Gino D’Acampo rejected an invitation to tea from Queen Elizabeth as cucumber sandwiches are his “worst nightmare”.
The Italian celebrity chef was invited to Buckingham Palace just before the COVID-19 pandemic but turned down the British monarch’s offer of gourmet afternoon tea as he wasn’t “keen” on the selection of food and beverages being served.
Speaking to MailOnline, Gino, 46, 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.'"
Gino – who married his teenage sweetheart Jessica Stellina Morrison back in 2002, with whom he has three children – claimed the last time he wore a tie was on his wedding day and having to dress up fancy is another reason he didn’t want to go.
He 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."
The ‘Family Fortunes’ host grew up in Naples before moving to the UK in 1995. Aged 21, the Neapolitan opened his first Italian restaurant and now has multiple venues across the UK.
Most recently, the cheeky Italian launched his own version of afternoon tea at his eponymous restaurant in Newcastle upon Tyne. Gino’s take gives an Italian twist to an old classic that replaces the cucumbers with truffle cream cheese.