Italian chef and media personality Gino D’Acampo said he turned down an invite to Buckingham Palace not to face cucumber sandwiches. Mr D’Acampo also said he is not a fan of tea, a detail which could have turned his royal meeting into an awkward encounter.
As reported by the Daily Mail’s diary editor Richard Eden, Mr D’Acampo said: “I’m not very keen on tea or cucumber sandwiches.
“I was invited to the Palace for tea just before Covid, but a cucumber sandwich is my worst nightmare.
“I don’t like tea either, so I phoned my agent and said: ‘I’d love to meet her, but I don’t like tea and cucumber sandwiches, and I can’t do either of those things’.”
Still reporting the conversation he had with his agent, Mr D’Acampo added: “‘I’m also going to have to wear a tie, and the last time I did that was when I got married. I can’t do that.
“‘But if I can have a plate of pasta and a cup of coffee, I’m in’.”
Mr D’Acampo has become a fixture on British TV by leading programmes such as Let’s Do Lunch and Gino’s Italian Escape.
He also gained popularity by appearing on ITV’s This Morning and showing how to cook Italian staples to hosts Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.
Mr D’Acampo may have been offered a sandwich more to his liking had he headed to Buckingham Palace, as Her Majesty’s former chef once said the fillings of the afternoon treat vary depending on where the Queen is located.
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Darren McGrady, who worked as a chef for the sovereign first and Princess Diana later for several years, opened up on the monarch’s habits when it comes to her afternoon break.
He told Coffee Friend: “The Queen had afternoon tea every day, wherever she was in the world.”
Speaking about what type of sandwiches the sovereign would eat with her tea, Mr McGrady added: “Take Balmoral for instance; we’d have so much salmon coming in, we’d have that fresh salmon and make a beautiful salmon salad or put that into the sandwiches.”
Scones and cakes, of various types and fillings, were also an option, the former royal chef added.
The Queen is believed to be partial to Earl Grey tea when it comes to what she drinks while taking a break from her royal duties.
Former royal butler Grant Harrold shared an insight into Her Majesty’s favourite tea in 2018, when he appeared in BBC Three comedy show Miss Holland.
He said: “I am sure the Queen enjoys her Assam or her Earl Grey the traditional way, made with tea leaves in a teapot and poured into a fine bone china teacup.
“She will also use a strainer. It is also a myth that members of royalty use their pinky when drinking.
“I have never seen that happen once.”
Prior to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Queen’s main residence was at Buckingham Palace.
However, in March 2020, the sovereign escaped the capital to be joined at Windsor Castle by her husband Prince Philip, with whom she spent the most part of the Covid lockdowns until his death in April 2021.
The monarch has since returned to the Palace only a handful of times to carry out official engagements.
In May last year, Her Majesty travelled from Berkshire to the Palace ahead of the procession leading to the Houses of Parliament, where she attended the State Opening of Parliament.
A month later, she held there her first face-to-face audience with Boris Johnson since the beginning of the Covid crisis.
In October, she returned to her London residence with Prince Edward for the Baton Relay, which has returned to England for the beginning of the Commonwealth Games today after having travelled across the world.