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Tarts complete magical journey from Kew to Kuala Lumpur

Guardian.co.uk, January 6, 2015

By Laura Proto, Chief reporter

From Kew to Kuala Lumpur - a cake with a 500 year history been made in Malaysia for the first time.

The maids of honour tarts were first discovered by king Henry VIII and were declared so delicious the recipe was kept under lock and key for 200 years.

The monarch is believed to have seen Anne Boleyn eating the tarts baked by one of her maids of honour and was so captivated by the tart's taste he declared they should be made only for the royal court.

The recipe was kept a secret until the 18th century when it was leaked by a palace cook to a bakery in Richmond where Robert Newens served his apprenticeship before starting the Newens family business in 1850.

Last month, the recipe was finally shared on the other side of the world, with the opening of a Newens Tea House at Starhill Gallery in the Malaysian capital city.

The tea house, which can seat 197 people, was officially opened on December 9 by the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Her Excellency Victoria Treadell, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, managing director of YTL Corporation Berhad, and Dean Martin, owner of the original Newens Tea House in Kew Road.

Guests at the opening enjoyed the Newens' maids of honour tarts at the art-deco inspired venue, along with other delicacies and 60 varieties of specialist teas from around the world.

Speaking at the event, Mr Yeoh said: "We are proud to announce that Newens Tea House of London has been included in our portfolio, being brought from Kew Gardens, London, exclusively to Starhill Gallery.

"This demonstrates the level of confidence that global luxury brands have in Kuala Lumpurís dynamic growth and of Starhill Gallery's vision in particular."

The opening of the new tea house is the first time the maids of honour tarts, which was PASSED down through five generations of the Newens family, have been baked outside the UK.

Newens now plans to expand the tea houses across south-east Asia.





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