous Tale of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
06 November 2017
Doors open at 13:45 for a 14:00 start