The Magic Garden is now closed for winter and will re-open in Spring 2018.

Kitchen Garden

A taste of the gardens that would have fed the Royal Household through the 18th century.

A taste of the gardens that would have fed the Royal Household through the 18th century.

When

  • Open daily

Ticketing info

Included in palace admission

You can buy fruit and vegetables from the garden stall between 13:30-14:30 on the following dates - 

  • 21 November 2017
  • 05 December 2017
  • 19 December 2017

History of the Kitchen Garden

For 160 years, the kings and queens at the palace would have been served with fruit and vegetables grown on site.

The Kitchen Garden was originally built for William and Mary in 1689, on the site of Henry VIII’s tiltyard (jousting arena). The tiltyard was divided into six square, walled areas, each approximately one acre in size. When Queen Victoria came to the throne, she combined all of the royal kitchen gardens in the London palaces into one operation at Windsor Castle. The Hampton Court Kitchen Garden was then leased out as market gardens for many years, before being converted to pleasure gardens in the 1930s.

Garden restoration

We have restored the Kitchen Garden to an approximation of how it would have looked in the 18th century. Few records survive of the original garden, but the layout of the beds can be discerned from contemporary paintings and engravings and as far as possible we have chosen historically accurate fruit and vegetable crops.

18th century favourites

A speciality of the era were the Grand Sallats, with many recipes published featuring intricate arrangements of ‘no less than 35 ingredients’ - well suited for adorning the royal table. We may recognise some of the components, such as Lettuce, Rocket, Endive, Cucumbers and Parsley, but how about Costmary, Hartshorn, Sweet Maudlin and Trick-madame?

We are growing these, alongside more familiar vegetable crops, in the central area of the garden. Peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries and plums grow on the sheltered walls and a formal, box edged bed of soft fruit and standard dwarf apples completes the look of this recreated Kitchen Garden.

'Pare and core twenty good codlins; beat them into a mortar with a pint of cream, and strain it into a dish. Put to it sugar, bread crumbs, and a glass of wine; and stir well.'

Mary Eaton, 1822

The South Front and Privy Garden, looking north west across the fountain basin.

Explore the Privy Garden at Hampton Court, now restored to its former glory. The garden features the sumptuously intricate Tijou Screen.

Open daily

Explore the Chocolate Kitchens at Hampton Court, painstakingly restored by skilled conservationists and opened for the first time in almost 300 years.

Open daily

Lunch led with a special guest expert at the Orangery at Kensington Palace.

23 November, 07 and 21 December 2017

Kensington Palace

Starting at 12:00

Browse more history and stories

Delightful wooden plant sticks with decorative Pugin design, featuring traditional herbs: rosemary, thyme, dill, basil, parsley and sage.

Wooden herb plant sticks

Traditional wooden plant sticks with a Gothic Revival design, featuring herbs grown in the Hampton Court Palace kitchen gardens.

£3.99

The perfect dress up, your little princess can glide around like a Georgian Princess with this pretty princess fancy dress.

Princess Charlotte Georgian dress up costume

The perfect dress up, your little princess can glide around like a Georgian Princess with this pretty princess fancy dress.

£35.00

Inspired by the delft ceramic collection of Queen Mary, this fine bone china tea for one set is perfect for afternoon tea.

Queen Mary delft bone china tea for one

The design of this tea for one set is inspired by the ceramic collection of Queen Mary II, a keen collector of Chinese porcelain and Delftware.

£75.00