Chocolate Kitchens at Hampton Court Palace

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It isn't just in recent times that our nation has enjoyed a love of chocolate, judging by a new discovery made at Hampton Court Palace.

The historic landmark has just opened a royal chocolate making kitchen to the public after it was found fully intact with many of its original fittings, including its stove.

It once catered for three kings –  William III, George I and George II – and is the only surviving royal chocolate kitchen in the country.

Recent research has uncovered the precise location of the royal chocolate kitchen in the Baroque Palace’s Fountain Court, having been used as a storeroom for many years.

The new display will explore the story of the royal responsibility of making chocolate for the king and there will also be live Georgian chocolate making sessions, for visitors to witness chocolate-making fit for a king first-hand and learn more about the elaborate and complex processes involved.

Polly Putnam, curator, Hampton Court Palace, said: "This is a 'below stairs' story like no other. Chocolate was an expensive luxury. Having your own chocolate maker, chocolate kitchen and chocolate room filled with precious porcelain and silver was the last word in elegance and decadence. It was really something that only kings and queens could afford, and is a real contrast with all the pies and meat we associate with the Tudor Kitchens at Hampton court. We really hope visitors will enjoy exploring the Palace’s sophisticated side!"

The opening of the Chocolate Kitchen is part of a wider celebration of the Georgians across the Historic Royal Palaces in 2014, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Hanoverian accession to the British throne. Visitors can easily access Hampton Court Palace from Waterloo Station, if staying in central London hotels. It makes for the perfect day trip for all the family.