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Had the pleasure of stopping at the Toddington services on the Southbound M1 on 18th May, 2004. It was about 1pm and the car park was around half full so no problems parking. Nice touch at the entrance to the building was the Pet Station with bowls of water and dog biscuits for the canine guests. Only guide dogs are allowed into the building but there was a small grassed area at the side where dogs could stretch their legs and do what dogs do best.
Firstly and definitely most important - toilets. Can't speak for the gents but the ladies were spotless. I'd even be happy to take my granny in there. A lady was busy scrubbing the sinks while I was in there. Clean toilets, nice hot water, full soap dispensers and hand driers that worked. Thumbs up so far.
Usual concessions in the building: a small Thorntons, a Birthday card shop, the usual shop selling sweets, drinks, grab and go food and those strange gifts that they always seem to have in service stations. Also there's an arcade here, and a hairdressers.
Food options are a Little Chef, a Burger King, and the self-service cafeteria style place, all with the usual motorway inflated prices.
We opted for the cafeteria. Two baguettes at £3.50 each and 2 coffees at £1.90 each. Bit expensive but not outrageous. However, as we had a baby with us we could help ourselves to jars of Organix baby food free of charge. There's also a station loaded with children's food - pick 5 items for £2.89. Options included fruit, biscuits, jelly, and juice boxes. Not bad we thought.
The baby facilities were great here. In the cafeteria there's a baby staion with microvave and bottle warmer - both clean at the time of visit. There's also disposable bowls, spoons and bibs for you to take. The baby changing room was spotless, with Pampers nappies and wipes available free if you've left the changing bag in the car.
In the cafeteria there was also a small children's play area with colouring books and crayons and a TV showing cartoons. There were also balloons and flags for the chidren.
All in all definitely the place to stop if you have babies, children, or dogs with you.
Petrol was 83.9 pence a litre for unleaded when we were there - plenty of pumps available.
Interesting to see pleasure and motorway services in the same sentence - I tend to think of them as a necessary evil! I did spot the dog food and water bowls at one I was at on my business travels last week.
AnitaM 20.05.2004 12:09
Most service stations are similar these days but the free nappies and wipes are a nice touch.
MAFARRIMOND 20.05.2004 09:30
The customer service sounds good. The free food facility for babies is ggod. Maureen