“BREAKFAST LIKE A KING; lunch like a prince; dinner like a pauper”. This popular saying emphasizes the importance of breakfast amongst the meals partaken during the 24 hours of a day. We spent three nights in Widnes (Cheshire) in July (2022), and wanted to enjoy a decent breakfast. A search of Google revealed that the best-rated place for breakfast was Shelly’s Café located close to Harrison Street, a small road leading off the larger Hale Road.
There is a sign (for Shellys) with an arrow at the corner of Harrison Street and an unnamed short road with a badly damaged surface. This side road, which is lined on one side by dust-covered parked vehicles, some with flat tyres, leads to a pair of large metal gates, which were closed when we arrived. A key-pad next to the gates allows one to ring Shelley’s. When answered, the gates open slowly. We drove through them into a secure industrial area. This contains several buildings, some of which are warehouses and others factories (including several ice-cream manufacturers). In between the buildings, there are numerous parked cars, vans, and caravans. Most of them are old models covered with a thick layer of dust. We learned that some of them have been standing unused for a year or longer.
Shellys Café is housed in a single-storey wooden shack, adorned with pots of flowers, next to the electrically operated entrance gates. It has large windows and there were chairs and tables outside. The interior is simply decorated with a few wall plaques relating to the joys of riding motorcycles. Two large blackboards list what is on offer. One corner of the building is occupied by a spacious kitchen where Shelley and her husband prepare customers’ orders. On each of the three mornings we ate at Shellys, we sat beneath a photograph of Marilyn Monroe. The café had other framed photographs of film stars.
Everything we ordered was delicious. The fried items (including eggs, bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, sausages, hash browns, and tomatoes) were tasty and totally free of grease. What is on offer at Shellys is basic and unpretentious, but well-prepared. Given that this place is rated the best for breakfast in the Widnes area, it is remarkably good value. Were it nearer our home in London, I am sure that we would drive out to eat there, despite the industrial nature of its location.