This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
It is so much easier to load everyone and all their possessions into a car than negotiate airport security at crack of dawn, having shovelled all your beauty products into a tiny plastic bag. Then there are the hire car queues at your destination by which time it is nearly 12 hours since you left home and everyone is a little frazzled. Finally the foreign road signs and a satnav. Satnavs in English are sometimes hard to decipher but when the instructions are shouted at you in Greek you stand no chance and end up going around roundabouts at least 3 times trying to match the words to the one of the signs! Of course there is also the moment when the rep says don’t drink the tap water but where does that leave us with teeth cleaning? I am always nervous that as I swill my mouth out the odd drop of dodgy tap water will find its way down my throat and I will be hugging the porcelain at 3am.
2018 has to be the year of the British summer holiday. However the only problems with holidays in the UK, now that we have the weather sorted, is the drive to the destination down a packed motorway. Stop-offs at service stations are even worse as the cars and people seem to have multiplied, maybe locals feel they are a great one-stop shopping destination? Finally the food is less than gourmet. So when Alistair Sawday brings out a book that shows us the delicious alternatives that are just a couple of miles off the motorway it might be worth considering going the extra mile.
When I first picked up this book I looked at my local motorway, the M4, and found a selection of picturesque, rustic pubs, cafés and garden centres all within 10 minutes of the various junctions. I am not limiting the use of this book to my long-haul trips as I have found so many hidden gems local to me. I love walking around a garden centre even if I am not in the market for plants. Nowadays garden centres are more than just plants and garden accessories, their cafés can often be full of dishes made with local produce.
Dorney Court Café and Garden Centre is one such place, 5 minutes from junction 7 of the M4. The garden centre is set in the original walled garden of Dorney Court. The café has both inside and outside seating and the food is inspired by local, seasonal produce . I defy you to walk through the shop and come out the other end empty handed! Alistair Sawday gives you a guide of what is available at each venue, whether they are child or dog friendly, have wi-fi access, vegetarian or vegan options and wheelchair access.
I will now be using Alistair Sawday’s book The Extra Mile to navigate my way around Britain thus helping local industry.
To purchase Alistair Sawday’s book, The Extra Mile, from Amazon click HERE
To see the recommendations by Hotel Guru for UK holiday destinations – click HERE