The Chocolate Kitchens

Update 27 November: In line with government guidance, Hampton Court Palace is closed until 2 December, but our gardens are open at the weekends only. We will reopen the palace on 5 December. Please read our FAQs

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As part of the Baroque building, the Chocolate Kitchens at Hampton Court Palace were built for William III and Mary II 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.

Re-discovering the Chocolate Kitchens

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. They were re-opened in February 2014, and are the only royal chocolate kitchens in Britain and a remarkable discovery. 

Until it's discovery, the space was used as 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.

The Chocolate Room

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 confectionery were regularly served with chocolate and would have been placed on delicate glass serving dishes.

The transformation of the Chocolate Room

The transformation into the decorated Chocolate Room has been the careful and considered work of a team of Historic Royal Palaces experts and skilled craftspeople. They painstakingly recreated all of the serving equipment from archaeological and documentary research with the help of traditional craftspeople.

The same materials and methods as Georgian predecessors were used to recreate the objects with historical accuracy.

The Kitchen Garden at Hampton Court Palace under a bright blue sky. Showing varieties of planting in the foreground and the Tudor palace in the background
Things to see

Experience the recreated Kitchen Garden, which would have fed the Georgian royals and now supplies Henry VIII's Kitchens.

Weekends only

Hampton Court Palace

Included in gardens admission (members go free)

Visitors explore Henry VIII's Kitchens after re-interpretation in 2018.
Things to see

Transport yourself back to the heyday of Tudor feasting and entertainment in Henry VIII's Kitchens at Hampton Court Palace.

Closed

Hampton Court Palace

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Christmas illustration scene
Christmas Events

Enjoy a big helping of festive spirit as the Festive Fayre returns to the magical Hampton Court Palace this winter.

11-13 December 2020

Hampton Court Palace

Friday to Sunday: 10:00-16:30

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Introduced by Lucy Worsley, this delicious book is full of exquisite historical chocolate recipes fit for a queen.

Chocolate fit for a Queen

Introduced by Lucy Worsley, this delicious book is full of exquisite historical chocolate recipes fit for a queen.

£10.00

The King's Witch by Tracy Borman

The King's Witch (signed copies while stocks last)

After aiding an ailing Queen Elizabeth, Francis Gorges longs for the fields and woods of her parent's Hampshire estate. However, when the new puritan King James arrives from Scotland she is taken to court, where she finds herself surrounded by mortal danger.

£16.99

Courtiers: The Secret History of Kensington Palace by Lucy Worsley

Courtiers: The Secret History of Kensington Palace

Told through the eyes of a courtier, this fascinating book explores the ambitious and talented people who flocked to the Georgian court in search of power and prestige.

£11.99