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Cafe owner star-struck as Sir Rod Stewart relives Maggie May memories

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Dominic Ide was star-struck by Sir Rod Stewart's visit
Dominic Ide was star-struck by Sir Rod Stewart's visit

STAFF from a café in Beaulieu were star-struck when they received an unexpected visit from rock-and-roll royalty Sir Rod Stewart.

Dominic Ide, owner of Pallets Tea and Coffee House, was working with his colleague Sophia Britton on what was initially a normal day when they saw a large Rolls-Royce appear on the high street.

Curious about the commotion, they caught a glimpse of a man who resembled the singer before he made his way over to the shop.

Dominic told the A&T: “We saw the Rolls-Royce pull up that, funnily enough, had been going the wrong way up the high street, and we noticed a man get out and have a look around.

"Sophia recognised him and said it was Rod Stewart – and then he started walking over.

“We knew it had to be him because he recently played a gig in Southampton which made sense why he was in the area, and before we knew it he walked in.

“He began talking to us, saying he had not been to the village since the Beaulieu Jazz Festival, and that he remembered our building from the visit back when it probably wasn’t a coffee shop.

“We were halfway through the conversation when he just said, ‘I am Rod Stewart by the way’ and it was such a massive shock, I was star-struck.”

Deciding to stay for an English breakfast tea and a slice of Victoria sponge, Rod told Dominic how he wrote one of his timeless classics, Maggie May, about an older woman whom he had met at the infamous Beaulieu Jazz Festival.

Dominic added: “He was a really genuine person and spoke to us like he was any other customer; it was a pleasure to talk with him.”

Although Rod had fond memories of the festival, it became the centre-point of controversy in 1960 after jazz fans attending the event’s third year ran riot, causing a rampage which resulted in 39 people receiving injuries, some of them serious.

Lord Montagu attempted to revive the festival for the following year, but costs for extra security rendered it no longer financially viable and it was unable to return.

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