Tea is a part of my everyday life. Ever since I cured my coffee addiction, tea has been my everything – and while that may not sound like much of an improvement to some people, well, in my case… it kinda is. Even before the major shift to tea happened, I’ve been drinking it in lattes and during afternoon tea (and sometimes even high tea) as this a part of British culture that always had a special place in my girly-girl heart.
There’s just something about sitting with some of your best girls, talking about topics that range from politics to makeup while you sip on something that relaxes you as you treat yourself to a couple of sweets and sandwiches. Not to mention my love for fancy table settings, cutlery, and plates that actually play a big role in my ever so often afternoon tea excursions with friends.
Recently, my friend (and actually one of my fave afternoon tea buddies) Tammy brought me to Newens Teahouse in Starhill Gallery for a new menu item preview and we ended up seeing some of our other friends there – ShopGirl and Kelly. ❤️
Fancy tea places are kind of a fun splurge every-now-and-then for me and our last afternoon tea date at the Ritz-Carlton Lobby Lounge, left us thinking where we should go next.
Newens is the home of the original Maids of Honour tart. Its recipe dates back to the time of King Henry VIII and coincidentally, one of my favourite ladies in British history – Anne Boleyn. After the tussle with Catherine of Aragon that was followed by the creation of the Church of England, Anne married the King. She eventually had maids of honour (ladies in waiting) following her around and entertaining her in the ladies’ private chambers. One of these ladies created a tart so exquisitely delicious that Anne got the King to try it.
When the King tasted how good it was, he just knew that he couldn’t share it with others and he decided to have the lady imprisoned and only let out to bake for the Royal Court. Such a Henry VIII move if you ask me. *rolls eyes*
After the lady died, everyone thought that the recipe was forever lost but it resurfaced 200 years later when a palace cook leaked the recipe to a baker named John Billet. In 1850, one of Billet’s apprentices – John Newens – opened his own bakery and used the recipe.
Almost two centuries later, Newens Teahouse is still making the tarts based on that same recipe down to the T. And it has been loved by generations of British people from Winston Churchill to Queen Elizabeth II.
The recipe made its way out of the United Kingdom for the first time last year and landed in Kuala Lumpur – inside Starhill Gallery to be exact.
Sandwiched between Dior and Louis Vuitton, it’s hard to miss Newens. With its posh yet inviting couches and the sweet smell of tea and pastries wafting through the halls of the luxury mall. It can be quite intimidating to some but I find the servers are quite nice and welcoming.