Seafood restaurant Ayr’s role at COP26 as East Timorese government officials enjoy an impromptu visit

A popular seafood restaurant in Ayr hosted government officials from a small Southeast Asian island last week.

The Rockpool, at Queen’s Court just off the city’s Newmarket Street, hosted 17 East Timorese government officials for dinner after their busy day at the COP26 climate change conference.

Officials, including security guards, feasted on a feast of scallops and langoustines.

Owner Fiona Speirs said Live Ayrshire: “It was a surprise. It’s the biggest table we’ve ever had.

“Gavin [Speirs] just phoned me up and said “we’re doing a 17 table” so of course we all ran to get it ready.

“They were on their way back to Prestwick Airport and stopped for dinner.

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Fiona Speirs at Rockpool
Fiona Speirs at Rockpool

“I spoke to one of the girls and she told me they were from East Timor. I had heard of East Timor but couldn’t tell you where it was.

“They were really nice and stayed here for a few hours.

“They really enjoyed their dinner and were very pleasant with lovely manners.”

East Timor is an island country in Southeast Asia, north of Australia, and is one-fifth the size of Scotland in terms of land mass and population.

It has a population of 1.3 million and measures 5,794 square miles, compared to Scotland’s 5.4 million and 30,081 square miles.

The islanders are no strangers to seafood themselves as their national dish is a fish dish called Ikan Pepes, which is fish steamed in chili sauce and wrapped in banana leaves.

The Rockpool added on their Facebook that the arched window table where the band sat will now be known as “The Presidential Table”.

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