The often brooding personality of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White showed its lighter side when he called in for drinks and a meal at two Devizes bars on Saturday.

Philip O’Shea owner of The Peppermill wine bar and bistro sent a text to his chef Leon Sheppard, who was on a day off, when Marco and friends from the town called in to book a table late in the afternoon.

Mr Sheppard quickly returned to his kitchen in time to cook up a sirloin steak with a peppercorn sauce that Marco described as very agreeable.

He also signed a napkin saying thank you for a wonderful evening. Mr O’shea is now having it framed to put on the wall of his restaurant.

He said: “It is fantastic to get praise from a three Michelin-starred chef. I really wish we had got a photograph with him but hopefully he will be back.

"His party seemed to enjoy a relaxed evening. Lots of people were asking me if it was him but no-one bothered him.”

Earlier he had called in for a beer at the nearby Vaults pub where once again he was full of praise.

Michelle Clark, who was behind the bar, said: “He came in at lunchtime and was very complimentary about the beer.”

He is no stranger to Wiltshire as he owns the Pear Tree restaurant at Whitley, near Melksham, the Horse and Groom in Charlton, near Malmesbury, and the Rudloe Hall Hotel in Corsham.