A TOP chef in York said it was "quite surreal" meeting the King at the opening of a new restaurant yesterday.

Michelin-starred chef, Andrew Pern, is overseeing all food and hospitality functions at the new Refectory restaurant at York Minster - which was formally opened by the King and Queen Consort yesterday (April 7).

The royal couple toured the restaurant and its grounds - with the King unveiling a plaque celebrating the visit and the opening.

Before visiting the Refectory, King Charles III and the Queen Consort, attended his first Royal Maundy service at York Minster, distributing commemorative coins to 74 men and 74 women who have made a difference to their communities.

Andrew said it was an "incredible experience" meeting the King and Queen Consort.

York Press: King Charles III distributes the Maundy Money during the Royal Maundy Service at York MinsterKing Charles III distributes the Maundy Money during the Royal Maundy Service at York Minster (Image: PA)

Mr Pern said: "I went to the Royal Maunday service at the Minster beforehand - which was quite amazing and surreal to be honest.

"But the icing on the cake has to be for him visiting our new York Minster Refectory, situated behind the Minster. We chatted to him about the building and the food on offer.

"One of our apprentices talked to him too about learning the trade and working his way up through the ranks.

"Of course, we talked Yorkshire puddings and roasties how to make them perfectly.

"The restaurant is taking bookings from the April 20 - but it is open now for walk-ins as we work to make sure all is working properly in the old, ancient building."

The new restaurant will have daytime and evening dining along with a mixture of smaller function, lounge and private dining options and a daytime takeaway element.

A selection of dishes from Andrew and Joshua's new menu include a carpaccio of Yorkshire venison, cured North Sea halibut as a starter, Entrecote steak on the bone as a grill, braised oxtail in beer broth as a mains, sherry trifle as a pudding, plus savouries Colston Bassett Stilton with Medjool date jam and Yorkshire brack.

York Minster Refectory will have a settled fixed menu, but there will be many daily seasonal specials reflecting the time of the year.

Mike Green, a lead partner in York Minster Refectory with Mr Pern, said: "It has been quite the project to get to this stage.

"The fact that we are this advanced in the project timeframe is totally down to a massive team effort.

"Our suppliers have been absolutely incredible - we have had contractors quite literally running around the country to source supplies, materials and equipment to make this happen.

"Everyone has really bought into the idea, that they wanted to make it happen."

Booking enquiries can now be made through the restaurants website or by emailing: info@yorkminsterrefectory.co.uk.