The Original Maids of Honour is a historic tea rooms and bakery located just five minutes’ walk from Kew Gardens. Occupying its present site since 1868 and the keeper of the secret recipe of the delightful little “Maids of Honour” tarts after which the iconic establishment is named, as soon as you arrive you take a step back in time to the days when Edwardian ladies and gentlemen lunched and sipped tea while waitresses quietly and efficiently served drinks, handmade cakes and meals. Look out for the vintage Austin delivery van which is usually parked outside when not motoring around the locality on its rounds.
What is special about your business?
There is simple nowhere in the world like The Original Maids of Honour and that makes it very special indeed. The busy bakehouse is a hive of activity – this is where we create pies, pastries, cakes, bread and our world-famous Maids of Honour tarts. In the tea room, we serve hot meals, snacks, cream teas and the most wonderful cakes. A visit to our establishment is a delightful experience and we go out of our way to make it memorable in every way.
How do you contribute to the local food scene?
We make everything ourselves on the premises using traditional methods to our own original recipes. We use free-range chickens and eggs and do our utmost to source local salads and vegetables. All our meat products are additive-free. And of course we treasure the secret recipe to the cakes made famous by Henry VIII – read more about them below.
Treat yourself to high tea after a trip to nearby Kew Gardens
The historic tea shop and bakery in one from the archives!
The story of The Maids of Honour cakes
It is believed that King Henry VIII was the first to use the name when he came across Ann Boleyn and other Maids of Honour eating the cakes from a silver dish. The story goes that the mighty sovereign was so enchanted with the cakes that the recipe was declared secret and locked in an iron box in Richmond Palace. It was not until the early 18th century that it was disclosed to a bakery in Richmond – the first Original Maids of Honour shop. It was here that our founder Robert Newens served his apprenticeship, learning the recipe for the cakes which he was then able to purvey at his family’s bakers shops, including today’s Original Maids of Honour in Kew Road.
Local Food Says
What a precious find! We recommend a leisurely visit to the tea rooms (a good location to meet friends before a trip to Kew Gardens) and then stocking up on decadent cream cakes and delicious Maids of Honour on the way out. True old-fashioned charm.
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