For a brief while this was the UK's most famous Little Chef - now it looks a lot like any other A-road service area.
Short stay customer parking is available for all vehicles.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
🌍 Operators (Official Websites):
Trivia and History
The road through here already had a service area at Micheldever. When it was upgraded to dual carriageway in the 1970s, this became accessible to eastbound traffic only, so an additional facility was required
BP launched the planning application, proposing a forecourt and restaurant. A hotel was considered but later withdrawn. The forecourt opened in 1991, and was joined in 1995 by the Popham branch of Little Chef.
Popham in the Media
The Little Chef featured in a three-hour documentary on Channel 4 in January 2009 which saw Heston Blumenthal try to completely refresh the brand. Popham was chosen as a typical Little Chef restaurant and after several experiments, it was closed for a two-week refit marketed as "Little Chef has changed".
The new restaurant used brighter colours inside and some novelty items such as the recordings in the toilets.
For months after the documentary was aired, the site (which used to be near-empty), was packed with customers, with reports of customers queueing to enter the car park and facing long waits inside.
Despite this, it took boss Ian Pegler several months before he agreed to roll it out. It was then trialled at two more services, before a lightweight version was rolled out.
Despite the refurbished Popham Little Chef initially receiving very positive customer feedback, as Little Chef continued to pass between owners some of them were not willing to provide the money required to keep Popham at the top of its game.
As a result, even though Popham continued to look different from most of the ageing Little Chefs, observations of poor maintenance and unhappy staff began to increase.
Euro Garages bought all existing Little Chefs in February 2017, and Popham later closed in July 2017 as part of the nationwide shut-down. As a smaller branch, new owners EG Group decided to convert it into a Starbucks, reopening on 15 September 2017.
|Micheldever (eastbound, ¼ mile)|
Fleet (M3 east, 18 miles)
|Services on the A303||Barton Stacey (westbound, 7 miles)|
The Buck (eastbound, 8 miles)