A bakery that serves up custard tarts made to the same recipe as those served up in King Henry VIII’s royal kitchen has seen a surge of interest following the success of the BBC’s new drama Wolf Hall.
According to local legend, it was while Anne Boleyn was tucking into a custard tart with other Maids of Honour that King Henry VIII first laid eyes on her and fell in love.
True or not, the story goes that he was so enamoured with both Anne (and the pastry that she was eating) that he got the recipe from her cook and began producing the very same custard tarts in his royal kitchen. Thus, if it was not for a humble custard tart then the course of English history would have run very differently.
With the BBC’s Wolf Hall currently screening on British TV screens (sorry overseas readers) there has been a revived interest in Tudor times, so much so that Newens, the Original Maids of Honour Bakery, in Kew (located opposite Kew Palace), which claims to be the only place in the world to produce the delicacies to the 500-year-old recipe, has seen sales of the delicacies surge. Dean Martin of Newens bakery told the Evening Standard: “We’re already doubling production and we’re posting them out to people who cannot make it to Richmond but who would still like to sample them.”
The Original Maids of Honour on the Kew Road has been making the custard tarts on this site since the mid 19th century and it claims to use the same recipe that had been used in the royal household and which was later disclosed to a bakery in nearby Richmond.
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