A CELEBRITY chef marked the official opening of an antiques centre by cutting a ribbon.
Marco Pierre White was at Stuart Porter Antiques in Broad Street, Stamford, on Bank Holiday Monday to open the centre, which also has a tea room and a haberdashery room.
Mr Pierre White and Mr Porter have been friends for years, as the chef buys many of his decorative items from the antiques dealer.
The chef said he was delighted to be able to officially declare the centre open.
He also quashed rumours that he was planning to open a restaurant or pub in the town.
Marco said he had no immediate plans but added: “I never think I want to open a restaurant there because I’m not a person who forces things.
“If the right site was to come up in Stamford or the surrounding area, then I would seriously consider it. I really like Stamford, I still remember seeing the sign near The George on my first visit to Stamford in 1989. It has beautiful buildings and I really believe that it is a special and beautiful town.”
He added: “I have been doing business with Stuart for many years and he has been providing items for my pubs for about six years. It is ideal because I don’t have time to go looking and I always find a little jewel when I come to see Stuart. Today I have got my eye on a decorative plate.
“What I really love about the centre is that there is something for everyone.”
During his time at the centre, Mr Pierre White tucked into cakes in the tea room before cutting a ribbon in the courtyard. About 70 antiques dealers who display goods in the centre were invited to the official opening.
After the opening, Mr Porter said: “It was a dream and a passion of mine to be able to open a centre and to bring together 70 dealers under one roof is fantastic. I feel very fortunate that they have all come today to celebrate the opening.
“It has been a fantastic day.”
Mr Porter thanked champagne bar Opus Dai, which allowed him to use its courtyard, and Candlesticks restaurant, which provided the food.
While in Stamford, Mr Pierre White also popped into The London Inn in St John’s Street, Stamford, to enjoy a drink.