Friday 14 September 2012

Little Chef - Chicklade (A303)

***Now closed***

(near Hindon)

Breakfast served all day

From the outside it looked quite dated and not particularly inviting!

Inside was dated too looking like the last refurbishment may have taken place sometime in the 1990's.

The interior was quite plain and the view from the window looked out onto a petrol station forecourt.

The full breakfast menu can be seen here

The breakfast extra's option was a good idea so I added some mushrooms and black pudding to my early starter breakfast for just £1.49.

The mug of Lavazza coffee was great, cost just 99p when ordered with breakfast and was a much needed energy boost for the journey home.

Quality branded sauces in very clean bottles, nice!

When the food arrived it looked and tasted great!

Everything was piping hot and cooked really nicely.

Beans in a separate bowl, people either love it or hate it, I don't mind either way. Just pop them wherever you like on the plate and get stuck in! 

My lovely wife went for extra tomatoes on her breakfast and opted for toast. 

12 days after leaving Norwich we had been to 2 music festivals and visited Salisbury, Stonehendge, Bath, Bristol, Weston super Mare, Bridgwater and Glastonbury along the way. We were knackered and looking forward to getting home again but we still had a 320 mile drive ahead of us. As we drove along the A303 we decided to stop at the next services for some food, as I pulled into the services I spotted a Little Chef. I knew at once I was going to be eating one more fry up but to be honest wasn't expecting it to be anything special...

Upon entering - The Little Chef was located behind the petrol station with windows looking out onto the forecourt, it looked a bit shabby and quite dated as many Little Chef's often do. Inside was also looking very dated and felt a bit like walking through a time warp back to the 1990's. There was a counter to the left and a good choice of tables to sit at, a sign just past the door asked you to "wait to be seated." Each table had a menu on it and some salt and pepper. There was a full waitress service and everything, including sauces were brought to the table for you. It was not the most inspiring of places to sit and eat and although quite dated everything seemed nice and clean. 5/10

Service - We were shown to a table and given time to decide what we wanted, our order was then taken and special offers were pointed out to us. Drinks arrived first followed by cutlery, sauces and then the food. Somebody popped back to check everything was ok and we paid at the counter on our way out. The staff here seemed friendly, efficient and helpful. 7/10

Contents - 1 sausage, 1 bacon, slice of black pudding, 1 fried egg, 2 hash browns, fried bread, mushrooms and beans. 7/10

Presentation - As you can see in the photo, somebody enjoys their job and cared about how the food looked on the plate. When it arrived I was well impressed, everything looked great and I had a feeling it was going to be a pleasure to eat too! 8/10

The food - The pork sausage had a good texture, was cooked nicely and tasted great. The bacon was excellent as was the slice of black pudding. The crispy hash browns were lovely and the mushrooms fantastic. The fried egg was nicely formed but a tad runny on top of the yolk, not enough to cause a problem though. The fried bread was not crisp throughout but lightly fried and went well with the tasty beans on top. I didn't stop eating till everything was gone and thoroughly enjoyed it all. 8/10 

Value for money - I went for the early starter breakfast with 2 extra's, mushrooms and black pudding. With the coffee the total price came to £8.47. Services are always more expensive and considering how enjoyable this was I felt more than happy with the price. I like the savings that could me made from adding extra items and hot drinks too.  7/10

Veggie option - There was no set vegetarian breakfast on the menu but vegetarian sausages were available as extras so I guess something can be created.

Overall - I walked away impressed, the service was good and the food were great! The dining areas and buildings themselves are a bit shabby but once inside you soon get used to it. I imagine Little Chefs vary from place to place and I certainly got lucky as Chicklade had a good chef. I will probably never pass here again but if I did I would happily stop by for another breakfast. 7/10


  1. Went to this Little Chef on 24/09/2012 and had a great breakfast but noted they were shutting at 14.00, on our way back from Devon on 28/09/2012 popped in again to find the whole place shut down including the garage and all the assets removed? What a shame have used this on & off for over 20 odd years.

  2. Thats a shame, they served a great breakfast! Maybe that is why the building was looking a bit run down? Thanks for the info, I will update blog feature.

    1. A lot of people knock Little Chef but I've always found them to be a very reliable place for a nice fry-up or even a burger.

  3. I was looking to stop there on Sunday (30th September) and it had gone, with the PACE petrol station ripped apart. All signage at the Little Chef had been removed, but the windows had yet to be boarded up. If you go up the road towards Sparkford, there is also another one boarded up, although the Shell garage remains. Very sad - they were icons in my childhood and were an intricate part of A303 travel. Both always offered great service. Hopefully the staff found jobs elsewhere.

  4. I agree that Little Chefs can be surprisingly good, though some are terrible and these are what created the reputation I suppose. It all depends on who works there, and what the workplace culture is in each one. As you said, FryUpInspector, 'somebody obviously enjoys their job' - it is this that often makes all the differnce. Shame about this one closing. I visited it on a trip back from Cornwall a couple of years ago and was very glad of it!

    1. Yes, very true John. Totally down to the workplace culture and a chef that cares about what he is serving customers. There were probably quite a number of Little Chefs that were nowhere near as good as this one, I am so glad I got to try Chicklade before it closed!

  5. Regarding the comments about Little Chef looking dated; thats one of the things I like about them! Guess its just a bit of an 1980s nostagia thing on my part now that I'm a sad fortysomething!

  6. i have been travelling to dorset and somerset for 20+ years and have been stopping at this chef fotr a great many of them,the service and food was always very good and the place seemed to be be busy most of the times i was there, it is a shame they have closed up i much prefer the little chef to many of the modern replacements.

  7. Think you should try it now since been taken over as eat and go its disgustiong everything a 1 out of 10. They even have rats and the place is dirty and disgusting