Going back to the UK for me is always exciting because I know I’ll be having premium teas at great locations. With my pocketbook about teas and cake in London, I was ready to explore yet another great location in this city last November.
The Original Maids of Honour offers their timeproof tarts and loose leaf tea since 1887 when it was first opened by the Newens family in Richmond, South West London. Ever since this bakery changed owners, names and locations but still serves their popular tarts known as the Maids of Honour – a pastry puff with a sweet cheese curd filling.
Stopping by at this time of the year, there’s an extra bonus waiting for you – the seasonal set of teas that include mulled wine or Christmas crackers alongside traditional tea-sandwiches and delicious scones (that are to die for!). And to make your experience count even more, the Maids are located just across the street from the Kew Gardens, a must-stop to see beautiful festive light shows in London’s botanical garden from December to January.
Traditional set teas range from cream tea to high tea to champagne tea. Traditionally, all these teas are taken in the afternoon to fill in the long waiting between lunch and dinner. Cream tea is served with warm scones, jam and cream – perfect for a sweet tooth. High tea dates way back to the 19th-century England when British workers would wait until after work and take tea that would be served with a light evening meal alongside cakes. Champagne tea, as the name suggests, comes with a glass or two of champagne.
Maids of Honour afternoon tea was my pick: it came with a pot of loose leaf tea (your choice), two scones that come with clotted cream and jam, and the famous tart. Although I wasn’t left in awe by the tart, the rest, including a lovely service, was absolutely, well, lovely!
- What Is the Difference Between Afternoon Tea and High Tea?
- Tea & Cake London, Zena Alkayat, 2011