Thursday, 31 July 2014

Our visit to Gloucester Services M5

Remember our lovely friend Sophie? She wrote a brilliant review of The Bell in Sapperton, find it here. Well, Sophie is back again with her experience visiting the new Gloucester Services on the M5. Believe us, its not just your average pit stop!

Millie and Meg x #TheGuestList

What would you expect when you pull off of the motorway at a service station? Fast food, arcade games and over priced soggy sandwiches? Well, think again! 
This fabulous find on the M5 at Gloucester breaks all convention and I think could change the face of the traditional service station experience forever! 
With very little signage and a modern but simple frontage designed in the image of the undulating countryside surrounding it, my first impression was not overwhelming but once stepping through the glass doors, I felt like I had been transported into food heaven! The stunning open plan building is modern but barn like in it's design with huge oak beams, vaulted ceiling and the atmosphere of an indoor farmers market.

Our first stop at Gloucester Services was the farm shop where we were met with an array of delicious treats. Fresh flowers, fruit and veg (all locally sourced) artisan breads and a fantastic selection of wines, beers and spirits again many of them from local farmers or suppliers. There is an impressive butchers at the rear of the shop where the meat is very reasonably priced and an extensive cheese and deli counter selling pies and pastries that looked too good to resist! The selection of general groceries was just fantastic with a frozen but homemade meals section, oils, olives, sauces, jams and fudge counter too! 

Another beautiful area of the store is designated to gifts, cards and clothes. There is a display of crockery and china made by local designers and a toy section kids would love as well as high end toiletries and bath products which are mainly organic.... I could go on and on! After a wander around our basket was full of treats! 

We then decided to sit in the restaurant to have something to eat for lunch. We chose sandwiches from the fresh sandwich counter. I had A BLT with chunky smoked bacon and fresh tomatoes, lettuce and mayo in a white bloomer...seriously scrummy! Owen chose prawn mayo which was filled with juicy king prawns in a sweet Marie Rose sauce and crunchy lettuce! We couldn't resist sharing one of the jumbo sausage rolls which we dipped in homemade ketchup and hot English mustard which you can decant into little dishes in the café. If we had wanted a more substantial meal, there was a fantastic choice from huge homemade lasagnes, roast dinners, fresh salads and soups with home made crusty rolls. There was also a section to make up a packed lunch for kids with fresh fruit and mini wraps and juice boxes- perfect for grabbing on the go! A gorgeous smell of coffee was being emitted from a coffee bar where they also sold all kinds of beautiful cakes and sweet treats! 

Sitting in the restaurant filling our faces and looking out onto the landscaped gardens we both agreed that it was hard to remember we beside the M5! Everything about this service station has been well thought out and designed to create a totally unique and very enjoyable experience. I can't recommend a pit stop here highly enough! 

Ps. If you spend more than £30 in store (which is really easy to do) you get 10p per litre off petrol from the petrol station on site.

Visit the website or follow them on Twitter @glouc_services to find out more. 

Sophie x #TheGuestList

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