From Tokyo to Bedford for badminton duo’s Olympic feast

(L-R) Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith Badminton Olympians at Bedford's FatCap Smokhouse.
Badminton Olympians (l-r) Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith at Bedford's FatCap Smokhouse. Image: @marcusellis89/Instagram

A Bedford restaurant got a welcome surprise this week when two of Team GB’s Olympic Badminton stars turned up for a date night treat.

Lauren Smith (29) and Marcus Ellis (31), who competed in the Badminton mixed doubles at Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics, dined at Castle Quay’s FatCap Smokehouse on Thursday evening (12 August).

Posting on Instagram earlier on in the day, Lauren gave an insight into her training and confessed she’d be “starving later” as “weights make me so hungry”.

It seemed only fitting then that they, along with dog Luna, headed to Bedford’s FatCap Smokehouse for a FatCap Feast, which they say “satisfied our athletic appetites”.

Speaking to the Bedford Independent, Lauren also said that the FatCap brisket would be part of her perfect meal.

“Marcus and I are big foodies and we are into a lot of different foods. Obviously, it fuels our training and our recovery so we have a very well balanced diet, but we love the experience of eating out and FatCap is one of the best experiences we’ve had recently.”

Lauren also revealed that even dog Luna got to have a taste, “of course Luna had a few scraps of food. I think her favourite was maybe the sausage, with brisket coming in second, but she was almost as big a fan as we were.”


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A post shared by Marcus Ellis (@marcusellis89)

But it’s not the first time the pair have paid a visit to Bedford to try the food on offer.

“We’ve been to Bedford a handful of times,” said Lauren, “we recently had a really lovely brunch at the Longholme on the river.

“Now that we’ve got our dog it’s a really nice place to go for walks, it’s [Bedford] certainly somewhere we would like to get to more, we think there’s a lot of hidden gems there.”


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A post shared by Lauren Smith (@laurensmith)

FatCap owner Emma Stevens said it was lovely to have the Badminton pair join them, “It was great to have them come to us after their time in Tokyo and we were honoured that they come and ate with us.

“We’ve been following their journey and we’re gutted to see they missed out on a medal.”

Paris beckons

Marcus and Lauren fought valiantly in the mixed doubles Badminton event at Tokyo’s Olympic games but sadly didn’t come home with a medal.

Despite reaching the quarter-finals, China’s Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet beat them 21-13 21-18.

But Lauren, who won two silvers and a bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth games, said their medal campaign isn’t over.

They’ll be seeking a place on the podium in Paris in 2024, to add to Marcus’ Men’s Doubles bronze picked up at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

“We’re absolutely going for Paris, we were disappointed to not get further in Tokyo and are happy with our performances out there but felt like we could’ve done more.

“We still think that we’ve got a lot more to give as a partnership and on the world stage at a lot of different events, whether that be the World Championships, Commonwealth [games] or hopefully at the Paris Olympics.

“This is not the last you’ll see of us.”

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