The Refinery New Street, a receipt showing 63 pints and a scotch egg cut up on a plate

A receipt from The Refinery New Street appeared to show 63 pints and just one scotch egg (Picture: Google/ Getty Images)

A tier two restaurant has rubbished claims of customers buying just one scotch egg to go alongside their £500 tab of alcohol.

The scotch egg has been at the centre of debate this week as England’s second lockdown came to an end. In tier two, anyone visiting a pub, bar or restaurant can only order alcohol if it is accompanied by a ‘substantial meal’, with the government not yet clarifying whether the bar snack counts as such.

A receipt for The Refinery New Street was then shared on social media, appearing to show a group of people drinking 63 pints of Peroni and 12 glasses of prosecco, with only a single chorizo scotch egg alongside their order.

But a spokesperson for the restaurant, in Holborn, said the receipt had been clearly cropped and told how a ‘substantial amount of food’ had actually been bought.

They told The Sun: ‘The order also included three charcuterie platters, a number of yakitori plates, three falafel, a beetroot and feta salad and several portion of fries. All tier two restrictions in line with government policy were strictly adhered to.

‘The safety of our team and our guests are our number one priority – our team wear masks, adhere to social distancing, service is at the table, payment contactless and we follow the most stringent of hygiene procedures.’

The receipt was cropped to hide the rest of the food ordered

According to the government’s Covid winter plan, a substantial meal is described as a ‘full breakfast, main lunchtime or evening meal’.

However this week Environment Secretary George Eustice sparked confusion when he appeared to suggest a scotch egg would be allowed under the rules.

Eustice told LBC Radio he thought a scotch egg ‘probably would’ count as a substantial meal, if there was ‘table service’ involved in the venue.

He added: ‘‘Often that might be as a starter but yes I think it would, but this is a term that’s understood in licensing since it is, you can have the concept of a table licence for alcohol that also requires you to serve a substantial meal. That is the model that is being followed.’

Scotch eggs, Free range eggs covered in pork meat with a breadcrumb coating, served with salad and a tomato dip.

They have provoked debate over what a substantial meal is (Picture: iStockphoto)

The Refinery New Street outside

The restaurant said they are complying with Covid rules (Picture: Google)

Cabinet minister Michael Gove then told ITV News he recognised them as a substantial meal, despite previously stating that they were only a ‘starter’.

He said: ‘I myself would definitely scoff a couple of scotch eggs if I had the chance, but I do recognise that it is a substantial meal.’

Downing Street insisted that the concept of a substantial meal is well understood in the hospitality industry, without saying whether that includes a scotch egg.

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