Grouse has been off the menu at Balmoral due to heatwave

Her Majesty’s grouse is off the menu! Queen hasn’t been able to indulge in her traditional meal at Balmoral this summer – because the heat wave has killed off so many birds

  • The Queen enjoys eating grouse while staying at Balmoral Castle in Scotland 
  • Grouse has so far been off the menu because the heatwave has killed the chicks 
  • The hunt has been postponed but will officially begin on Friday this week 

Her Majesty’s ‘favourite’ meal has been taken off the menu for her summer break – and it’s all due to the heatwave. 

The Queen, who is currently enjoying her annual break at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish highlands, is a big fan of grouse which inhabit the local area.

However, according to former royal chef Darren McGrady, the monarch hasn’t been able to indulge in the game due to the hot weather.

Speaking to Hello! he said: ‘I was at Balmoral Castle last week and was talking to a friend who works on the estate. 

The Queen (pictured at the Windsor horse show in May) has been unable to enjoy her ‘favourite’ dish of grouse during her stay at Balmoral because the heatwave has been killing off the chicks 

‘He was telling me that the hot weather had killed so many chicks the shoots had been cut back.’

He revealed that the grouse hunting season officially started on Monday as you can’t shoot in Scotland on a Sunday and the first shoot will take place tomorrow.  

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Talking of the Queen’s love of the dish Darren revealed that once it is available it will be on the menu until she leaves in October.

He added: ‘Most of the time it was served as roast grouse with game chips, bread sauce and redcurrant jelly.’

Her Majesty spends August to October at Balmoral Castle (pictured here) as part of her annual summer break 

According to the Queen’s former chef Darren McGrady the official grouse hunt can finally begin this Friday. Pictured: A grouse in the wild 

 Darren McGrady – who went on to serve Diana, Princess of Wales, and now runs his own catering company in Dallas, Texas, worked for the monarch for 11 years.

Previously opening up about the Queen’s eating habits to the Mail, he admitted she was ‘not a foodie at all’, and prefers ‘throwing dinners to actually eating them’.

‘She’s not a foodie at all,’ Darren revealed. ‘She eats to live; it’s Prince Philip that lives to eat. He loves food, he’s interested in food, he wants to know where it comes from. The Queen, not so much.’ 

And even revealing her quirky dislikes, he said: ‘We could never serve garlic to the queen but Prince Philip loved it. If we were at Balmoral and she was out, we’d slather his steak in garlic.

According to the Queen’s former chef Darren McGrady – who went on to serve Diana, and now runs his own catering company in Dallas, the Queen is no foodie

Opening up about the Queen’s eating habits, he admitted she was ‘not a foodie at all’, and prefers ‘throwing dinners to actually eating them’ (Darren seen working in the royal kitchen)

‘But when she was at the table, there was no garlic at all. She was very Victorian and believed when she was brought up that you don’t eat garlic – because if you were holding an audience the next day, you didn’t want to be breathing garlic. It was seen as anti-social.’

He added that the monarch – who insists that the menu is written in French – preferred ‘very bland’ food and would avoid anything spicy, and that her ideal meal would be venison medallions with a whisky mushroom cream sauce, rice and salad.

Darren also outed Her Majesty as a ‘chocoholic’ with a penchant for a dessert called a ‘chocolate perfection pie’ – a pastry case lined with meringue, cinnamon and chocolate cream.


Makes one pie (eight portions)

For the pastry:

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour

¼ cup vanilla sugar

1 stick unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)

1 egg yolk

2 Tbs heavy cream

For the filling:

2 eggs

½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup sugar

½ tsp white wine vinegar

¼ tsp salt

6 ounces Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate (1 ½ bars)

½ cup water

2 egg yolks

1 cup heavy cream

½ tsp cinnamon

2 ounces Ghirardelli white chocolate – Grated (1/2 bar)

Darren has outed Her Majesty the Queen as a ‘chocoholic’ whose favourite dessert was something called a ‘chocolate perfection pie’ – a pastry case lined with meringue, cinnamon and chocolate cream


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then prepare the pastry case/shell. In a large

bowl add the flour and sugar and rub in the butter to resemble fine crumbs. Add the egg

yolk and cream and form the paste into a ball.

2) Roll out the paste and line a 9 inch flan ring, then part bake the flan.

3) Prepare the filling – Place a mixing bowl over a pan of boiling water (like preparing

hollandaise) and add 2 eggs, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp vinegar and the salt.

Whisk until the mixture starts to foam and then remove the bowl from the top of the pan

to a cool surface. Continue whisking until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage. Pour onto

the base of the flan and return to the oven until the filling has risen and is firm to the

touch – about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and allow the filling

to sink back into the shell. This is the first layer of the flan.

4) Melt the 6 ounces of chocolate and add the water and egg yolks. Whisk until

combined. Spoon half of the chocolate mix over the top of the sunken filling and return

the flan to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the flan to

cool completely. This is the second layer of the flan.

5) Beat the cream and cinnamon until stiff and carefully spread half of the mix into the

flan. This is the third layer.

6) Fold the remaining cream and cinnamon mix into the remaining chocolate mix and

spread into the flan. This is the fourth layer. Sprinkle on the grated white chocolate and

Refrigerate until set.


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