My memories of the restaurant go back to the ’80s when the Happy Eater and the Little Chef were rival companies. It was always a treat to visit one during a road trip. After I passed my driving test, one of my first solo trips was to the local Little Chef for dinner.
Back in those days, I was doing a lot of driving around my county. I knew where the restaurants were, where if not for a full meal, I could always stop for a coffee and comfort break.
Between 1999 and 2011, I went on many driving holidays around the UK. I often included a Little Chef in my itinerary as they were conveniently placed on the major routes. The chain was in decline around this time, and many of those located on the minor roads had closed. It was only at the end of my decade of travels did I start to find an occasional Travelodge without an accompanying Little Chef.
Despite the Little Chef website still being active, and offering a list of restaurants, I eventually confirmed that no restaurants exist under the Little Chef name. I am currently updating my travel diaries and was finding it interesting to see the restaurants I had visited were still recognizable, so I thought I would embark on a new hobby of spotting the Little Chef building.