In addition to being a ShopGirl, I’m actually a real Tea Girl.
I can live easily without coffee but I need tea because it’s just so darn GOOD and is pretty much a drink that goes with everything and all occasions.
When it comes to tea, I honestly feel that there’s a brew to celebrate every joy or soothe any despair in my life. I drink it every single day!
In fact, if I were in charge of making laws, I might be the sort of populist leader to proclaim tea time for breakfast, lunch and dinner because it’s really the best pick-me-up sort of happy meal because I think a good cup of tea and a well-made piece of cake makes everything prettier and everyone happier, don’t you think?
NEWENS TEA HOUSE, Starhill Gallery, KL
Unfortunately, I’m neither clever or cunning enough to be a world leader and won’t have the opportunity to declare it tea time forever but that’s not going to stop me from taking you all on a stroll today to the Starhill Gallery to have a peek at the authentic and lovely British tea house, Newens of London.
I was invited recently to preview some of Newens signature treats as well as get a taste of things to come from their Afternoon Fashion Hi-Tea Set – a limited edition set that will only be available from the 20th-27th of November to coincide with the mall’s A Journey Through Time IX event this month.
Newens turns out to be a perfectly beautiful place to plonk on plush chaise lounges and elegant settees and unwind with a cup of tea…or two…or three… and nibble on delicate pastries.
Opened in December 2014, Newens Tea House, Starhill Gallery, is a direct descendant of the original and famed Newens Tea House in Kew, London and counts many dignitaries and celebrities among its patrons.
At Starhill, Newens is flanked by brands Dior and Louis Vuitton and boasts an authentic afternoon tea dining experience right down to the wide and gorgeous tea selection, delicate china tableware and attentive yet discreet service – just as one might expect from a posh British tea room in London.
MAIDS OF HONOUR TARTS
However, what I feel makes the Newens tea experience a little bit more special than any run-of-the-mill Afternoon Tea service in this town are these – meet the delicious Maids of Honour Tarts!
The Maids of Honour Tart is so special that only a few tea houses in the world bake it and basically only Newens Tea House of London is now privy to the original recipe.
The Maids Of Honour Tart is essentially an egg tart and has a gorgeously flaky crust that looks and feels like a combination of both filo and puff pastry.
Curiously, the custard egg filling at the center of this creation isn’t as silky as it is in a Chinese egg tart and actually appears slightly curd-like and somewhat grainy but on the tongue, the texture is smooth and melts away in the mouth in a burst of sweet, buttery goodness that leaves you wanting another tart!
No lie – it’s hard to stop at just one! That day, my dining companions and I unashamedly requested seconds…and for some, even thirds! Taste one and you will see why.
MAIDS OF HONOUR TARTS & A ROYAL HISTORY
Legend has it, the Ladies at court were indulging in this treat quite unabashedly until Anne Boleyn (being the busy body she was and very possibly to curry royal favour as she was inclined to do) decided to share a tart or two with King Henry VIII.
Naturally, King Henry was at once smitten by the tart’s buttery addictiveness and as kings like Henry tend to do – proceeded to lock up the poor Maid of Honour and to confiscate the recipe along with the unfortunate maiden so she would only be able bake exclusively for the Royal Court.
So, the recipe remained a guarded iron-key secret for a further 200 years until it was finally leaked by a palace cook to John Billet, a baker in neighbouring Richmond.
In 1850, Robert Newens, a former apprentice of Billet’s bakery and trained in the original Maids of Honour recipe, opened his own bakery serving these tarts and ever since, the Newen Family has been responsible for bringing these tarts in their original glory to the masses.
To this day the mechanics of this tart is still so treasured it remains a tight-lipped secret among a select few and the recipe for these tarts is presently known only to 14 pastry chefs worldwide – so we’re very lucky to have one of these privileged bakers here to bake fresh Maid of Honour Tarts exclusively for Newens in Kuala Lumpur!
In fact, Newens Tea House at Starhill here in KL is still presently the only place outside of England to enjoy these buttery egg tarts made from the original recipe!
AFTERNOON FASHION HI-TEA SET
20-27 NOVEMBER 2015
RM160++ (2 Pax)
Now, for only one week this November, Newens will be hosting an exclusive themed Tea Set that’s not available from the regular menu.
I had the opportunity to preview the exclusive Limited Edition Afternoon Fashion Hi-Tea Set last week and I can tell you, it’s even more pretty in person than in the pictures and includes a couple of the divine Maids of Honour Tarts in the set as well as a host of other tea-time treats.
The Afternoon Fashion Hi-Tea Set is a traditional three-tier offering with a sartorial twist at the top tier and I don’t know about you, but it’s always something about the multi-tiered serving stand system that makes me think that it is always better than having my tea set laid squat flat across the table.
Well, for one thing, a three-tiered afternoon tea is very photogenic and I wouldn’t be surprised if you are like me and spend most of the afternoon at Newens posing for selfies with it 🙂
But let’s tuck in and have a closer look at this tea set, tier-by-tier…
The Savoury (Bottom) Tier features an assortment of open-faced sandwiches with the following fillings-:
- Cheese/ Smoked Salmon/ Tuna
The Pastry (Middle) Tier features an assortment of pastries
- A pair of the famed Maids Of Honour Tarts. Trust me, you’ll crave more MOH Tarts after just one – so you’re welcome to order extra tarts at RM12 a piece because I did and have no regrets.
- A miniature quiche and
- A chicken pie
The Sweets (Top) Tier houses the most visually stunning part of the Set and is an assortment of desserts with an obvious fashion-bent hence the reason for the name, Afternoon Fashion Hi-Tea Set.
Don’t you agree that it’s more creative and pretty than having cake look only like cake?
- White and Dark Chocolate Coated ‘Tuxedo’ Strawberries
- Couture Handbag Cake
- Designer Shoe Cookie
- English Trifle
- Red Velvet ‘Hat’ Cupcake
MORE ABOUT NEWENS…
In case you’re more of a tea time traditionalist and don’t care for fashion with your food, Newens offers a variety of regular menu Tea Sets for lunching ladies and men who munch too-:
- High Tea for Two – RM120++ (Three-Tiered + Pot of Tea)
- Oriental Afternoon Tea for Two – RM120++ (Three-Tiered + Pot of Tea)
- The Original Maids of Honour Afternoon Tea for Two – RM60++ ( 2 x MOH Tarts & 2 x Scones + Pot of Tea)
- Cream Tea for Two – RM60++( 4 x scones + Pot of Tea)
Other tea time treats are kept either chilled or warmed as ala carte selections…
Plain or Raisin Scones are staples on the menu…
Pralines for the chocoholics among us…I know you’re out there!
Macarons because the French have made them synonymous with afternoon tea too…
The many plush padded chairs and comfy chaise lounges will make you want to stay and drink tea all day here at Newens.
I was so comfortable it took every ounce of willpower to leave the luxury of this lounge.
Will I be back?
Yes, especially to enjoy the pretty Maids of Honours and to clink porcelain like a King!
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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