- Darren McGrady worked as a personal chef for the royal family for 15 years.
- He prepared meals for the Queen at Buckingham Palace from 1982 until 1993, and then moved to Kensington Palace to work for Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry, until Diana’s death in 1997.
- Every summer, McGrady hosts culinary excursions for royal and foodie fans alike, from different locations across the globe.
- This June, McGrady is taking the excursion to London, where guests will be given “insider information” as they embark on a tour across the city’s royal palaces and top attractions.
- Guests will stay in a 25-bedroom mansion, complete with butler service and McGrady’s own cooking to sample.
- The chef told INSIDER what fans can expect from the luxury $US5,800 trip.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to dine like royalty, you can finally find out – but it will cost you.
The Queen’s former personal chef, Darren McGrady, is offering fans the chance to spend a week at a luxury 25-bedroom mansion near London this summer, where he will cook meals for them and offer exclusive insight into his previous job as they embark on a tour across the city’s royal hotspots.
McGrady worked as a personal chef for the royal family for 15 years.
He prepared meals for the Queen and Prince Philip in the Buckingham Palace kitchen from 1982 until 1993, and then moved on to Kensington Palace, where he cooked for Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry, until Diana’s passing in 1997.
Since leaving the royal family, McGrady has gone on to share his “royal recipes” with the world, having released two cookbooks and hosted multiple cooking classes over the years.
He is no stranger to culinary excursions – in fact, he’s been hosting them all over the world, from Tuscany to Balmoral over the past 12 years.
Previous excursions included special cooking demonstrations, three-course meals at the most exclusive restaurants, and VIP sightseeing experiences, combining all of the best things that food and travel has to offer.
But this year will bring one special bonus to guests.
“I’ve been doing this for 12 years, but this year it’s completely different because I’m cooking for them,” McGrady told INSIDER.
“I’ll be flying out my catering company, Eating Royally, my front of house staff, and butlers from Dallas, Texas, where we’re based, to the 25-bedroom mansion in Ascot that we’ve hired out for the excursion.
“In previous excursions we stayed in hotels, so I wasn’t able to cook,” he explained. “Now guests can wake up in the morning, join me in the kitchen and sit at the bar and chat while I make breakfast.”
McGrady promises that the trip, which takes place from June 7 until June 14, will be the ideal experience for both royal fans and food fanatics.
The chef will be sharing anecdotes about his time working for the Queen and Princess Diana, as well as sharing “insider information” about royal life.
Combining that with his knowledge of good food, the plan is to give guests the experience of a lifetime – that is, if they have $US6,000 to spare.
The excursion, which includes visits the Trooping the Colour parade at Buckingham Palace and to Harry and Meghan’s new home, Windsor Castle, comes with a price tag of $US5,799 per person.
But there is the promise of exclusive perks – like luxury three-course meals cooked by McGrady himself, many of which have already recieved Her Majesty’s stamp of approval.
“I’ll be making some of the royal family’s favourite dishes,” McGrady said. “The Queen loves chocolate, so I’ll be making some of her favourite chocolate desserts for the guests. The royal family also love game, so I’ll definitely be serving venison.”
A team of butlers will also be on hand to provide luxury service to guests “as soon as they get off their flight.”
“Having my team there is what makes the entire experience so unique,” he explained. “There will be butlers to greet guests as soon as they got off their flight to carry their cases and check them in.
“I want this group to leave feeling like they have been treated like royalty.”
This year’s excursion sold out within a week of the tickets going on sale.
But fear not – McGrady will be back next summer, and this time, he’ll be taking guests to royal hotspots across Scotland.
The chef told INSIDER that while the trip hasn’t been officially announced, he can confirm that the next excursion will be held at a castle outside of Edinburgh, and that he will be flying out his team of butlers and front of house staff for the event.
This time, the royal tour will span across the Queen’s holiday home, Balmoral Castle, to Edinburgh’s Military Tattoo.
The finale dinner will take place on Her Majesty’s Royal Yacht, Britannia, where McGrady cooked for the Queen and President Reagan in 1984 and 1991.
Although it won’t be the first time McGrady has returned to the yacht – he has taken excursion groups there for dinner in the past – he says he still “gets goosebumps” each time he returns.
McGrady will also be cooking for the second time around – and if this year’s excursion is anything to go by, we better start saving our pennies, because dining like the Queen for a week might just be worth it.
Visit The Royal Chef website for updates about all of McGrady’s upcoming events.
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