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JMillar

Little Chef Popham

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Not quite nationwide yet, but oddly the one I drive past daily is under refurb, and i've just checked and it's going to be a 'heston' one just outside York, another one planned in kettering.


you don't win friends with salad

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We have one at Cambridge 10 mins down the road. I don't know if it is going to be "Hestonised", I hope it does!

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the ox cheeks and shank dish is what I fancy... I love hearty dishes like that

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the ox cheeks and shank dish is what I fancy... I love hearty dishes like that

Little Chef don't deserve all this publicity just because there's one half-decent one. It's a marketing scam, knowingly executed by a highly cynical management team and we've been duped. They should either roll it out nationwide or shut it down.

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Little Chef don't deserve all this publicity just because there's one half-decent one. It's a marketing scam, knowingly executed by a highly cynical management team and we've been duped. They should either roll it out nationwide or shut it down.

They are starting to roll it out to more restaurants, see here:

Little Chef has revealed details of phase one of its roll out of the new style restaurant created by Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal.

After months of speculation, the iconic roadside restaurant chain has confirmed that a further two restaurants – in York and Kettering – are to be relaunched in the same style as the brand’s Popham restaurant, which Heston revamped for the Channel 4 series, Big Chef Takes on Little Chef.

The two new restaurants will also feature the same menu that Heston introduced at Popham.

What I do wonder about is whether or not this is deliberately timed to coincide with the update on Channel 4:

A follow-up of Big Chef Takes on Little Chef, produced by TwoFour Productions, will be broadcast on Channel 4 in the autumn.

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Little Chef don't deserve all this publicity just because there's one half-decent one. It's a marketing scam, knowingly executed by a highly cynical management team and we've been duped. They should either roll it out nationwide or shut it down.

They are starting to roll it out to more restaurants, see here:

What I do wonder about is whether or not this is deliberately timed to coincide with the update on Channel 4:

As I think this is a cynical ploy, the timing does look very suspicious, and 3 restaurants is still nothing to write home about when there are still 173 of them serving crap.

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As I think this is a cynical ploy, the timing does look very suspicious, and 3 restaurants is still nothing to write home about when there are still 173 of them serving crap.
The world is full of restaurants serving crap. I'm grateful for every little exception, whatever the ulterior motives may be. :biggrin:

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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As I think this is a cynical ploy, the timing does look very suspicious, and 3 restaurants is still nothing to write home about when there are still 173 of them serving crap.
The world is full of restaurants serving crap. I'm grateful for every little exception, whatever the ulterior motives may be. :biggrin:

I suppose, but I feel sadness at what a wasted opportunity this is to really try and raise food standards in motorway service stations. Plus the fact Little Chef will presumably get an uplift in sales because people will have seen all the coverage and stop by, assuming things have been improved and get the same old fare.

Conflict of interest: I did have an excellent Olympic breakfast after a very heavy evening at a Little Chef on the Oxford ring road once.

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there may be 10 heston-ised.....

nice to see investment in the current environment, maybe a slow start for them in york there were 4 cars there when i stopped for petrol last night! suprised to hear it's one of the best in the country, as it doesn't look it when i drive past.

from yorkshire business desk.com.

ROADSIDE restaurant chain Little Chef has revealed plans to roll out its Michelin-starred chef inspired dining experience to more restaurants after launching the concept in Yorkshire.

Ian Pegler, chief executive of Little Chef, said the company had identified 10 existing restaurants that it was considering to adopt celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal's menu since it was trialled at the company's Popham site last year.

Mr Pegler said of the 10 candidates, all of which are some of the group's best performers, five would be redeveloped over the next six months.

Mr Pegler was speaking as Sheffield-based Little Chef officially unveiled its York restaurant, which together with a site in Kettering has undergone a £1m investment programme, to make them the first outlets to take on Mr Blumenthal's concept since its early trial.

The redevelopment includes new decor - which Mr Pegler described as "modern retro" - as well as food inspired by the TV chef.

The Popham 'concept restaurant' featured on the Channel Four documentary Big Chef Takes on Little Chef, which saw Blumenthal add dishes including braised ox cheeks and popping candy to Little Chef's traditional menu.

The new look York restaurant, situated on the East-bound A64 near Tadcaster, opened its doors and with the restaurant in Kettering taking on the concept, the roll out is expected to create at least 35 jobs.

Mr Pegler said the York restaurant had been selected because it was one of the company's most popular, it was near major cities, and had a Travelodge next to it.

He said: “The roll out of Heston’s concept is a major step forward for Little Chef and signifies a huge commitment at a time when many brands are scrapping investment programmes.

“The trial at Popham was a great success and we are confident that York will prove to be equally successful.

"We also believe that our investment will provide a boost to the local economy via the creation of new jobs and with both local people and tourists keen to sample the new fare at Little Chef."

He said the revamped Popham Little Chef was performing ahead of other outlets in the chain.

Despite some heated exchanges between the pair, which were broadcast on the Channel Four fly-on-the-wall series, Mr Pegler said Mr Blumenthal was "still very interested" in the roll out.

Mr Blumenthal said: "I am thrilled that Little Chef are re-launching York restaurant based on the concept we created at the Popham Branch. I wish them all the success.”

Mr Pegler added that Little Chef was performing between 12% and 16% ahead on a year-on-year basis and that the group's plan to attract a "lost generation" of customers was proving successful.

To mark the opening of the York restaurant the Little Chef mascot has also been given a makeover. He will now be seen at the new restaurants donning professional chef’s jacket instead of his traditional neck scarf.

A follow-up of Big Chef Takes on Little Chef, produced by TwoFour Productions, will be broadcast on Channel 4 in the autumn.


you don't win friends with salad

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I wish they do roll it nationally. I am Greek and have been living in the UK 10 years now, and what the British food scene is missing is the good everyday day food for good prices. Some of the best chefs in the world work here, and it is undeniable that food culture has progressed by miles the last 15 years. But what is missing is the everyday cheap good food, where you can go somewhere and eat a nice meal for 10-12 quid per head. Here in the UK going out to eat is a special occasion to the average family, in Greece (and in most Mediterranean countries) people go out to eat almost every other day, or have quality home-style cooked takeaways.

Seeing the menu on Popham they offer exactly that, a good dinning experience with low prices. Nothing fancy, steak, burgers, shanks, etc decently priced. I wish more places follow this example.

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Second Blumenthal Little Chef now opened at York, A64 East Bound just after Tadcaster.

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So is it the same menu as hestons or as above, a couple of the dishes added to the usual.

Like nikloman, I also quite enjoyed an Olympic the other day near Harlow after a festival. The sausage was the worst but but I had no issu with the rest, filled me up for the day.

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I have no issue with that... that is if this practice is confined to things that need long cooking like stews. Actually, if you have ever eaten a braised dish in a michelin star restaurant, the meat was cooked the day before. Leaving it in its braised liquid for a day improves flavour and it is a common practice in almost all michelin kitchens.

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i guess im going to have to stop saying 'you cant polish a turd' damn the GFG and damn Heston for being the only man insane enough to accept the offer of 'fancy polishing this turd for a while?'

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