Photography from the top: Outside the First Class Café; my sausage bap and mug of tea; interior view of the café; Becky, maker of fruity bottom cakes and other caff delicacies.
Jumping off the Gloucester to Maesteg train at Chepstow earlier today en route to the Severn Bridge Social Club, I spied what looked like an excellent caff. Oh how right I was! The aptly named First Class Café, ably manned today by a cheery lady called Becky, offers a wide range of home-made food and recently celebrated its second birthday (on 30 May). How do I know that? There is still a birthday card on the mantelpiece next to a framed photography of Telly Savalas with Nicky the owner's mum, and there's an excellent model of a steam engine too.
As for the food, I ordered something quick as I only had 30 minutes before my train (the 1527 to Newport) arrived on the platform over the footbridge. My order consisted of a sausage bap and a mug of tea.
Sadly, I didn't have time to enjoy the café's home-made burger and chips (£4.50) or the home-made beef stew with mash or chips (£4.75) or, for that matter, the best-selling steak and ale pie with mash and peas (£4.95).
I managed a chat with Becky, who makes the caff's fruity bottom cakes, which might be fruity but they don't look like bottoms. She told me that the First Class Café caters for buffets and is open from 7am to 3.30pm weekdays (Monday to Friday) and from 9am to 2pm on Saturdays.
On the last Sunday of every month, the First Class Café organises a bikers' barbeque. Becky told me that non-bikers are welcomed. Did I mention that the caff also caters for buffets? No, well I just did!
Sadly, I never got to meet Nicky, the owner of the café. She used to work for the local social services, said Becky, but must have thought that setting up a café on Chepstow railway station would be more fun – she was probably right. Her change of career certainly brightened up my day.