We don’t often cover motorway services on this blog, but the original Offmotorway website was created because of the dire state of the food (particularly vegetarian food) served at the UK’s motorway service stations. The site existed to recommend getting off the motorways and finding alternatives, which is still largely to be desired of course. However I do occasionally cover interesting developments when something pops up! And in this spirit, I finally made it to the new(ish) services at Beaconsfield, Junction 2 of the M40.
The services caused a stir when they opened earlier this year as this is the site of the first pub allowed at a motorway services, operated by JD Wetherspoon. But that aside, this is a slightly different service station, which makes for a pleasant stop. It feels more like a shopping centre than a services, with a large, airy interior. There’s a huge selection of food outlets, so no shortage of veggie options, although they are all chains. Patisserie Valerie are there, a favourite still, despite it’s expansion over recent years to near ubiquity in every town in the country!
What sets this place apart though, is the outside space, with a lake, small walking trail, picnic area and children’s play area. All free to use of course, even if you bring your own sandwiches and flask of tea.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of having a pub at a motorway services, at least here there is evidence of careful thought having gone into the design. And you can take a proper, relaxing break here if you want to rather than just be ripped off buying terrible food!