The suspected Russian agents, who police believe used the run-down seaside B&B in Great Yarmouth as headquarters for their entire spy operation, also popped into the pub opposite most days for a pint of Carling.
Three men and two women have been charged with conspiracy to commit espionage following a major investigation by the Met Police.
Orlin Roussev, 45, Bizer Dzhambazov, 41, Katrin Ivanova, 31, Ivan Stoyanov, 31, and Vanya Gaberova, 29, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.
Now it was announced that the accused undercover agents would meet at the Mermaid BarHotel, opposite the terraced guesthouse The Haydee.
One pub resident said: “They were apparently at The Mermaid all the time and had Carling like everyone else because it’s cheap.
“I think there were John Smiths or San Miguel a few times – but they were Carling regulars, I heard.
“To be honest, there are a lot of people living in the hostels and B&Bs, and many of them come from Eastern Europe.”
It was only in 2017 that the Haydee received a rating of 9 out of 10 from Booking.com.
The suspected spy cell is believed to have been located just 50 meters from Great Yarmouth pier, where comedians Roy Chubby Brown and Jim Davidson are regulars.
The group, which comes from Bulgaria, is said to have collected information that could be useful to an enemy between August 2020 and February this year.
The court heard they used a surveillance kit to obtain information and pass it on to a tasker in Russia while working for a British network.
This information was allegedly used to carry out “hostile acts” against specific targets, including their “potential abductions.”
The five defendants were arrested under Britain’s Official Secrets Act following raids on properties in London and Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.
They spoke only to confirm their names, dates of birth and addresses when they appeared via video link this morning.
The group were remanded in custody ahead of a hearing at the Old Bailey on October 13.
Last month it emerged that Dzhambazov and Ivanova had been living an unsuspecting life in Britain for ten years.
Dzhambazov reportedly worked as a hospital driver while Ivanova worked as a laboratory assistant in the private sector.
The couple visited their neighbors with gifts of cakes and pies and were popular figures in their community in Harrow, north London.
They were previously accused, along with Roussev, of possessing false identification documents with “improper intent.”
Gaberova is now an award-winning beautician who ran a salon called Pretty Woman in Acton, west London.