|Location||Whiddon Down, Okehampton|
The Whiddon Down branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the A30 near Okehampton, Devon.
The Little Chef at Whiddon Down first opened in Autumn 1995 and was built as part of the Whiddon Down service area at the Merrymeet junction on the A30. This particular road is one of the South West's most important routes - feeding major towns such as Exeter and Okehampton and acting as a holidaymakers' route to the Cornwall coasts.
Because of this, building a Little Chef here was sure to attract a lot of passing traffic, especially holiday traffic in the summer months of the year. Little Chef's owners, Forte, thought this, and in order to maximise the restaurant's potential, they chose a location that not only served the busy A30, but one close enough to the major town of Okehampton to attract locals to the restaurant as well. The site chosen was also given a filling station and Travelodge, and could be easily accessed by the traffic on the A30. In other words, this Little Chef had all angles covered.
In terms of additional facilities, the Little Chef recieved a Coffee Tempo! outlet in 2006. This was later replaced with a Little Chef Express in 2012 when the Coffee Tempo! brand was discontinued.
In its Little Chef guise, Whiddon Down was a popular site which seemed to do a good trade in its lifetime. Its visibility, attractive building, advanced signage and lack of immediate alternatives nearby were surely all contributing factors in it's success.
However, despite a decent run, the Little Chef at Whiddon Down sadly ceased trading in October 2014. Even though the site was still popular, it was only 11 miles away from an even busier Little Chef restaurant at Sourton Cross - something beginning to cause problems for Whiddon Down.
Shortly after closing, the building re-opened as a roadside restaurant called Hog & Hedge.