The President of the United States last night hosted the heir to the British throne at an intimate 60-person black tie dinner at the official residence of the US Ambassador, Winfield House in Regent’s Park.
Mr Trump and Prince Charles were joined by their wives, the Prime Minister, and officials and dignitaries from both nations for the three-course meal in London, which was held to reciprocate Monday night’s lavish banquet in the Buckingham Palace ballroom.
In contrast to the sophisticated Palace menu which included steamed halibut and strawberry sable, – and was served with a £2,000-a-bottle Chateau Lafite – last night’s fare was closer to the heart of the teetotal President with a taste for plain food: beef, potatoes, ice cream, and £30-a-bottle Californian red wine.
It came at the end of a busy day for the President in which he held a joint press conference with Theresa May, met privately with Nigel Farage, and avoided a smaller-than-expected protest in central London.
Guests arrived shortly before 8pm and Charles and Camilla were greeted by the First Couple who stood outside the entrance of the stately home to meet them personally.
Marine guards opened the door to royal the car and President greeted the prince with a handshake.
Camilla, 71, looked elegant in in a white evening gown by Fiona Clare with a pretty embroidered overlay and a bejewelled necklace – a striking contrast to Melania’s striking red cape-style gown and loose, dark locks.
The prince and the president, both smart in black dinner jackets, chatted warmly following their tea on Monday, which ran over by 15 minutes. The foursome posed briefly for pictures for going inside.
President Trump’s children also joined the dinner and were seen leaving their London hotel earlier, ‘First Daughter’ Ivanka leading the fray in a stunning white off-the-shoulder gown and her hair in a chignon. His younger daughter, Tiffany, wore a grey full-length dress.
Inside there were no speeches, unlike the previous evening, but the Prince and the President both gave brief toasts. President Trump said: ‘To Her Majesty The Queen and Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.’
Charles in his toast said: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen please would you join me in toasting The President of The United States of America and Mrs Trump.’
The setting was far more intimate than at Buckingham Palace on Monday with the house’s dining room set with six tables each with around 10 places.
Lavish decorations included a centrepiece of cream roses on each circular table, which were covered with tablecloths patterned with flowers and birds, and laid with gold decorated plates and gold cutlery.
Gold candlesticks flanked the floral displays, while the six tables were surrounded by gold chairs.
Mr Trump sat on one table, with Theresa May to his left and the Prince on his right; while at another Melania dined with Philip May and Camilla.
Other guests at the dinner included Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, as well as the Ambassador and his wife and the Trump’s four adult children.
Guests dined on fresh burrata cheese with heritage tomatoes, basil, and Maldon salt; grilled fillet of beef with pommes Anna, watercress pure, celeriac and chantenay carrots; followed by summer berries, homemade vanilla ice cream with Muscovado sugar tuile.
The American wines all came from the Iron Horse winery in northern California: a chardonnay with the starter, a pinot noir with the main course, and champagne with dessert.
The menu, selected by the First Lady, was sure to please her husband who is a man of famously plain tastes who is regularly seen dining on fast food and has never touched a drop of alcohol.
Though no doubt sourced from the finest ingredients and prepared by the finest chefs, the meal amounted to beef and potatoes followed by vanilla ice cream.
And while Monday’s wine list included bottles of 1990 Chateau Lafite – one of only five First Growths from the Bordeaux region of France and one of the most prestigious and expensive wines in the world – the Iron Horse bottles served last night each cost less than £50.
Mr Trump is famously a teetotaler who also encourages his children and associates not to partake. Before the dinner, chatting with Melania and the Ambassador’s wife, Camilla was the only one of the three women to be pictured with a glass of wine.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Joel Adams and Rebecca English