Although a special diet was prescribed for the King during his illness, the daily menu carried on much as usual, with three courses, each of six or seven dishes. Small birds such as blackbirds and larks appeared regularly on the menus, especially for the younger princesses, who also had a fondness for dumplings.
All the food for the Royal Family, staff, and visitors was prepared next door to Kew Palace in the royal kitchen. This Georgian structure remains miraculously preserved after closing following the death of Queen Charlotte nearly 200 ago. The treasure chest has been restored and re-opened to evoke life on the February 6, 1789, the day when George III was given back his knife and fork, after his first episode of ‘madness’.
Modern visitors enter through the little kitchen garden to the rear, with neat vegetable beds laid out between gravel paths, and fruit trees climbing the walls. In fact, the real kitchen gardens were enormous and stood alongside the Kew Road, but this gives a flavor of what the Georgian kitchen gardens were like.