I once had a leaflet from a curry house in north London drop through my door which featured, next to the sundries list, photographs of the restaurant’s owner posed with celebrities who’d dined at his establishment. Justin from The Darkness was there, as were a few local councillors and, if I remember correctly, Anthony Worrall Thompson.
Anyway, the reason I’m telling you this is to warn readers in St Albans to be on the lookout for a similar flyer from the Veer Dhara restaurant in the near future (albeit featuring a slightly bigger star than any of that lot), as Tom Cruise popped into the eatery earlier this week for a nice cosy evening with a group of friends.
Darshit Hora, who owns the Veer Dhana, said he received “a bit of a surprise” after taking a booking at 9:00pm on Tuesday evening when the Mission Impossible star’s bodyguard came in to the restaurant to explain that “Tom Cruise is visiting your restaurant and doesn't want to disclose that he will be here.”
Cruise duly arrived an hour later with a party of ten people and ordered the slightly eccentric sounding dish of lobster and chicken tikka masala with sparkling water to drink. Mr. Hora revealed that Cruise sat facing the restaurant’s open plan kitchen and said that the Top Gun star had “heard good things” about the restaurant’s grub.
"He said he was staying about 15 miles away and came here because it was recommended," explained the restaurateur.
The reason Cruise is staying in Hertfordshire is that he’s currently shooting a film, All You Need is Kill, which is being shot at the county’s Leavesden Studios.
I rang the Veer Dhara to find out if the news of Cruise’s patronage had resulted in lots of extra bookings but, alas, they weren't yet open for business. Probably down at the printers running off handbills as we speak...