In the half of Hampton Court that remains from the Tudor period, there are the world-famous kitchens. Built around 1530, these kitchens were a hub of food preparation activity for over 230 years. Today, food historians and re-enactors sometimes cook historical Tudor fare in front of interested visitors, and it’s wonderful.
We all know that Henry VIII had a huge appetite, but he also had to feed his courtiers – this tradition (which also included board) last until the mid-17th century, was a huge operation and a costly one at that.
I love going here because there’s always the smell from the wood-burning fire in the main kitchen – I’m so happy that no one has been silly about health and safety (which has gone absolutely overboard here in the UK) and that they continue the tradition of lighting the fires every day. Also, the palace is generally rather cold and it’s delightful to come over and get warmed up, and there are usually other visitors doing just the same.
I hope you enjoy looking at the photos!
To get to Hampton Court, you need to take the SouthWest train service from London’s Waterloo Station and it terminates at Hampton Court. Other routes are via the Thames, though I’ve never tried this. You can use your Oyster card to get there and back, but if you don’t have one of these, you’ll need the appropriate Travelcard, which you can buy at any station.
Happy history travelling!
Videos: Tudor cook-along.