Extreme Makeover: Tudor Kitchen Edition

The massive kitchen at Hampton Court Palace was fit for a King.

Producing around 1,000 meals a day, Henry VIII had a kitchen that would make Gordon Ramsey jealous.

Next month, Historic Royal Palaces will bring to life the Tudor kitchen in a whole new exhibit that promises to be a feast for senses.

From the sounds, sight and smells those who visit Hampton Court Palace will have a chance to meet a cast of interesting characters from Tudor times.

This summer, a uniquely commissioned play will Henry VIII adding even more Tudor fun to the visitor’s experience.

Take a step back in time and start your journey in the Master Carpenter’s Courtyard, where all the deliveries to supply the court entered the palace and were thoroughly examined by the Board of the Greencloth staff to assure they met the high standards of the Tudor King.

Vistors will be able to listen in on the conversations of the clerks working on their daily duties supplying Henry VIII and his courtiers with what was an endless feast.

Once inside the kitchen complex, one will have the chance to see the sights, hear the sounds and the opportunity to take in the smells of the boiling house, before entering the Great Kitchen to learn how meat was prepared and roasted in front of the six enormous fireplaces.

england-hampton-court-kitchen

Watch as the kitchen team prepares feasts fit for a king! Hear the fire crackling over the spit maybe try a hand and turning the meat over the flames.

The court during Henry’s reign would use an estimated 1.75 million logs each year to cook up the meals twice a day!

If the heat gets to you, then visit the wine cellar, once home to some 300 barrels of wine that were consumed every year.

“Henry VIII’s kitchens at Hampton Court are a rare survival from one of the most fascinating periods in the palace’s history, and a must-see for our visitors. By using new technology – and informed by our research findings – we’re now able to bring them to life like never before, and offer a real chance to experience history right where it happened. Promising everything from interactive cookery demonstrations to the sights, sounds and even scents of the Tudor Kitchens complex, we hope to engage visitors of all ages with the unique and fascinating stories behind their history,” Tracy Borman, Joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, noted.

The Tudor Kitchens is part of place admission.

There will be a series of food-themed lectures scheduled to mark the re-opening of the Tudor Kitchens this summer:

13 June: A History of Food

Food writer and critic William Sitwell discusses the many trends and technological innovations that have shaped the way we eat over hundreds of years.

27 June: Tudor Cooking, Experimental History

Food historian Marc Meltonville will talk about his work in the Tudor Kitchens at Hampton Court and explores the methods, ideas and outcomes of his experimental cookery from the Tudor Court.

4 July: The Consumption of Chocolate in the Royal Court

Historic Royal Palaces’ curator, Polly Putnam will delve into the fascinating relationship between chocolate and royalty in this talk from

Tickets for the lectures are extra in addition to the price of admission.

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