Beatles 'food on the grill' in Essex

EVERYBODY knows the hit Beatles song "She Loves You" – but few people know that just hours before the song was recorded the Fab Four were lunching at one of East Anglia's premier restaurants.

EVERYBODY knows the hit Beatles song "She Loves You" – but few people know that just hours before the song was recorded the Fab Four were lunching at one of East Anglia's premier restaurants.

These pictures, which have never been published before, show the Beatles larking around with the chefs who cooked them lunch when they called into Le Talbooth, in Dedham.

It was July 1, 1963. The Beatles were on their way to London to record She Loves You at the EMI studios, after an engagement in Great Yarmouth the previous day.

Their manager, Brian Epstein, who can be seen in the background walking away from the main group, was driving the Beatles to London in a Rolls Royce.


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Feeling peckish, the group called at Le Talbooth, a beautiful restaurant in the heart of Constable Country.

It was a bit late, remembers Derek Driver, who was sous-chef at the time, and they were nearly turned away.

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"I saw them and I recognised them," he said.

"The week before we turned the Stones away. The boss didn't want them there because of teenage hysteria – ripping carpets up and so on. They (the Beatles) just had lunch. They all had lamb."

Afterwards they went outside for an informal photoshoot.

John took the picture of Mr Driver with Paul, and then Paul took a picture of Mr Driver with John. Paul was not in the line up of the band members with chefs Kurt Friedl, Gerald Trueman and Mr Driver, because he was in the gents, which at that time was famous for being across the car park.

Terry Barber, now executive chef at Le Talbooth was second chef at the Dedham Vale Hotel, just across the road from Le Talbooth, on the day the Beatles called. A Beatles fan, he dashed across the road to see them.

"They seemed very ordinary, full of fun. They just seemed like great guys," said Mr Barber.

Mr Driver has put the photographs up for sale in the Christies pop memorabilia auction, along with two Le Talbooth menus the band autographed.

The photographs are expected to fetch up to £400 at the sale on April 30, while the autographed menus have been valued at £6,500 for the pair.

Mr Driver said he had kept the pictures and menu for years, not on display, but he wanted the money for his sister who has recently had an accident and is off work.

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