Spiffing day! Britain's Queen surprises pub goers by dropping into her local in Edinburgh
Published 14/07/2016 | 06:36
Britain's Queen shocked regulars at one of Edinburgh's best-known pubs by dropping in for a bite to eat after a day at the races, it has emerged.
She visited The Sheep Heid Inn on Friday night after giving staff an hour’s notice of her impending visit.
The small royal party is understood to have taken a window seat and to have ordered two portions of lamb rump, one sea bass fillet, a martini and a half bottle of white wine.
Main meals are advertised at around £16.50 on the pub's regular menu but it is not known which of the dishes the Queen ordered.
One member of staff said they had been “sworn to secrecy”, adding: “I have no idea how her visit got out there.” Staff were also ordered to delete any photographs they had taken during the visit.
The Queen made the secret visit to Scotland’s oldest bar, according to the Edinburgh Evening News, during her stay at nearby Holyrood Palace, her official residence north of the border.
One startled customer revealed their astonishment in a TripAdvisor review. RosC17 wrote: "Absolutely amazed when Her Majesty the Queen arrived for dinner with friends and sat at the table next to us!
"What a lovely lady. Security guys everywhere but so unobtrusive that you hardly noticed them.
"What an honour for your excellent front of house and kitchen teams. We have enjoyed many visits to the Sheep Heid Inn, but this was particularly memorable, Five stars plus a gold star!”
The lamb rump comes with asparagus, chorizo, peas, baby onions dauphinoise potatoes and a jus, while the sea bass is pan-fried with mashed potato, green vegetables and a brown shrimp and Devon crab sauce.
Alex Lunn, a regular customer and city councillor, said: “The Sheep Heid Inn is something the local community are very proud of and a visit from the Queen is another string to add to its bow.I eat there regularly so I'm sure Her Majesty enjoyed an excellent meal."
The Queen had earlier attended Musselburgh Racecourse with the Duke of Edinburgh to celebrate its 200th anniversary.
The popular pub was established in 1360 and has been linked to the royal family since the 1500s. One story suggests it got its name in 1580 after King James VI of Scotland gifted the landlord an ornate ram's head snuff box.
It is believed he and his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, stopped by the inn to play skittles in the courtyard.
As a mark of gratitude, he presented the landlord with the unusual gift which remained on site for 300 years before being sold at auction.
Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns and Bonnie Prince Charlie are among its other famous patrons.
The Queen rarely dines in public, but has visited Bellamy’s restaurant in Mayfair on a number of occasions.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said she spent Friday evening “privately".