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To think that there should be some concession to health at motorway service stations?

(81 Posts)
AmberNectarine Sun 02-Nov-14 07:24:25

Just back from a four day break doing touristy things in the UK. During that time we did a lot of motorway driving and although we planned to stop in towns/eat at our destination, sometimes traffic got the better of us and we had to stop as the DCs (4 & 3) are used to eating at relatively fixed times and were getting cranky.

Now I am not a food fascist by any means. I enjoy treats as much as the next person (as the size of my arse will attest), but the choices available left a lot to be desired. The outlets I saw available across 3 services were as follows: Burger King, Greggs, KFC, Subway, WH Smith (crisps and sweets galore), Starbucks and the best of a bad lot, M&S simply food. I should add that every single one of these service stations had a Krispy Kreme self service point.

Now I know you can get a salad in M&S (though obviously the area by the tills was all Percy Pigs and praline bars), but surely there should be somewhere you can get something warming, filling and healthy, like soup? Even something like a Leon would be a welcome break (see what I did there?) from chips, burgers and more chips?

So, AIBU to think that with obesity rates on the rise there should be a bit more choice?

KingJoffreysBloodshotEye Sun 02-Nov-14 07:30:49

It's stodge for long distance coach and lorry drivers, though. Probably exactly what they need.

I doubt salad would sell, so they don't bother.

manchestermummy Sun 02-Nov-14 07:37:12

I know what you mean: sometimes you want something a bit better for you, even on holiday. And that's me, never mind what I want for the dc!

If you are ever on the M5 there is an amazing services (just called Gloucester Services I think) northbound. Food looks great, and not a KFC in sight.

KirjavaTheCorpse Sun 02-Nov-14 07:40:03

It won't sell, so they'll never bother.

MidniteScribbler Sun 02-Nov-14 07:40:27

They will stock what sells. You can always go further afield, or take a packed lunch if the offerings are not to your liking.

MissYamabuki Sun 02-Nov-14 07:41:12


A lot of us fancy something fresh and non-stodgy during long journeys. It is a myth I think to asume that no-one likes veg / salad / fruit and only eat them out of a sense of duty. I do enjoy things like KFC every now and again but I find the food not very satisfying or filling.

SophieBarringtonWard Sun 02-Nov-14 07:42:27

I would love to see something healthier at service stations. I would also like to see some outdoor space that the children can play in for a break.

Best services are the ones at Tebay on the M6. Amazing!

Gaia81 Sun 02-Nov-14 07:49:06

Subway, McDonalds, Starbucks, Greggs all sell salads, Greggs also sell soup. Might not always be the most obvious choices but they are there.

AmberNectarine Sun 02-Nov-14 07:49:28

Oh yes, I quite concede that I should have taken packed stuff which we did on the way up but it wouldn't have kept for 4 days.

I thought lorry drivers etc stopped at Truck stops, not the Welcome Breaks etc. Thought those were more for regular consumers? I would have thought that with more onus on health these days, people might want something other than refined carbohydrate - at least the MNers wink

AmberNectarine Sun 02-Nov-14 07:50:44

Greggs were out of soup and salad. McD salads are shit. Starbucks didn't appear to carry anything other than toasties and muffins. Subway I wouldn't touch with a 50ft pole so I can't comment on their offering!

namioexchangio Sun 02-Nov-14 08:02:01

YANBU but the others are right - commercialism drives all. I am sure that lorry drivers buy stodge but not convinced it is "just what they need". Didn't all the heavy manual work involved in HGV driving all disappear many years ago with the advent of power steering and hydraulic lifting? Everyone would benefit from being surrounded by healthier options imo but it won't happen in the near future, sadly.

sleepyjean69 Sun 02-Nov-14 08:03:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JadedAngel Sun 02-Nov-14 08:06:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Andrewofgg Sun 02-Nov-14 08:10:01

AmberNectariine There is a hint of contempt for your fellow-users of the motorway who drive lorries.

I thought lorry drivers etc stopped at Truck stops, not the Welcome Breaks etc. Thought those were more for regular consumers?

Lorry drivers are regular consumers and their choices are as valid in the marketplace as the choices of people who have 2.4 children and drive a car.

And if you don't want to touch Subway that's your privilege but don't complain because you did not choose to eat their offerings!

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Sun 02-Nov-14 08:11:17

YANBU. I travel for work and despair at the almost universally shit food that is available, usually at extortionate cost. The main part of most service stations will probably sell soup, but at a cost.

M&S is usually a good choice, but I much prefer hot food so might have Gregg's soup if available. If you can get away from the motorway, you might be able to find a pub - Toby carvery is great, not much more than mcdonalds and as long as you don't have loads of stuffing, Yorkshires and roast potatoes, relatively healthy.

But others are right, healthy stuff doesn't sell as it is probably the case that the majority of Brits just prefer shitty food.

JadedAngel Sun 02-Nov-14 08:14:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BikeRunSki Sun 02-Nov-14 08:15:22

I drive a lot for work, and because most family is 200 miles away. Motorway food has got so much better since the arrival of M&S and Waitrose concessions!! I'm veggie, allergic to coffee, hate fizzy drinks and boycott McD.

You need to arrange your journeys around Tebay and Gloucester services (same owner) where you can, for motorway food awesomeness. Failing that, we often go to Harvesters. There is usually one not too far away from the motorway, and you can eat salad and bread rolls straight away and can order a jacket spud if that is all you fancy.

There used to be Spud U Like in motorway services, but not seen them for years. I don't think healthy eating on the move is that popular.

Coach and truck drivers do you Welcome Break etc. That's why they have seperate coach and truck parks. Often also showers, and reserved tables for them.

BikeRunSki Sun 02-Nov-14 08:18:29

this might be the website sleepyjean means. There are others.

bonzo77 Sun 02-Nov-14 08:20:00

Totally agree with you OP. And yes, an outdoor play area for kids, away from the smoking area would be better still. I also wish you could buy a pouch or shudder a jar of baby food. Not a problem now, but when first weaning DS 2 we got stuck in traffic having already made a planned stop and used up our baby food. We were all hungry and grumpy and tired. There was nothing really suitable for him at Watford Gap. The "restaurant" didn't have facilities to purée him any veg. There were no potatoes to mash with a fork. I ended up having to pick the lumps out of a low fat sugar-filled yoghurt.

Fuckwitteryhasform Sun 02-Nov-14 08:22:43

M and s simply food have a ton of healthy stuff! What sort of restaurants would you have liked to have seen bearing in mind it will probably need to be a chain as the service stations contract with chains and not a sit down restaurant?

Sleepysheepsleeping Sun 02-Nov-14 08:24:19

We have started looking for Off Motorway places to visit recently and can usually find much better - we have English heritage membership and went to an EH place off the A1 the other day, meant to only use their cafe but got distracted in the house but worth it

Andrewofgg Sun 02-Nov-14 08:24:27

BikeRunSki flowers flowers for this - what a find!

AmberNectarine Sun 02-Nov-14 08:24:42

Not at all andrew, just that those service stations are bloody extortionate and if I was on the road all the time, I wouldn't be stopping at those regularly. I imagined lorry drivers are more 'in the know' about affordable places and that it's just chumps like me who get stung for £6 for a sandwich. So no need to get snippy.

As for Subway, slimy processed meat is just not my bag. Sorry.

Andrewofgg Sun 02-Nov-14 08:25:45

AmberNectarine Understood and sorry if I sounded snippy. Not my intention.

Fuckwitteryhasform Sun 02-Nov-14 08:27:36

Sorry just re read your OP which says you visiting 3 service stations and so I guess only 1 had a m and s simply food.
I wish Leon would go outside London and into services!!

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