Little Chef: the end of the road for Britain’s finest roadside cuisine?
On January 31st there were many reports of the once ubiquitous Little Chef logo vanishing from the last remaining café, with much speculation that the famed Olympic Breakfast and the free lollipop had now passed into culinary history.
Over the past few years, finding a venue that still bears the Little Chef chain’s “Fat Charlie” symbol was an experience akin to discovering beef suet on a supermarket shelf or the leading man from a long-forgotten sitcom turning up on Doctors.
But in their heyday, a visit to an A-road Little Chef was as essential an aspect of a holiday road trip as the in-car cassette player chewing Now That’s What I Call Music 2.
The first Little Chef was situated in the grounds of the former Rex Cinema in Reading and when it opened in 1958 it was the ideal eatery for the proud owner of a new Ford Prefect or Morris Minor. Of course there was any number of transport cafés…