Great Bistro Menu: TV show judge enjoys lunch at Lisburn eatery

Oliver Peyton with Stuart and Barbara Hughes from RubyBlue Spirits and Zoe Ferguson (left) from Square Bistro.

Oliver Peyton with Stuart and Barbara Hughes from RubyBlue Spirits and Zoe Ferguson (left) from Square Bistro.

Staff at a Lisburn eatery got a bit of a shock last week when Great British Menu judge Oliver Peyton called in for lunch.

The renowned Irish restaurateur, best known for his role alongside Prue Leith and Matthew Fort on the judging panel of the hit BBC television series, caused a bit of a stir when he visited Square Bistro on Thursday, August 18.

Oliver was invited to the restaurant by Stuart and Barbara Hughes from award-winning local company RubyBlue Spirits.

The owners of Square Bistro, Stevie and Cristina Higginson, were in London celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary when they received word about the restaurant’s celebrity visitor.

“We got a text message from our head chef to say Oliver Peyton had just walked in and I nearly had to pick Stevie off the floor,” Cristina explained.

“We were a bit disappointed that we weren’t there, but obviously we were delighted that he visited our restaurant.”

According to staff at the popular restaurant, Oliver had the liver dish from the specials menu and a sparking water, followed by an espresso.

“Obviously it’s great that they chose us and want to eat our food,” Cristina continued.

“All the staff said he (Oliver) was a very nice guy - quite quiet and kept himself to himself really.

“They all enjoyed the food. They all cleaned their plates, so that’s a real compliment in itself.”

With their wedding anniversary out of the way, Stevie and Cristina are now planning another big celebration - Square Bistro’s 10th anniversary this October.

As well as being a renowned restauranteur, Oliver Peyton is the founder and chairman of Peyton and Byrne, owners of a string of restaurants, bakeries and cafes.

The Mayo man, who is the author of two cook books, was awarded an OBE in 2012 for services to the hospitality industry.