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Undercroft Café opens at Windsor Castle

Release date: Friday, 6 March 2020

The Undercroft Café at Windsor Castle

The new Undercroft Café at Windsor Castle. ©

The first café for visitors to Windsor Castle has opened in Edward III’s medieval Undercroft, one of the oldest surviving spaces in the 1,000-year-old Castle.

Visitors to the Undercroft Café can enjoy freshly prepared meals, including sandwiches, wraps and salads, served alongside an exclusive selection of teas. Sweet treats range from vanilla mille-feuille and vegan chocolate cake to fruit scones and Victoria sponge. During the summer months, the Café will serve ice cream produced using milk from the Jersey herd at the Royal Farms, Windsor.

A selection of sweet treats at the Undercroft Café

A selection of sweet treats at the Undercroft Café ©

The Undercroft is on the ground floor of the Castle beneath St George’s Hall, and dates back to Edward III’s major renovations during the 1350s and 1360s. Throughout the 14th century, the Undercroft served as the Castle’s principal cellar, used for the storage of barrels of beer and wine. In the 17th century, during Charles II’s reign, the space was subdivided to accommodate a confectionary, a silver scullery and an eating room for Royal Household staff. In the 19th century, the Undercroft was further subdivided to make room for the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, the Servants’ Hall and the Office of the Yeoman of the Pantry.

Following the Windsor Castle fire of 1992, the Undercroft was reinstated as a single space. The walls had absorbed large amounts of water and had to be stripped back to allow them to dry out. This revealed that more of the room’s early fabric had survived than previously thought. Subsequent restoration work has turned the space back into the medieval interior it once was.

The creation of the Undercroft Café is part of Future Programme, a series of projects funded by Royal Collection Trust to enhance the visitor experience at Windsor Castle. Other recent developments include the reinstatement of the Georgian Inner Hall and the addition of the State Entrance to the visitor route. This year will also see the opening of a dedicated Learning Centre, enabling more schoolchildren, families and adults to engage with the Castle and the Royal Collection.

 

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