EXCLUSIVE Royal Spice: Queen Sofia of Spain opts for an Indian restaurant in Puerto Banus for a dinner after the concert!

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THERE were no airs and graces for the former Queen of Spain.

The pomp and circumstance were well out of the window, at a party for Queen Sofia in Marbella this week.

On a rare visit to the Costa del Sol, King Felipe’s mother could have opted for one of four Michelin-starred restaurants or a grand dining room of more than half a dozen five-star hotels.

Still, she opted for her much more racy sister, Puerto Banus, and an expat-owned Indian restaurant, Mumtaz.

The Olive Press can reveal that the Queen and her friends – including Princess Alia of Jordan and her sister Irene of Greece – descended on the high-end joint after attending the recital of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra and Choir at the Marbella Arena.

Happy times for Queen Sofia having dinner in Puerto Banus. Image The olive press

They were joined by Indian bandleader Zubin Mehta, who had recommended the port restaurant, and legendary pianist/bandleader Daniel Barenboim.

Queen Sofia, a great music lover, had traveled to Marbella to attend the outdoor concert of her friend Mehta, who has been described as the best conductor in the world.

Mumtaz manager Juan Gimenez revealed that the Royal band arrived at 11:30 p.m., minutes after the recital ended.

The dinner was hosted by billionaire philanthropist Yusuf and Farida Hamied and the restaurant closed for them, ensuring no photographers could take pictures inside.

But, while the queen seemed incredibly happy, the staff were surprised that she tried few dishes and nothing with meat.

“All her friends tried all the dishes, but she didn’t try any of the meat dishes, she just had lentils, potatoes with cauliflower and spinach,” Gimenez told Olive Press. .

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Reine Sofia, owner and manager of the Indian restaurant Mumtaz. Image The olive press

However, she did at least drink a few glasses of the famous Valbuena de Vega Sicilia wine, which is one of the best wines in Spain and costs over €135 a bottle.

“It’s one of the best and most expensive wines we offer in our restaurant,” insists Juan.

Also Queen Sofia, 83, was really friendly with all the staff and was happy to pose for a few pictures with them.

“She was having an amazing time, smiling a lot and talking with all her friends and with her sister,” the manager added.

“She had the first course, a second course and a dessert but they didn’t have a gin and tonic,” Juan Gimenez said.

The restaurant was only booked two days before and the door to the restaurant was secured by police officers to protect the former queen.

It was her last trip before heading to Mallorca with King Felipe and Leticia, where she will spend the rest of the summer.

The restaurant is part of the Metro group run by British-Indian expatriate businessman Mr. Ram.

He also owns Jacks, Joys and the recently opened Leone in the port, as well as Alberts in Cabopino.

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