2016 sees 50 years since one of the first motorway service station opened on the M1 at Leicester Forest East. The dining experience was premium, with 'The Captain's Table', a Terence Conran designed, silver-service restaurant. It conjured up the glamour of travel at that time, with visual triggers of an ocean liner, panoramic views, waiters in sailor suits, a pianist on a Baby Grand Piano and even an open air balcony. Fast-forward half a century and most UK service stations are sad mash-ups of multiple fast food outlets. 

An exception to this are the motorway services at Tebay run by the Westmoreland family. Opening not long after Leicester in 1972, local farmers John and Barbara Dunning, set up Tebay Services in partnership with local bakers when the new M6 cut through their land in the Lune Gorge in Cumbria. It was the first family-run motorway service station on the UK road network, with a small 30 seat café serving home cooked food.  Nowadays, their environmentally-sound, award-winning services are crafted from local stone and timber, sit comfortably in the surroundings and use locally-sourced produce which continues to support the surrounding community. 

Comment