What happens when Taylor Swift walks into your restaurant?
After a barnstorming concert in Sydney on Saturday, Swift returned to New Zealand and surprised a top Queenstown restaurant when she and her entourage walked in unannounced for dinner last night.
The 25-year-old arrived on a private jet, a Gulfstream IV, and was seen travelling with a convoy of up to three SUVs while in the resort.
At dinner she wore a short black dress with flat black shoes, and was accompanied at Captains Restaurant by a small party, including her mother Andrea. She ordered a $35.95 steak and the roasted butternut pumpkin risotto – topped with pine nuts, shaved parmesan, rocket and truffle – for $27.95.
The restaurant posted a picture on Facebook of one its waiters looking shocked, accompanied by the caption: “OMG! TAYLOR SWIFT enjoying the scene at Captains tonight. Thank you Alex for looking after her and the crew.”
Not everyone was star-struck, though. Owners Grant and Karen Hattaway, who have just sold the restaurant, did not know who she was initially. But the singer’s visit was a nice way to end their 13-year run.
“I thought it was great,” Mr Hattaway said. “I was actually here and was sitting outside in the mall.
“She came in with an entourage of about eight – three or four security guys. I’m not a huge fan of Taylor Swift. I’m 51, so it’s not my cup of tea.
“It was a bit of a surprise, to say the least. No-one even knew she was in town.”
Restaurant staff left Swift alone. It seemed a few fellow diners noticed the star in their midst but others didn’t.
Mr Hattaway said Swift’s choice of eatery was good for the new owners, who were starting today.
Swift flew into New Zealand at 8pm last night and was taken to her accommodation in Queenstown. About 9.30pm, she was dropped off at the top of the town’s mall and her party made their way to the restaurant.
Swift played in Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night in front of 76,000 people, and her next gig is at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane this weekend.
The singer-songwriter was understood to be in Queenstown to film part of an upcoming music video and had been staying at the Eichardt’s Private Hotel, where its Gourmet Package mountain view suite goes for $1750 a night.
Swift was thought to have arrived in New Zealand last Monday and was the subject of various sightings and more than one blurry picture in the following days.
She also angered Auckland conservationists who said her crew put a rare native bird at risk when filming her latest music video at a west coast beach near Auckland.
The local film production company behind the Bethells Beach video has since apologised over concerns it disrupted nesting dotterel.
Swift’s 1989 World Tour began in Japan in May and will finish with seven concerts in Australia.
New Zealand is not part of the 1989 tour. Swift last performed here in 2013.
– NZ Herald and NZME. News Service