OSCAR-WINNING actor Sir Anthony Hopkins made an unannounced visit to Abergavenny a few days ago, to the delight of locals.

The Welsh star of Silence of the Lambs and many other Hollywood hits spent the afternoon in the town, visiting the market and stopping for a cup of tea in a cafe.

"He was a really nice, humble gentleman," Joanne Nicholson, owner of Cwtch Cafe, said. "I didn't even recognise him at first.

"I gave him a scone and a cup of tea, but it wasn't until my colleague said 'Oh god, do you realise who you just gave that scone to?' and I saw him laughing that I [recognised him].

"I was mortified."

Mrs Nicholson said she later talked at length with the "down to earth" film star about his trip to Wales, and he was equally interested in the cafe.

Mr Hopkins asked the "starstruck" Mrs Nicholson and her colleague Sarah Bird for a photograph before leaving, and was happy to return the favour.

He even did the famous - and terrifying - Hannibal Lecter impression, at Mrs Bird's request, before leaving and heading towards the town market.

There, he met stallholder Charlie Brittan, who also said the film star was not obviously recognisable as he wandered between market stalls.

"He said what a lovely market we had," Mr Brittan said. "He was lovely - a perfect gent.

Mr Hopkins' visit to the stall has brought Mr Brittan a modest amount of fame, too, with plenty of shoppers coming over to ask him about his brush with a Hollywood great.

The actor was in Wales, he told residents, to make a documentary about his early life. He visited Abergavenny regularly as a boy, he said, to help buy fruit and vegetables for his father's pub, The Ship Inn, in Caerleon.