Top chef Barrington Douglas swapped pork pies for cucumber sandwiches when he had tea with the Queen.
Chef turned entrepreneur Barrington spent Tuesday afternoon at Buckingham Palace brushing shoulders with royalty.
Barrington, 48, and business partner Richard Dennis, 49, run the Discovery Bay Caribbean restaurant in Huddersfield.
Barrington received the royal invite because of his community work and involvement with local schools and other organisations.
He and Richard enjoyed a four-day trip to London, combining the royal garden party with a joint birthday celebration. Both have birthdays in May.
They attended the garden party with up to 3,000 others and Barrington, of Deighton, was left a little disappointed he didn’t get to meet the Queen.
“We didn’t expect so many people to be there,” said Barrington. “The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles and Camilla were all there.
“I think the royal party met some of the dignitaries. Of course it would have been nice to shake the Queen’s hand but it was really nice simply to be invited. We both felt really special.”
There was some envy, too, from American tourists with their noses pressed up against the Palace gates.
“They couldn’t believe we had tickets to go inside,” said Barrington.
The afternoon tea served to guests included cucumber and ham sandwiches, cakes, buns and fancies.
Even though Barrington’s pork pies have a royal fan in the Duke of York – Barrington has delivered some via his friend Prof Bob Cryan, vice-chancellor of Huddersfield University – he resisted the temptation to drop some off personally.
“We left the pies at home,” said Barrington.
“All in all it was just a great experience. Everyone was dressed in their finery and the weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. And the cucumber sandwiches were lovely.”
Barrington, who also runs his own deli in Huddersfield, has cooked for the Duke of York’s daughter Princess Beatrice at Huddersfield University.
Take a look around Barrington's Discovery Lounge cocktail bar below.