Here's an interesting example of what's actually happening to British cafes. A big chain - Little Chef - is kind of in trouble and is selling off loads of its sites. And they're being converted into brilliant, independent cafes, often by the people who used to work there before. It doesn't quite fit with the conventional wisdom of trad cafes being driven off by global business, but it's something you can see all over the country. This place, Windy Ridge, is a great example.
The ebcb is second to none. Look at all the textures on that egg. So many colours, shapes and dimensions. And lovely, nice fat chips - exactly halfway between crunchy and soft. Lots of bacon, which also covers the bases from light to dark. But, hang on a minute, where are the beans? Oh there they are, lurking under the egg, like a marvelous surprise.
There's no disguising the Little Chef origins (and why would you want to?) but there's not been time for a really unique character to emerge in the decor yet.
But then you have a look at the menu and you start to get hints that before long, along with the scrummy grub, this is going to be a really interesting, really individual place.
Look at the magnificent stag to start with, they're injecting a gentlemen's club vibe into the shell of a Little Chef. Genius.
And this is a good sign too. Creating enormous set meals is a great sign of character in a cafe.
And these are just cute. Hurrah fo the Windy Ridge. I'm really looking forward to watching the quirks and charms emerge.