Discover more about these historic royal kitchens, the servants who worked in them and Georgian culinary life.
Updated 12 June. As a result of the Coronavirus global pandemic, we have taken the difficult decision to close Kew Palace and the Great Pagoda until 3 June 2021. We are sorry for any disappointment this may cause. Please read our statement
Next door to Kew Palace, the royal kitchens remain miraculously preserved, 200 years after they were last used.
The Royal Kitchens evoke life on the 6 February 1789, when George III was given back his knife and fork, after his first episode of 'madness'.
First experience the little kitchen garden, with neat vegetable beds laid out between gravel paths, and fruit trees climbing the walls. This gives a flavour of what the Georgian kitchen gardens were like - when they were in use the real kitchen gardens were enormous and stood alongside the Kew Road.
Once inside, you’ll see four preparation rooms where bread was baked, fish/meat was stored and vegetables were washed. See the lead-lined sink where scullery boys would spend hours scouring pots and pans with sand and soap.
Open the original 18th century split door to reveal the Royal Kitchens' most impressive space: a double-height room, complete with a roasting range, charcoal grill and pastry oven.
Projections and sounds bring the space back to life, showing the complete experience of this working room in its former glory.
Upstairs, the kitchens were ruled over by the Clerk, who had day-to-day responsibility for feeding the enormous Royal Household. His office has been furnished to the way we think it looked in February 1789, when the king was recovering from his first illness.
Nearby, the waft of spices will drift from the dry larder or spice cupboard, which is kept locked. When opened with a special key, a treasure house of expensive items; sugar, cinnamon, wine and other luxuries we take for granted today, will be revealed.
The most intimate of our six royal palaces, Kew was built as a private house in 1631 and used by the royal family between 1729 and 1818. These gifts and souvenirs are all inspired by Kew Palace.