Superstar singer-songwriter Sam Smith provided Keswick and parts of Eden with a surprise post-lockdown boost, as he enjoyed a pint and a curry in Keswick town centre on Wednesday evening and did a spot of shopping at Glenridding.
The multi-award-winning artist, who has 15 million followers on Instagram, was happy to pose for photos with staff and customers at the Lakeland Spice restaurant in Main Street, Keswick, where he tucked into tandoori chicken and lamb tikka masala.
Smith, who is reportedly worth £33 million after six UK number ones including Writing’s On The Wall for the James Bond film Spectre, also polished off a pint in the beer garden at the Oddfellows Arms pub on Market Square, where he was again accompanied by two female friends.
“He was really polite and couldn’t praise the meal enough. They booked a table and were really nice,” said Abul Monsur, manager at the Lakeland Spice.
“He had a cigarette outside and we had half of Keswick in here when word got around.
“He was talking to me for a bit. He said it was his first time in Keswick and his first holiday after lockdown. He left a nice tip on the card — very nice. I have met a few celebrities and he was by far the most polite and well-mannered,” added Abul.
Marc McAdam was even more impressed when he and his friend Marie caught up with the A-list celebrity in the Oddfellows’ beer garden.
“I am a massive fan of his. I’ve got all his stuff.
“When I found he was in Keswick, I got myself along. He was sat outside. We sat at the table next to him, but we didn’t hassle him. He was a really nice guy in his outdoor jacket and jumper, just having a pint.
“It was the first time I’d been out to a pub since lockdown. We have all been a bit stir crazy and we are all just trying to get back to normal.
“We have got to support our local pubs and shops, so it’s good that someone like Sam Smith is coming to Keswick and showing you can go out, have a good time and be safe,” said Marc, 45, who is a carpet salesman in Keswick.
During his trip, the famous singer also called in at the Catstycam outdoor shop in Glenridding, where he posed for a photo with manager Georgia Roper and her son Jamie.
Georgia said: “It was a shock to see him. When he walked in, I said hello then realised who he was. He was a lovely man and really chatty. He bought some clothes too. We do have celebrities come in as a lot of them like walking.”
She added that last week, film and TV actor Andy Serkis, who was Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, was shopping in the store.
Smith’s first two albums, In the Lonely Hour and The Thrill Of It All, were both UK number ones and he is due to release his third this year.