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Ampersand goes back to the future for sweet inspiration at Hampton Court Palace

Ampersand chocolate display
Ampersand has been selected to help Historic Royal Palaces launch a unique and recently rediscovered venue at Hampton Court Palace - the only surviving royal chocolate kitchen in the country. It once catered for three Kings: William III, George I and George II.

Throughout the year it will host live Georgian Chocolate making sessions, so visitors can experience chocolate making for the King first-hand and learn more about the elaborate and complex processes used to create luxury chocolate drinks. Planners booking events at the Palace can also arrange tours of the kitchen on request.

This eighteenth century kitchen was once the domain of Thomas Tosier, personal chocolatier to King George I, and Ampersand’s Executive Chef Gary Devereaux has paid homage to his historic predecessor by creating a modern tasting flight of four chocolate drinks that take their inspiration from ancient recipes. They comprise a recipe from 1652; one containing cumin, cinnamon and clove oil; a Victorian version; and a 2014 modern drink. Planners booking events can also request a recreation of these recipes.

Recent research uncovered the precise location of the kitchen in the Baroque Palace’s Fountain Court and it is remarkably well preserved with many of the original fittings, including the stove, equipment and furniture still intact. The new display explores the story of the royal responsibility of making chocolate for the King and is dressed with ceramics, copper cooking equipment, bespoke chocolate serving silverware, glassware and linens of the time.

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