A tea shop in Kew has seen orders of their speciality tarts double thanks to a BBC period drama.

Wolf Hall, BBC2's six-part Tudor drama and adaptation of Hilary Mantel's booker prize winning, tells the story of Henry VIII's life and how he was seeking a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to allow him to marry Anne Boleyn.

It was during his time wooing Anne Boleyn that the king discovered the maids of honour tarts which are now made at Maids of Honour, Kew Road.

The tea shop and bakery has since given a new insight into the story behind the romance that triggered the reformation and the downfall of Cardinal Wolesey, stating it was the maids of honour tarts that captivated the king's attention rather than Anne Boleyn herself.

Dean Martin, who bought Newens the Original Maids of Honour five years ago, said: "The story goes that Lady Anne was eating a plate of the tarts served on silver trays in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace with her maids of honour.

"The king was so taken by the simple pastry tart, which is more savoury than a custard tart, he ordered the recipe - and Anne’s maid of honour who baked them - to be locked up at Hampton Court and only released to produce the tarts for the king and his court."

The recipe was kept a secret for 200 years before it was leaked to John Billet, a baker in Richmond, who began making the tarts for wealthy customers. The Newens bakery has continued to make them to this day.

Following the success of the BBC2 show, Mr Martin said a renewed interest in Tudor history has been triggered and, as a result, people are curious about the tarts that were so desired by Henry VIII.

Mr Martin added: "We’re already doubling our production of maids of honour tarts because we’re expecting a big rise in visitors after the success of Wolf Hall.

"Ours are the original maids of honour tarts, baked using the exact recipe that dress Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn 500 years ago and we’re honoured to be part of a relationship that changed the course of English history."

Current customers and fans of Newens speciality tarts includes current members of the royal family, former prime ministers and Hollywood stars.