Skip to main content
21-12-2023
14-05-2024

The 'Sweet Table' in the Alexander Palace exhibition is gracing the Retinue Room and the Corridor in Nicholas II's former family residence at Tsarskoe Selo 21 December 2023 to 14 May 2024.

It's our joint project with Moscow's Chocolate and Cocoa History Museum (MISHKA) of the Confectioners United holding company. With nearly two hundred objects on display, the exhibition tells about the Christmas and Easter dessert traditions, symbols and attributes used during Russian imperial feasts. The latter often took place in the rooms of the Alexander Palace during celebrations and official receptions in the early twentieth century. They usually ended with desserts made by the Imperial Confectionery Department on the first floor of the Kitchen Building next to the palace.

Two 'sweet tables' on display are laid with desserts that used to be served to the imperial family at Christmas and Easter. Several display cases show early-twentieth-century confectionery tools, chocolate-making ingredients and recipes, postcards, porcelain Easter eggs, gift and chocolate boxes and wrappers, advertising leaflets, a rare phonograph with chocolate disc records, and price lists of three leading Russian confectionery factories appointed suppliers to the Imperial Court.

Desserts served to the emperor at Christmas and Easter were of particular interest. On 25th December, the day of the Nativity of Christ, the imperial dessert tables were decorated with Christmas trees and offered fruit, sweets, biscuits, chocolate, figured cookies and gingerbread. At Easter, it was customary to serve kulich (Easter bread) decorated with paper flowers, cottage cheese paskha, rolls, cookies, tangerines, candies, biscuits, dates, jam, and animal-shaped chocolates.

This exhibition gives a lot of warmth and comfort and a homey atmosphere that filled the Alexander Palace, where the family of Nicholas II lived from 1905. Their everyday life there has always been of keen interest. These sentimentally touching exhibits bring on traditions and emotions and show a small part of a huge behind-the-scene world of the Imperial Court.