We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Once Again, Excellent Service and Excellent Food!”
Review of Little Chef

Little Chef
Ranked #378 of 477 Restaurants in Colchester
Dining options: Breakfast
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Once Again, Excellent Service and Excellent Food!”
Reviewed 2 September 2014

My wife and I stop off at this Little Chef on our way to Lowestoft every year and as you can see this is my second review of it. This time however we were a little unprepared for just how busy it was as it was the Friday morning of a Bank Holiday weekend (previously we've visited earlier) and it's about the only Little Chef left on the A12. The others have now closed or have been turned into Starbucks (!?!) so you can imagine the crowd. We were seated straight away but had to wait about 15 minutes to have our order taken which we didn't mind as we were warned that they were were working flat out. We waited another quarter of an hour before our food was served. But once again the breakfast was very, very good as was the service even though you could see they were working constantly for as fast as people were leaving, more were arriving. The place itself looks a little worn but certainly not as bad as some make out and it certainly hasn't gone down hill in all the years we've been stopping off there. We left after having another great breakfast there, complimenting the staff. It's just a shame that if this is the only Little Chef left on the A12 (and it seems to be) than why don't the company spend a bit more time and effort on it!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Justin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

73 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    10
    10
    14
    11
    28
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great breakfast but do bring a paper to read”
Reviewed 20 August 2014

Staying with chums in Kent on Saturday evening meant I was hopelessly early as I cruised up the old Roman road, now the A12, towards Colchester. "Time for breakfast," I thought and pulled into the Little Chef just after Witham. Impressively full. Always a good sign. "We're very busy and your breakfast will take about 20 minutes," said the chap who welcomed me. No problems. I ordered an Olympic breakfast and went and bought a newspaper. It was 1023. Having gone through the sports section I noticed it was 1043. And, moved onto the gardening, then the current affairs. When my breakfast arrived at 1059 it was perfectly cooked and cheerfully served. As I ate I looked around. Some people with less time (possibly less friends in Kent?) than I had, were clearly upset. Not with the delay of which they had been advised but the overrun. I wondered who had been waiting longest. My question was easily answered when I returned to the car park to see some soldiers forming up to complete their march to Colchester.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lance Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Worst experience ever”
Reviewed 14 August 2014 via mobile

I can't express how much I would warn you not to eat at this establishment!!!!

As attending a wedding across the road at Presteadhall we stayed at the travel lodge. On the reviews it stated there was a Littlechef opposite, so we booked to stay a couple of nights thinking we could eat there; as we both used to love littlechef when we were younger.

Oh my god, we attended the restaurant for our first night and could not believe how run down the place was....you could smell the toilets as you walked in! The carpets and chairs were warn and dirty and generally smelly! The place had not be decorated since the 80's. We almost walked straight out (wish we had now)

Then we'll get onto the waitresses, rude, slow & completely unenthusiastic (didn't want to be there one bit)

Anyway me and my wife sat down (we were 1 of 3 couples, the place was empty) and were approached by the waitress. She took our order and scuttled away. 20 minutes later she came with the drinks we'd ordered! Found this quite strange, but didn't realise the time as we we're caught in conversation. We then started to pay attention as to where our food was. Watching the kitchen serve other people meals including tables which had come after us we started to get angry after 50-60 minutes and made it known to staff. We were finally approached by a waiter who said he could see we've been waiting for your meal for some time and could he take our order, after politely explaining we've already ordered he stated that he'll go and check! GREAT! He the came back and said we're really sorry we seem to have lost your order!!!!!!!! WHAT!!!! I almost flipped & if it wasn't for the fact that this was the only eating establishment for 10-15 miles I probably would have, but I restrained myself and politely asked what we're going to do about this, to which they offered to knock the drinks off the bills, REALLY IS THIS GOOD ENOUGH!! NO! But they wouldn't compromise.

So we just waited for our meal which turned out to be horrid!
The stake tasted powdery and seemed as though it was straight out of the freezer! The fried eggs were solid and burnt underneath chips where cold in the middle!! Completely disappointed!! Could not of had a worse experience!!

PLEASE DO NOT EAT HERE AND ATTEND A LOCAL PLACE 15-20 minutes away!!

Helpful?
1 Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Crawley, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Oh Dear!”
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Where do I start? First impression is one of a forgotten part of the Little Chef chain. The toilets were shabby and that is being kind. On entry to the restaurant area we were greeted with hand written and computer generated A4 sheets advising "Cash Only" We were quickly seated by the staff who seemed overworked / harassed. On placing our lunch order we were informed that there was a wait of 40 minutes plus so we decided to have just Tea to drink. This took 10 minutes to arrive but was good quality. Whilst we waited we could not avoid noticing the general run down appearance of the whole restaurant. Our seats had patches to cover tears. The lighting over the preparation area had dead flies. Not what Little Chef used to be like when we first visited this chain some years ago. Best drive past and find somewhere else

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Derek P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fife, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“All round disappointment”
Reviewed 7 August 2014

Staff don't bother to tell you if parts of the meal have run out just hope you don't notice. Ask you if you want cheese with your burger not mentioning this is separate ridiculous 90p charge. Restaurant very dirty. Chair seats slashed. Coffee machine broken. Deliberately hang company contact details a few inches above the floor so you cannot read them to get complaint information. Complaining to central complaints team is a waste of time, they send it to the regional manager who then also ignores you. When reminded of non response more than three weeks after submitting complaint (they say they'll respond within 5 days) manager will try once only to call you then leave garbled message expecting you to pay charges of calling back to her mobile, obviously not interested. Worst meal of 2 week holiday, never again.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sandra P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Little Chef also viewed

Great Tey, Colchester
Dedham, Colchester
 
Layer de la Haye, Colchester
 

Been to Little Chef? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing