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Undercroft Café at Windsor Castle

Undercroft Café cakes

Undercroft Café cakes ©

Relax with a refreshing drink or a bite to eat in one of the oldest surviving spaces in the 1,000-year-old Castle - Edward III’s medieval Undercroft, now Windsor Castle's first café for visitors.

Visitors to the Undercroft Café at Windsor Castle 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 serves ice cream produced using milk from the Jersey herd at the Royal Farms, Windsor.

The Undercroft Café ©

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Afternoon tea box

The Undercroft Café

Enjoying tea and cakes in the café ©

History of the café

A café quite unlike any other, 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. Dimly lit with a much lower floor level, the resulting coolness made the vaulted space ideal for this purpose.

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. As its primary use was as a wine cellar, the Undercroft had few windows. Charles II’s architect Hugh May had the difficult task of introducing additional ones. To align these externally with those on the floor above, 13 openings were made across the 18 bays of the Undercroft. Internally this gives the room an unusual character, as some of the windows aren’t centrally placed within the bays between the vaulting.

Photograph of the Servants’ Hall in the Undercroft, c.1895, unknown photographer ©

In the 19th century, the Undercroft was further subdivided by George IV’s architect, Sir Jeffry Wyatville to make room for the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, the Servants’ Hall and the Office of the Yeoman of the Pantry. Subsequent restoration work has turned the space back into the medieval interior it once was.

The creation of the Café was part of a programme of works completed in 2020 to enhance the visitor experience at Windsor Castle.

The Undercroft Café at Windsor Castle

The new Undercroft Café at Windsor Castle. ©