VISITORS were given a surprise when they saw TV celebrities filming near Maldon waterfront for an afternoon.

Star-struck residents near Promenade Park watched as Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer from Channel 4 property show Location, Location, Location filmed at the Sailing Barge Tearooms.

In a social media message, TV presenter Kirstie said: “Essex gets a bad rap, couldn’t be a more beautiful day or prettier setting.”

Kirstie and Phil visited the sailing barge Resourceful as part of filming for their new series.

Café owner Lorna Jeffries was away from the barge when she got texts from her colleagues saying the TV duo had come for a surprise visit.

Lorna said: “My Facebook feed was so busy.

“I had people calling me up an hour afterwards asking if they were still there.

“We had no warning they were going to turn up.

“It was okay in the end – it was a nice sunny day and it was some great publicity for us.”

Kirstie and Phil only stayed half an hour to get on with their filming but had time to sit on the deck and have a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

Lorna added: “They didn’t speak much as they were quite busy but as they left, Rob ran after them to take a selfie.

“It was nice that they saw Maldon on such a good day really.

“We don’t get things like that all the time.”

Representatives from Topsail Charters say they hope Phil and Kirstie come back soon for a sail on one of their historic barges.