A chippie in Weymouth was singled out by a celebrity chef who recommended people pay it a visit.

Rick Stein was so impressed with the fish and chips on offer at Fish 'n' Fritz takeaway and restaurant that he recommended it in his Seafood Lovers' Guide.

Back in December 2000 the Echo reported on how thrilled the owners were to have impressed Mt Stein, who has his own fish and chip restaurant and takeaway in Padstow, Cornwall and is renowned for his passion for and knowledge of seafood.

Fish 'n' Fritz in Market Street was one of the few shops along the south coast that got the thumbs up from Mr Stein Paul and Julie Hay who run Fish 'n' Fritz were thrilled with the honour and were tickled by Mr Stein's quirky comments in the book.

Mr Stein explained how he often has two lunches in order to try everything, but he was so content with the meal at Fish 'n' Fritz that he had some left over and decided to offer it to two 'cold, shivering boys with surfboards' he met outside.

The boys - who kindly declined Mr Stein's offer - were Paul and Julie's two sons, Barry, 12 and Joshum, 13 .

Dorset Echo:

Rick Stein

Paul Hay said at the time: "We're delighted to be included in Rick Stein's book.

"We didn't know anything about his visit until he rang us to say he had popped into the shop during the summer to sample our fish and chips. He must have come at a time when Julie and I were out because we would have recognised him.

"Rick was so impressed with the fish and chips that he said he was including the shop in his book."

Paul added: "I don't know what impressed Rick so much. I use fresh ingredients and cook the traditional way but I also make my own batter so that might have grabbed him."

Ex-Royal Navy engineer Paul, 39, and Julie, 36, have run Fish 'n' Fritz for three years.

They have won a Sea Fish Industries Authority Quality Friers Award twice, and the shop made it into the top 10 of best fish and chip shops in the country last year.

The couple have dozens of signed photographs from celebrities who have visited the shop including stars of Weymouth Pavilion shows, and they also served comedian Steve Coogan, who visited Weymouth in the summer while on a yachting holiday.