ONE of Hampshire’s most famous historic buildings has unveiled a six-month facelift to its kitchen.

In the latest of redevelopment projects to Palace House, the ancestral home of the Montagu family, the newly-restored Victorian kitchen has been opened to the public.

It comes after a six-month restoration project which has seen a search around the country for pieces of authentic Victorian kitchen equipment, with the original table – which appeared in a 1905 photograph – taking pride of place.

Ralph Douglas-Scott-Montagu, the fourth Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, said it was important the kitchen felt like the heart of the home again.

Lord Montagu said: “I’m pleased and I have been planning it since before my father passed away. The kitchen is the heart of many houses, and I want to create that same feeling in Palace House.

“Having the smells of freshly baked goods in the house will remind people that it’s is lived-in and that’s something I’ve been very excited about.

“The goods baked in the kitchen will also be on sale in the shop opposite. We have done our best to go from Victorian kitchen, to being baked in authentic conditions, to being on sale to the public in the next room.”

Lord Montagu’s cook, Dena Saunderson, had been preparing Victorian dishes ahead of the launch of the kitchen which took place this week.

Dena said: “I’ve been in here since April time, but it’s lovely to be able to use it now it’s finished. Getting the range of units and utensils in I think was the biggest challenge but it has turned out wonderfully.

“It’s brilliant to be selling the baked goods that I’ll be making in the shop as well. Visitors who come by don’t expect to see a working kitchen so it’s nice to show them that we do still operate and we have all the authentic facilities in here now.”