Consumer Tip - Secret Services

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SteveA30
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Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by SteveA30 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 16:00

Well, they are a secret if you don't know about them. Recently, there have been a few cafe/farm shop premises opened along the A303/A30. Hidden from the road and usually signed from a farmers field, rather than a brown sign. There was a brown sign marked Teals, which is meaningless on its own. They are essentally a mini Tebay or Gloucester, local produce, food and coffee. Spacious seating inside and out and away from traffic noise, mostly. A bit pricey perhaps. So, for anyone heading west in the next month or two, these make nice alternatives to the chain fast food and coffee shops found at petrol stations......
Also, you get to do bits of old A303 in 4 cases and old A30 for the last 2

Some have rather restricted opening times so, they have to be planned for rather than a casual stop-off.

https://visit.hillbrush.com/ Off the Mere bypass. Also a wide selection of brushes for that emergency car clean.
https://teals.co.uk/ East of Sparkford on a short bit of old A303
https://jordanscourtyard.co.uk/ On old A358 just off old A303 on current A358 from Southfields rbt towards Chard. You can also do yoga while drinking tea if you want, haven't tried it myself......
https://monksyard.co.uk/ Opposite Jordans Court so, a choice of coffeeing.
https://www.ottervalleydairy.co.uk/ In layby east of Monkton, hidden from road behind hedge. Tricky to turn right out of on summer weekends if heading west but, just around the corner is a place called Oakland Farm cafe on the w/bnd side. More of a cream tea place. No website.
https://www.woodleighcoach.co.uk/ On old A30 from Woodleigh junction towards Cheriton Bishop. Old coach house. More of a normal cafe than a local produce place. Good breakfasts
https://strawberryfieldslifton.co.uk/ On old A30 towards Lifton, from A388 junction at Liftondown.
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multiraider2
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by multiraider2 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:01

Went to Strawberry Fields on the way to Cornwall and back in the last week as the other half loves a farm shop and this is a super plus version of the norm.

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c2R
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by c2R » Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:08

multiraider2 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:01
Went to Strawberry Fields on the way to Cornwall and back in the last week as the other half loves a farm shop and this is a super plus version of the norm.
I second Strawberry Fields. However, the junction suffers from compact sliproads, and heading eastbound is a bit of a faff to get back on the dual carriageway as you have to double back on yourself, and then use the compact sliproads to try and join the A30 on an uphill incline - not one to try if you're towing.
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Norfolktolancashire
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by Norfolktolancashire » Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:16

c2R wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:08
multiraider2 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:01
Went to Strawberry Fields on the way to Cornwall and back in the last week as the other half loves a farm shop and this is a super plus version of the norm.
I second Strawberry Fields. However, the junction suffers from compact sliproads, and heading eastbound is a bit of a faff to get back on the dual carriageway as you have to double back on yourself, and then use the compact sliproads to try and join the A30 on an uphill incline - not one to try if you're towing.
I carry along the old A30 and back onto the eastbound A30 D2 at the Sourton Downs junction near Okehampton. The old road is a delight to drive along, particularly when the A30 is jammed with traffic on "changeover" days, of which most days are "changeover" this summer!

Carrying on with the southwest travel theme, I have used these two cafes just off the M5 in Somerset while travelling down. Just so happens they are part of the local cider farms too!

Rich's cider farm and cafe, off the B3139 Mark Causeway reached a short distance from junction J22 Burnham on Sea

Sheppy's cider farm and cafe, off the A38 north of J26 Wellington.
Last edited by Norfolktolancashire on Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:28, edited 2 times in total.

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roadtester
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by roadtester » Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:23

Thanks for the list - looks interesting. Will try some of those next time I'm going that way.
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c2R
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by c2R » Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:24

Norfolktolancashire wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:16
c2R wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:08
multiraider2 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:01
Went to Strawberry Fields on the way to Cornwall and back in the last week as the other half loves a farm shop and this is a super plus version of the norm.
I second Strawberry Fields. However, the junction suffers from compact sliproads, and heading eastbound is a bit of a faff to get back on the dual carriageway as you have to double back on yourself, and then use the compact sliproads to try and join the A30 on an uphill incline - not one to try if you're towing.
I carry along the old A30 and back onto the eastbound A30 D2 at the Sourton Downs junction near Okehampton. The old road is a delight to drive along, particularly when the A30 is jammed with traffic on "changeover" days, of which most days are "changeover" this summer!
Thanks, that's a good tip - I'll give it a go next time I'm down that way!
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multiraider2
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by multiraider2 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:30

c2R wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:08
multiraider2 wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 18:01
Went to Strawberry Fields on the way to Cornwall and back in the last week as the other half loves a farm shop and this is a super plus version of the norm.
I second Strawberry Fields. However, the junction suffers from compact sliproads, and heading eastbound is a bit of a faff to get back on the dual carriageway as you have to double back on yourself, and then use the compact sliproads to try and join the A30 on an uphill incline - not one to try if you're towing.
Yes, noticed and concur on the junction. Uphill with short entry slip means I'm sure it would be somewhat difficult to get back on later in the day when traffic had built up. I was fully loaded so was glad of a car now with a bit more oomph and not towing.

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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by SteveA30 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:32

Talking of which, this was the start of an overnight w/bnd diversion past Strawberry Fields on Monday July 12, Lifton hosts busy traffic again. My Gran worked in the Arundell Arms in the 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's, serving the Royal Blue and other coaches that stopped there for refreshment.
Saturday July 30 and overspill on the western approach to Exeter.

Coming soon, night diversion through Sticklepath..........
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Old A30 Lifton.jpg
Old A30 Pocombe.jpg
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solocle
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by solocle » Sun Aug 01, 2021 22:34

Doesn't really count, but I did sneak the back way into the A34 Sutton Scotney services from the A30 when I did a cycle out to Winchester.
Didn't get anything, though, as I'd stocked up at the village shop, just prior to turning onto the A30.
IMG_7578.jpeg

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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by SteveA30 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 23:09

Sheppy's has featured in a couple of diversions over the years.
March 9 2013 and Feb 9 2018
A38 between Wellington and Taunton.

Another good one is Rumwells, a bit further north of Sheppy's
https://www.rumwellfarmshop.com/cafe/
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D A38 Sheppy.jpg
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by rhyds » Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:18

Consumer Tip - Secret Services
Am I the only one who was expecting a TripAdvisor review for the KGB?
Built for comfort, not speed.

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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by roadtester » Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:46

rhyds wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:18
Consumer Tip - Secret Services
Am I the only one who was expecting a TripAdvisor review for the KGB?
Well some of them aren't that far from Salisbury with its famous cathedral spire.
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by Lockwood » Mon Aug 02, 2021 13:05

123 metres!

And the food at the local Zizzi's is to die for!

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rhyds
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by rhyds » Mon Aug 02, 2021 13:12

roadtester wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:46
rhyds wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 11:18
Consumer Tip - Secret Services
Am I the only one who was expecting a TripAdvisor review for the KGB?
Well some of them aren't that far from Salisbury with its famous cathedral spire.
I was thinking more like

"As the despotic leader of the Peoples' Republic of Rhyds I found the CIA a fine Secret Service to work with. Indeed, they're currently running an "Overthrow one regime, get another half price" promotion!"
Built for comfort, not speed.

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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by SteveA30 » Mon Aug 02, 2021 21:05

Well, the customers at these places were wearing leather overcoats with the collars turned up and dark glasses under fur hats. A glamourous girl in a fur coat served them drinks which they sipped then slumped back in the chair, lifeless. :cocktail: I did wonder why the car parks were full of Zil limos....... 8-)
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by rhyds » Mon Aug 02, 2021 21:29

SteveA30 wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 21:05
Well, the customers at these places were wearing leather overcoats with the collars turned up and dark glasses under fur hats. A glamourous girl in a fur coat served them drinks which they sipped then slumped back in the chair, lifeless. :cocktail: I did wonder why the car parks were full of Zil limos....... 8-)
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
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Norfolktolancashire
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by Norfolktolancashire » Sun Aug 22, 2021 18:00

Instead of the very average Exeter Services on the M5 we use Darts Farm, use the M5 junction 30, travel a few miles along the Exmouth Road, A376, then turn towards Topsham.

www.dartsfarm.co.uk

A bit pricey but grown to a fair size now.

No surprise from me that it has an in-house cider farm too.

Topsham itself is a lovely spot to visit for a few hours or more.

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nick_dunn
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by nick_dunn » Sun Aug 22, 2021 19:08

On the recent holiday trip to Cornwall on Sat 7th August, we started at 6am from home to get a good run at the Avonmouth bridge which we passed over about 8am with no hold-ups. After that the traffic began to get very heavy and there was a queue along the motorway for Sedgmoor services. Bridgwater services was heaving too when we stopped for a swift comfort break.

My secret services is the Harvester restaurant about a 1 minute drive from the J25 exit at Taunton. Rather satisfyingly we arrived at 8.57am just as it opened. Perhaps not as quirky as some mentioned above but they do a wicked build-your-own all-you-can-eat breakfast which is right up my street! I've used the place a few times now and it's a better option than the MSA's for me. Word of warning - there is a hotel nearby and by 9.15am the Harvester is heaving with the breakfast crowd, although the rush gets dealt with pretty effectively.

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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by haymansafc » Thu Sep 02, 2021 18:03

nick_dunn wrote:
Sun Aug 22, 2021 19:08
On the recent holiday trip to Cornwall on Sat 7th August, we started at 6am from home to get a good run at the Avonmouth bridge which we passed over about 8am with no hold-ups. After that the traffic began to get very heavy and there was a queue along the motorway for Sedgmoor services. Bridgwater services was heaving too when we stopped for a swift comfort break.
Sedgmoor does get congested with long queues on the off-slips at this time of year. Bridgewater Services, in my opinion, is horrific.

However, there's a great pub almost next door to there. The Compass Tavern. Admittedly it's been several years since I've been in there (it was before the land behind it was built upon), but on the few occasions I've been there, the service was decent and they did do a Cottage Pie to die for. :)
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Re: Consumer Tip - Secret Services

Post by doebag » Sat Sep 04, 2021 21:11

We stopped at Jordan’s Courtyard just off the A358 today on our way to Devon
Very nice surroundings, menu was good. It’s open from 9-3, but the waiter was telling people the kitchen stopped taking orders at 2.00 .

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