The Palace is the former home of the larger than life monarch King Henry VIII. During his reign he extended this most grand of palaces after acquiring it in 1520, and subsequent royal occupants have furnished it with decadent tapestries and paintings over the centuries.
Set in 60 acres of formal gardens, including the great maze and the Great Vine, this palace is a must if visiting London.
Planted in 1769 the Great Vineyard is a historic and longstanding feature of the Palace. Originally called Shiva Grossa which translates as Black Hamburg. The vine is first cultivated in a greenhouse, which is the Victorian method. The grapes normally ripen in August and are sold during the first three weeks of December.
The gardens are a horticultural feat to be admired and cover 750 acres with the formal gardens being 60 acres. Within the gardens is the Great Vine, The Privy Garden ( a recreation of the 1702 garden for William III), The Tiltyard Walls, Home Park ( 700 acres of deer park), and the Palace Maze, consisting of half a mile of winding passages between 7ft high yew trees.
The kitchens remain as a testament to Tudor dining, the kitchens of Henry VIII are the largest kitchens of the day, hardly surprising his waistline was so large. Built during 1530 and 1737, the kitchens served up food to 600 people twice a day in addition to royal banquets. The cooks supposedly lie by the fire in very little clothes and would drink on the job, having access to all the beer supply.
Hampton Court is a great attraction and really accessible if you leave in southwest London, should you need private minicab service from Wimbledon then contact Elite Car Services.
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