INTERNATIONAL movie star Hugh Grant swapped the red carpets of Hollywood for the streets of Christchurch.

The Love Actually and Notting Hill star was seen visiting the area with his father as the Easter weekend began.

Staff at Masala Bay, an Indian restaurant in Bridge Street, served the A-list celebrity on Friday evening.

Owner Sarah Ali said: “He came in with five people.

“He had the chicken tikka jalfrezi, which is one of our hottest dishes and is cooked with fresh chilli. He absolutely loved it.”

She added: “This is the first time we’ve had a Hollywood A-lister in the restaurant. It was quite a big deal for us.”

Noyrn Islam, who works at the restaurant, added: “It was a great honour to have him here.

“We’ve all seen him in the movies but obviously you don’t see many celebrities around here.

“Plenty of people recognised him.”

On Thursday evening the star visited Splinters restaurant on Church Street.

Apprentice chef Ryan Proudley met the actor after cooking his dinner.

“He was really nice – a genuinely nice guy,” the 19-year-old said.

“We found out he was coming the day before. It was quite exciting.

“He had the mussels for starters and sea bass and scallops for main.”

The international heart-throb is believed to have been staying at the luxurious four star Captain’s Club Hotel on the waterfront.

After spotting the actor in Masala Bay on Friday, fellow diner Rachel Snowdon took to social media site Twitter to share her celebrity encounter.

She said: “Lovely meal at Masala Bay and guess who was in... Hugh Grant! A friend saw him in Splinters last night - clearly enjoying Christchurch!”

On Friday Amy Brennan also tweeted: “Saw the one and only Hugh Grant last night in lovely little Christchurch.”