“Qu’ils Mangent de la Brioche!” or perhaps, “Let them eat their tea cakes!”, as Anne Boleyn actually mouthed before she was given ‘Le Chop’. The “eating brioche’ part was actually said by someone else and mistakenly attributed to Anne Boleyn. You read it here first, through lots of dubious research, I have uncovered a famous quote lost to history just until now*.
As fascinatingly brutal as that era was, we can be grateful that Henry VIII’s and Anne Boleyn’s brief pairing gave birth to this delicious tea cake called a ‘Maid of Honour’. The best place, according to marketing hype, to eat this is at Newens at Kew Gardens in Richmond, London.
According to folklore, Henry VIII first met Anne Boleyn when she was a Maid of Honour. This historical event took place at his Richmond Palace, and he fell in love with her eating this dainty little pastry. Love never tasted so sweet, and if this story has a romantic ring of regality to it, there is also a dark story attached, if you believe the myth (As printed on Newen’s website). However, it would not be surprising if this story was true, considering Henry VIII’s reputation.
Now Henry VIII’s key achievements were plenty, not excluding breaking away from the Catholic Church, beheading 2 of his wives, of which one had a younger sister who was his mistress prior and executing tens of thousands of people (72,000+ according to a less than trustable internet source*). His daughter, Queen Mary 1, is credited with burning around 300 Protestants to their deaths and thus, earning the nickname, ‘Bloody Mary’, to whom bar-goers and bartenders around the world pay homage to with a shake of the jigger*. Back to the dark story……