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First Dates Fred makes a return trip to Lymington eatery

At the Elderflower are Francesca Napier, Andrew Du Bourg, Marjolaine Du Bourg and Fred Sirieix
At the Elderflower are Francesca Napier, Andrew Du Bourg, Marjolaine Du Bourg and Fred Sirieix

CELEBRITY maître d’ Fred Sirieix enjoyed a meal at Lymington’s Elderflower restaurant for a TV show so much he returned two days later to have another.

Fred, who came to fame in Channel 4’s First Dates show, had been taken to the award-winning restaurant in Quay Street earlier by BBC newsreader Chris Bavin as part of the Remarkable Places to Eat series which, for that episode, was focusing on the New Forest.

Chef patron of the Elderflower, Andrew Du Bourg, told how Fred and Chris had tucked into a four-course tasting menu on their first visit in October last year, when coronavirus rules were relaxed.

He said: “They really enjoyed it. Fred especially loved it – in fact, so much that he brought his fiancé back on the Friday, this time paying out of his own pocket.

“He apparently never does that, so we felt very privileged.

“Fred is a lovely person, just as he is on the TV. We had a good chat and he posed for pics. It was very nice to have him here.”

The episode featuring Fred and Chris is due to be shown next week. During their visit to the Elderflower, they enjoyed local crab served with smoked tapioca and grilled mackerel tail.

This was followed by a main dish of red mullet caught by local fishing boat Obsession, served with lobster linguine and an Isle of Wight tomato salsa.

There was also Hampshire venison on the menu, served with beetroot variation and celeriac puree.

After their meal the two men went for a stroll round the quay chatting to local fishermen about their catches.

Andrew, whose wife Marjolaine is restaurant manager, said he is looking forward to

reopening on 19th May following further easing of the lockdown.

The restaurant has been serving takeaway food on Friday and Saturday nights which he says has proved “extremely popular”.

But he added: “It will be wonderful to be able to welcome people back to the restaurant.”

The episode featuring the Elderflower and other Forest restaurants is on at 8pm on Tuesday 6th April on BBC2.

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