Who Said Service Stations Were Bad For Shopping?

Friday, 9 December 2016 13:18:35 Europe/London

We’ve all seen the episode of Friends where Joey and Chandler make the last minute choice to purchase all of their Christmas gifts from a service station, meaning Rachel is left to enjoy wiper blades and a bottle of car smell, and Phoebe is given toilet seat covers. Well, with Christmas just around the corner, the less prepared among us may find ourselves in a similar situation while driving home for Christmas this year.

Luckily, it’s no longer the 1990s, and many of the UK’s service stations wouldn’t look out of place when compared with some of the most luxurious department stores and shopping centres in the country. Gone are the days when you were lucky to get a hot cup of tea and a sandwich while stopping to fill up the car, and some of the biggest brands in the world now have stores in service stations.
 
We give you the lowdown on the best below.
 

Patisserie Valerie

Why settle for a bog standard cream bun when you can fill your boots with top quality desserts from a luxury brand? Whether you’re buying a gift or treating yourself, this delicious cake-making brand serves up some of the tastiest desserts available to buy, with some of the best presentation. Just don’t be tempted to eat the whole lot on the way home.

Where?

Baldock (A19(M)), Beaconsfield (M40), Cambridge (A14), Peterborough (A1(M))

Nando’s

Ahh old faithful Nando’s. It’s great to know that you no longer need to be in a city centre or a retail park to enjoy your favourite (or second favourite, depending on your preferences) chicken chain.

Where?

OK, so far, it’s only available at Beaconsfield (M40), but we’re sure it’ll catch on in a few more places soon.

Cotton Traders

Cotton Traders

OK, so it might not be Harvey Nichols, but Cotton Traders is a great little find if you’re in need of some new clothes (or on the hunt for a gift) while on the road. It originally opened on both sides of Strensham in 2008, but has been rolled out across numerous additional services as part of its plans to expand out of town centres.
 
Where?

Chester (M56), Cherwell Valley (M40/A43), Clacket Lane (M25), Donington Park (M1/A42/A50), Ferrybridge (M62), Hilton Park (M6), Lancaster (M6), Leigh Delamere (M4), Magor (M4), Maidstone (M20), Strensham (M5), Toddington (M1), Watford Gap (M1)

Fone Bitz

We’ve all been there, stuck on a long journey without vital phone power, only to realise we’ve left the phone charger at home. Luckily, Fone Bitz sells an assortment of mobile products across the motorway network.

Where?

Birch (M62) (eastbound only), Birchanger Green (M11), Cardiff Gate (M4), Cherwell Valley (M40/A43), Clacket Lane (M25), Corley (M6), Donington Park (M1/A42/A50), Fleet (M3) (southbound only), Hilton Park (M6) (northbound only), Keele (M6) (southbound only), Lancaster (M6) (northbound only), Leicester Forest East (M1), Leigh Delamere (M4), Membury (M4), Newport Pagnell (M1) (northbound only), Northampton (M1/A43), Norton Canes (M6 Toll), Oxford (M40/A40), Pont Abraham (M4), Rownhams (M27) (westbound only), Sedgemoor (South) (M5) (southbound only), South Mimms (M25/A1(M)), Stafford (South) (M6), Strensham (M5), Tibshelf (M1), Toddington (M1), Trowell (M1) (southbound only), Warwick (M40) (southbound only), Watford Gap (M1), Woodall (M1) (southbound only)

… And a shout out to Tebay.
 

Tebay Gloucestershire

Widely regarded as one of the best service stations in the country, Tebay, Gloucestershire, prides itself on being so much more than a pitstop. So, rather than being made up of a series of franchise businesses, this easy-on-the-eye setting has its own cafes, which make their own food, and farm shops. Definitely worth a peek if you’re ever in the area!

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