Privy kitchen cafe, awful Everybody… – Hampton Court Palace

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Facilities & Accessibility

Access Inside Building Facilities Some routes suitable for limited mobility users Some routes suitable for wheelchair users Steps within building Access into the Building Assisted wheelchair access Flat routes from parking area to entrance Accessible Bathroom Facilities Designated wheelchair accessible public toilet Some toilets with handrails Accessible Communication Facilities Audible alarm system Clear signage (colour contrast, large letters or pictograms) Hearing loop system Information available in audio format Information available in braille Information available in large print Sign language used Accessible Parking Facilities Blue badge parking available Designated disabled parking available within fifty metres of main entrance Drop-off point for guests available outside main entrance Public car park available within two hundred metres of main entrance Accessible Venue Facilities Assistance dogs welcome Emergency evacuation procedures for guests with disabilities Level access, ramp or lift to restaurant or cafe Level access, ramp or lift to the shop Special dietary requirements catered for Staff available to assist Staff disability awareness trained Wheelchairs available free of charge Additional Accessible Facilities Accessible baby changing rooms Level access, ramp or lift to garden Level access, ramp or lift to information point Level access, ramp or lift to ticket issuing point Portable chip and pin machines Attraction Facilities Audio commentary available Gift shop Patron toilets Public toilets Booking Facilities Coach parties accepted Group bookings accepted Catering Facilities Cafe Halal options on menu Kosher options on menu Nut-free option on menu Private Dining Restaurant Vegetarian options on menu Event Facilities Available for wedding receptions Civil Partnership licence held Conference rooms / Meeting rooms In house AV available Licenced for civil marriages Offers charity rates Wedding service General Facilities On site parking Payment Facilities Group rates available

In a nutshell

What started as a simple riverside manor house in the 15th century became one of Britain’s most lavish palaces, first in the hands of Cardinal Wolsey, then under a succession of kings, beginning with Henry VIII, who spent the equivalent of £18m developing vast kitchens, a chapel, tennis court, bowling alleys, formal gardens and a communal loo with room for 28 noblemen. The famous maze was commissioned by King William III. It’s not hard to imagine courtiers conspiring in darkened corners, servants hurrying along corridors and a pervading sense of ill ease as plots were hatched, lovers betrayed and backs stabbed. Don’t forget to look up: some of the most extravagant detailing is above, in the ornate chimneys, the chapel’s sumptuous ceiling and the frescoes of William III’s apartments.

Fun fact

The South Front and Privy Garden, looking north

Get chatting to one of the staff and they’ll happily divulge some juicy royal shenanigans or grim historic practice. Georgian women had their teeth removed – and replaced with false ones – to show that (or perhaps because) they ate sugar, which at the time was more expensive than tea or coffee. And they had plenty of opportunity to indulge, as the palace had its own chocolate kitchen where Thomas Tosier, chocolatier to King George I, made sweet, spiced concoctions. Reopened in 2014 it’s the only surviving such kitchen in Britain.

Best thing about it?

The Magic Garden. Photograph: David Hedges

Children are brilliantly catered for. The Magic Garden (summer only) is a highlight: an enchanting outdoor play area of Tudor towers, a raised walkway and slide, sand and water play, grassy slopes to slide down, mythical creatures hidden among the foliage and a spiky giant nest surrounded by the old brick walls. A cheaper ticket (£7.70 adult, £5.50 child), buys access to just the garden and the maze, which are an afternoon’s entertainment in themselves. This Easter there’s a bunny hunt (until 17 April), “Tudor” chocolate making (8/9 April) and – my son’s favourite – decorating your own chocolate cup (until 17 April). From 27 May, there’s a week of outdoor Horrible History shows (adult £12, child £7).

What about lunch?

Spring flowers, the perfect setting for picnicking. Photograph: SWNS.com

Exit through the gift shop?

No. There are two shops, but they’re fairly discreetly tucked away.

Getting there

There are a few parking spaces. Hampton Court station (trains from Waterloo) is opposite the palace on the other side of the river.

Prices and times

Open daily, except 24, 25 and 26 December, 10am-6pm (4.30pm winter). Online tickets £20.30, £10.20 (under 5 free).

Value for money

Cooking meat in the royal kitchens. Photograph: Adam Gray/SWNS.com

If the weather is fine it’s easy to spend the entire day exploring the labyrinthine rooms and grounds. This year, from mid April the Tudor court will be brought to life by a play about Henry VIII and his new wife Anne Boleyn in the great hall (Thursday to Mondays); roving performances in Base Court (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) about the dangers of love and heresy; and chefs cooking Tudor roasts on the open kitchen fire (all included in palace admission).

Stay there

The Georgian House, built by George, Prince of Wales in 1719, can be rented through the Landmark Trust from £864 for four nights (sleeps eight), giving after hours access to the grounds.

Verdict

  • hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace

This is the sixth BBC Good Food event the company has added to its portfolio, following an announcement earlier this year of a new spring show at the Harrogate International Centre on 25-27 April.

The three-day festival will feature a number of food and drink producers and ingredient suppliers who will be exhibiting on the day. Visitors will also have the opportunity to pick up some tips from professional chefs as part of demonstrations taking place in the summer kitchen.

A number of food historians from Historic Royal Palaces will also be preparing Georgian recipes throughout the event in the palace’s kitchens, which will coincide with Hampton Court’s ‘Glorious Georges’ season.

Laura Biggs, managing director at River Street Events, said: “We are honoured and excited to run the first BBC Good Food Festival in partnership with Hampton Court Palace. It is a beautiful landmark and stunning backdrop for such an event.

“As a local business we know the surrounding area really well which will help us understand and deliver the local elements of the event as we intend to integrate local restaurants into the festival. We look forward to the launch and hope for a long and successful partnership with Hampton Court Palace.”

Paul Gray, palace director for Hampton Court Palace, added: “We’re delighted to be hosting the BBC Good Food Festival at Hampton Court Palace. In its 500-year history the palace has seen many a lavish feast prepared for kings and queens, but this is the first time we have held a major food festival like this within the grounds.”

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Paul Hollywood entertains foodie crowd at BBC Good Food Festival

The BBC Good Food Festival, sponsored by Lexus, at Hampton Court Palace closed on Bank Holiday Monday after a hugely successful three days over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The Show attracted an incredible 25,000 visitors who were entertained by top chefs and experts.

Within the stunning gardens, Hampton Court Palace provided the perfect backdrop for the Show, where 106 exhibitors including 44 Speciality Producers sold local, regional and artisan produce. The Festival was hosted in partnership with independent charity Historic Royal Palaces and Stoves were the Official Kitchen Appliance Supplier and Zwilling were the Official Knife Supplier at the Show.

The BBC Good Food Festival was the perfect summer treat, offering opportunities to sample great food and drink whilst visiting the historic Palace and its glorious gardens. Comprising of over 100 hand-picked artisan producers and companies, with everything from oysters to sausages, and brownies to crepes, the Festival was a delight to even the most committed foodie. Exhibitors included Jumi Cheese Swiss Cheese based in Borough Market, Alfie Coffee Co Roasters offering fresh coffee to go and beans to take home, P S Lambis selling exceptional Extra Virgin Olive Oil and much, much more.

A host of famous faces including Paul Hollywood, Michel Roux Jr and John Torode cooked live on stage in the Summer Kitchen Theatre, sponsored by AO.com. Meanwhile, over at the Interview Stage, sponsored by Lakeland, food lovers discovered the secrets of their favourite chefs’ success as they shared top tips and tales from their life in the kitchen, before taking questions from the audience. Plus, Yo! Sushi hosted tailored masterclasses where visitors picked up new skills and top tips to become a sushi expert.

Paul Hollywood

River Street Events Managing Director Laura Biggs, says, “The weather gave us the perfect weekend for the third BBC Good Food Festival at Hampton Court Palace. The show was a huge success for all involved and its triumph is a testament to an excellent collaboration between the Historic Royal Palaces team and River Street Events, we are looking forward to further development for this festival in 2017 and the second year of our BBC Good Food Festive Fayre taking place on the 9-11th of December.”

Across the weekend, a fantastic live music programme provided the perfect summer soundtrack, with the sassy trio of singers The Polka Dots, jive group Cody and the Retro Boys and jazz band Doolally Tap all playing from the bandstand. With Hampton Court Palace deckchairs dotted around the garden, it was the perfect place to soak up the Festival atmosphere.

Young families and children were kept entertained with live circus show performances, circus skills workshops, face painting and the new Gnome Zone – an opportunity for families to uncover some of the hidden stories of the palace’s celebrated gardens.

Liz Young, Head of Events, Historic Royal Palaces, commented, “We had a fantastic bank holiday weekend with the BBC Good Food Festival and were thrilled to welcome 25,000 visitors to the palace and the Show. Set amid Hampton Court’s stunning formal gardens, the festival offered a wonderfully vibrant event for all the family to enjoy, with the palace itself providing a suitably magnificent backdrop .”

After the success of this years’ Show, the BBC Good Food Show are looking forward to returning to Hampton Court Palace for the BBC Good Food Festive Fayre. Visitors will be able to stock up for Christmas from exhibitors including Paxton Chocolate, Saxby’s Cider and festive themed Brockleby’s Pies. Plus there’ll be plenty of hints and tips on how to impress friends and family over the holiday season from some of the country’s top experts.

BBC Good Food Festive Fayre will take place 9 – 11 December at Hampton Court Palace, visit www.bbcgoodfoodfestivefayre.com for more information.

The Six Restaurant at the Kings Arms by Hampton Court sees Michelin-starred chef Mark Kempson in charge of the menu

Updated 16/7/19 with soft launch details

What: The Six at the Kings Arms Hotel

In a nutshell: Kitchen W8 Head Chef heads to Hampton Court

Summing it all up: A historic 18th-century inn has been given a 21st-century makeover with a top kitchen team in place for its hotel restaurant.

The low-down

Set right next to Hampton Court Palace, across from the famous maze, the King’s Arms has been around since the early 18th century (although a brewery has been on site since 1648). Now, having been bought by Nigerian billionaire TY Danjuma, it’s about to open its doors as a boutique hotel with a top chef in charge of the restaurant.

The Six Restaurant has Kitchen W8 head chef Mark Kempson as its Creative Chef with Head Chef Jack Scoines running things day to day.

Kempson, who has picked up a Michelin star at Kitchen W8 (and continues as Head Chef there) and who before that was at the two Michelin star The Vineyard in Berkshire, is championing local produce on the menus he produced for the restaurant. And we mean really local. There’s going to be a Palace Garden Salad on the menu, which uses herbs and vegetables picked freshly from the Hampton Court Palace Kitchen garden.

Other dishes include:

  • Smoked Eel on Toast, Crushed Egg, Beetroot and Watercress
  • Potted Chicken Livers, Apple Jelly and Toast
  • Smashed Palace Garden Courgettes, Devilled Crab Butter
  • Ale Battered Cod Cheeks, Mushy Peas, Salt and Vinegar Chips

If you fancy staying over after dinner, then there’ll be 14 newly appointed bedrooms upstairs.

More about The Six Restaurant

Where is it? 2 Lion Gate, Hampton Court Road, Molesey, KT8 9DD

When does it open? Open now

Soft launch offer: Until 24July 2019 they’re offering 20% off their food

How to book: book online

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @kingsarmshamptoncourt

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