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Masterchef's Gregg Wallace reveals the sweet reason this five-star Italian hotel is his favourite

The Masterchef star fell in love with his wife in Portofino

Nichola Murphy

Masterchef star Gregg Wallace is back on our screens watching contestants cook up a storm, but when he is not fronting the popular cooking show with his co-host John Torode, he enjoys a holiday just as much as the rest of us. While we're sure he's travelled to a number of different countries and had the opportunity to stay in some beautiful accommodation, he recently revealed there was one particular Italian hotel that holds a special place in his heart. 

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The five-star Belmond Splendido Mare hotel is located in the heart of Portofino harbour

When asked to choose his favourite hotel, he told the Daily Mail: "The Belmond Splendido Mare hotel in Portofino, Italy. My wife and I stayed there after dating for three months and it was where we fell in love." How sweet! The five-star hotel - which is currently closed amid the coronavirus pandemic - is located in the heart of Portofino harbour with just 14 rooms and suites having access to its luxurious swimming pool, tennis courts and fitness centre. We can see how it could be an ultra-romantic setting for Gregg and his then-girlfriend Anne-Marie Sterpini. 

RELATED: Inside MasterChef star Gregg Wallace's beautiful Kent country mansion

The couple clearly spent time sampling the local cuisine, as we would expect from the celebrity chef, as Gregg revealed his most memorable meal was also in the picturesque fishing village. "Triangles of toast with soft unsalted butter, anchovies and a big goblet of crisp white wine," he said. His answer was much more pared-back than the lavish, decadent dish we were expecting, but if we've learnt anything from Masterchef, it's that sometimes simple is better!

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Gregg Wallace and Anne-Marie married in August 2016

Gregg, 55, and Anne-Marie, 32, first met on Twitter in 2013 while discussing a recipe. Speaking to HELLO! Gregg explained: "I just looked at Anna's photo and thought 'Wow, she's pretty.'" The pair married in August 2016 at Hever Castle in Kent, before welcoming their son, Sid Massimo Wallace, in May 2019. "Meeting Anna has brought me what I think I've always been searching for – that big, warm family dynamic and there's real strength in that," he told us. "I'm very conscious of people thinking I just do this willy-nilly. But we haven't rushed into this – we've been together for three years and I truly have never met anyone like Anna." We're sure the couple will want to return to the gorgeous Italian hotel after the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end.

MORE: 5 virtual holidays we're taking right now