Hastings Battleaxe recovers, recommends - Wetherspoons at Beaconsfield M40 Services
First post of 2018, and a quick recommendation. We drove up to Birmingham over New Year, and as usual, stopped at Beaconsfield Services. It is a positive Hades of a place, a hideously crowded, squalid, echoing shed with the noisiest loo hand dryers in the whole world. But the Wetherspoons? A haven of relaxing tranquility.
Beaconsfield services is the half-way point between Hastings and Birmingham, and we often stagger in there for a respite after a hellish journey on the M25.
I've been aware of the Wetherspoons since it opened in 2014, but felt a bit iffy about the idea of a pub at a motorway services. It attracted quite a bit of negative publicity. Somehow I also thought it would be grungy, or too difficult, or something - I dunno.
But it was recommended to us by friends, so we ventured in, both on the way up, and on the way back.
Well, what a surprise. So peaceful. They serve up good solid Wetherspoons food. I'm not snobby about Wetherspoons meals, and at least they mark the calorie content of each item on the menu. Some is a bit alarming... anyone for beef and ale pie with chips and peas for a stunning 1593 calories? But I had skinny chicken burger at a mere 446. Service is quick, coffee is available, it has its own loos, what's not to like? The seating area upstairs is positively restful. We shall be in there again every trip.
And horrors they are, believe me, despite the Patisserie Valerie plonked incongruously in the middle of the seething hordes. We have had substantial grief with poor grand daughter who can't cope with the noisy loos and has to use the disabled one. I've had several rows with people who have told me very rudely that she hasn't got a disability and should use the ordinary loo. Can't they understand that not all disabilities are visible? Why can't they mind their own business? One row was so heated that GD took one look when she emerged from the loo, ran back inside, locked herself in again and refused to come out.
Services should be places where you can recover from the stresses of driving on the motorway, but we have always left Beaconsfield with nerves jangling.... but now, Wetherspoons for us.
Having said all that, the one advantage of Beaconsfield is the outdoor sitting area and the walk round the lake - but that's only for the summer.
Less of that. We are in recovery and reducing mode after the rigours of Christmas and the New Year. I have eaten vast volumes of sugary, fatty food since around 12 December and have put on four pounds in weight. But hey, New Year, new me....
Battleaxe does not like January and February - colds and flu, dark, miserable weather. But hey again, let's be positive. The days are getting longer, bulbs are pushing up green shoots in their pots....
We have had very strong wind here in the last few days - Storm Eleanor or something. This is at Bexhill... where, incidentally, there is a new Wetherspoons....