Wednesday 26 May 2010

Transport Caffs

It's not only pubs, post offices and churches that are fast disappearing from our landscape. Finding somewhere to eat when you're on the road, that's either not a chain or an establishment that will require the shirt off your back when paying, is becoming harder and harder. Where once our A roads were littered with transport caffs - the sort that were depicted in B movies, heist films and episodes of The Sweeney - now all that's left is a handful of truck stops, Little Chefs and Motorway Services: have you ever had builders tea or black pudding in a Little Chef, or received change from a £20 note when buying breakfast at Watford Gap? So if you know of a good one (my favourites are The Limes on the A614 and The Salt Box just off the A50), give them the business: don't pass them by.

Thanks to Artog for planting the seed.


  1. Another goodie John, got my grand daughter listening now!

  2. Entirely with you on this - in the 10 years I've been working in London tons of classic formica caffs have been Starbucked. The Russell Davies blog EBCB catalogues a few before they eventually went. Locally I've been keeping a 'baked breakfast' (their phrase) book - with my two tots. The Classic Café scores a perfect 10 everytime.

    Luckily I got the chance hit Picasso's
    in the King's Road, one of London's few remaining sixties Italians caffs before it closed last year, but Pellici's in Bethnal Green Rd is still on my to do list

    Ps - Check this blog this blog for a Fish and Chip spin on the same motif.

  3. I think Bruno's is still going on Wardour Street: saw Tom Baker in there last time we were in. He boomed out to the bloke behind the counter in his best Dr Who voice: 'CUP OF TEA, 2 SUGARS!'

  4. Cheers for the mention John. It is a shame when an old favourite closes down. And almost as bad when a place you never got round to visiting goes. Like vinyl though I'm sure the caff will never truly die.

  5. Couldn't agree more. I love old boozers (just like you used to see in the Sweeny), no messin' cafes and the like.

    This country won't be happy till every street looks exactly the same. I never ever EVER go in those Starbucks and th elike. I really can't see what the appeal is? Why would you want to sit in there paying over inflated prices for very average (at best) coffee??

    I blame the 'yoof' they get sold this pap as desirable, yet there is no character to any of it.

    Bah humbug

  6. Yep sadly too much I rely on the motorway services but as you say last time we stopped at Watford Gap there was all four of us, so 3 coffees, soft drink for my daughter, sandwiches and a bun each... I think it was £25!!! My kids were in hysterics as I went into enraged rant mode over it. My son referred to it at the mugging at Watford Gap for the rest of the journey to Wales. :-)