THE cake was cut by a Lord of the Realm and even one of the waitresses wore a top hat and tails for the evening – it was a right posh 10th birthday party for La Margherita.

In 1974, Franco Fantini left his sea-going career on Southampton-based cruise liners behind him and opened a restaurant – the Cabin Crew cafe – which later became La Margherita.

In those first ten years, Franco enjoyed a wealth of showbusiness stars popping in for a pizza while performing at the nearby Gaumont Theatre – now Mayflower Theatre.

One evening Franco and his chefs even created a special menu for Shirley Bassey who visited the restaurant with Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.

So when Franco held his tenth birthday party he invited along Lord Montagu to cut the special cake.

Franco Fantini died in 2009 at the age of 71.