Golden Egg restaurants

Golden Egg menu, 1960s
Golden Egg menu, 1960s

This giant egg-shaped menu is from a Golden Egg restaurant from the mid-1960s. Mains varied from egg and chips at 3/6 to sirloin steak with chips and grilled tomato or baked beans for 8/9.

Was there anything without chips? Yes, you could get macaroni au gratin or ravioli au gratin, both at 4/3. There were also omelettes: ham, cheese plain and scrambled eggs on toast.

The desserts featured a 'Jamaican Longboat'. It was a banana split filled with ice cream and topped with fruit and whipped cream for 3 shillings.

Samuel Kaye started the Golden Egg chain in 1958 at the age of 62. He opened his first restaurant in Duke Street in London's West End with his two sons Philip and Reginald.

The first restaurant cost £7500 to furnish. A significant sum in those days. Others quickly followed. By 1965 there were thirty-six and Philip Kaye was the chairman. The Golden Egg chain bought Angus Steak Houses in 1965.

In that year Golden Egg opened new cafés in Oxford Street, Park Lane, Fleet Street, Earls Court Road and Southend. A branch opened in Edinburgh in 1970.

The Golden Egg restaurants were about a fun eating experience. The restaurants were extravagantly furnished with different themes.

One of the ealier ones in Swiss Cottage was finished in a fantasy movie theme, perhaps inspired by some of the Hollywood Roman epics of the 1950s. Later Golden Eggs were more modern in design. The designers still tried to create a fun environment. Light was a feature of the look. At Leicester Square there was a giant stained glass window inside the restaurant. At Victoria there was a wall of red and orange rectangles arranged like bricks. It was all illuminated.

Golden Egg restaurants had a broad appeal. They were popular with Mod office workers on their lunch break. But they also attracted middle- aged businessmen.

What happened to Golden Egg?

In 1970 Golden Egg sold the franchise for its restaurants to J Lyons, which also owned Wimpy.

The chain was still going in 1976 when Lyons sold it to United Biscuits.

What happened after that is not clear. I can remember there being one in Boscombe in the 1990s.

The Golden Egg in Gloucester was pulled down in 2014 - see Demolition of Gloucester's eyesore Golden Egg begins apparently it was one of Gloucester's ugliest buildings - shame.

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"I Romberg the Golden Egg in Southend which I visited quite regularly. At the time I thought they were quite good. Shame they went." Mike Adamson 04/11/2020

"Was there a Golden Egg in Woolwich London SE18.I think there was and it then become the Golden Grill." Grant Edwards 02/12/2020

"I think there was a golden egg in Woolwich London SE18 later becoming the golden grill. Can you let me know" Grant Edwards 02/12/2020

"I remember eating pancakes in the Golden Egg in the Pentagon in Chatham as a treat after going to Sainsbury's" Jaytee 16/01/2021

"I worked at the golden egg in Reading Berkshire. It was quite small but a fun place to meet and eat." Bernard Tiller 19/02/2021

"I remember one in the Arndale Centre Doncaster in the early 70s
Used to go for pancakes as a treat as a kid" Paul 25/02/2021

"I remember a Golden Egg in St Helier Jersey, early 70's. Spent many hours in there sharing a Jamaican Longboat!" JanE 18/03/2021

"Great memories of the Golden Egg in Bournemouth, just off the Central Square, on childhood holidays!" Ian 19/03/2021

"I worked as a summer job chef at the Golden Egg Carlisle" Asif Ahmad 05/04/2021

"My first taste of a Golden Egg was at Brixton, in South West London. This was a double fronted shop with one half being a Wimpy Bar (on the left), and the other the slightly more upmarket Golden Egg. The two shops had previously been one large Lyons tea shop and both franchised restaurants were owned by the same proprietor. They were connected inside at the front, so you could flit from one with one till serving the two, so whichever one you had eaten in, you paid at the same place. In the early 1980s the place had become Stevens, though the only change to the place was the sign outside. The former Golden Egg half was no longer used other than an overflow, but we would normally pester the man to let us sit in there and most of the time they would let us. The Wimpy half I seem to recall had rose coloured ceiling tiles and those circular flourescent lighting tubes that my Nan also had in her kitchen. Both now long gone but happy memories!" Spencer Hobbs 30/04/2021

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Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

20th Century History ★ Antiques & Collectibles

Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

★ 20th Century History ★ Antiques & Collectibles ★