If you're planning to travel as Christmas rolls in, we've got the perfect places to stop for a bite to eat during your festive road trip.
The UK doesn’t just have a good tradition when it comes to pubs - Britain also boasts some of the finest car and motorcycle-friendly eateries in Europe.
They might not have a Michelin star, but they’re still more than satisfying.
And here petrolheads at Select Car Leasing, the UK’s leading car leasing firm, pick some of their all-time favourites, as well as some of the amazing dishes you can sample there.
Mark Tongue says:
“A road trip isn’t a road trip without a pit stop for some hearty grub. And the great thing about these establishments is that many are located on brilliant driving roads - perfect if you’ve got an appetite for a bit of twisty fun as well as great food.”
Ace Cafe, London
The Ace Cafe is located on the North Circular Road, near Stonebridge, and while the nearby roads are fairly nondescript, the Ace is a rock ‘n’ roll meeting place for anyone with a keen interest in cars or motorcycles. When restrictions allow, there are meet-ups and ride-outs each month, including classic car nights and hot rod get-togethers. Meanwhile the menu includes Ace Burger Specials and notoriously-good fish n chips. Dig out that leather jacket!
The Ponderosa, North Wales
Head for the top of the snake-like Horseshoe Pass, near Llangollen, Wales, and you’ll find the Ponderosa Cafe nestled between picturesque quarries and a famous blue lagoon. The Ponderosa boasts, ‘At 1,400 ft above sea level it offers some of the most stunning views in the area and breathtaking walks that make you feel on top of the world!’. The pies are pretty special, too.
Loomies Moto Cafe, South Downs National Park
Located east of Winchester on the popular A272 driver’s road, Loomies is great for a coffee and chat with like-minded petrolheads. And if you’re feeling in the mood, why not try the ‘Burger Challenge’ - where you get 45 minutes to consume an eight pattie burger with 14 cheese slices, eight bacon rashers, cheesy chips, hash brown, onion rings and two cans of fizzy drink!
Caffeine & Machine, Warwickshire
This pitstop takes you right into the heart of pretty Shakespeare county, located near Stratford-upon-Avon, and it’s a popular parking place for car enthusiasts. When allowed to do so, you can expect all the usual culinary suspects on the ‘Roadhouse’ menu, as well as a great choice for vegans and vegetarians, while there are also rooms to spend the night.
Jacks Hill Cafe, Northamptonshire
This is one of the UK’s best-loved truckstops, serving famished motorists since the 1950s. But you don’t need a big-rig to park-up - it’s also a popular spot for anyone with a thirst for two or four wheels. The Towcester hot-spot does a roaring trade in burgers - and there are popular curries, too. With your belly full, you can hop on the nearby A5 and head to the heart of Shropshire and then on to Wales.
The Oil Can Cafe, West Yorkshire
The Oil Can Cafe is part of something called ‘The Carding Shed’, a vintage motoring experience in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. And not only is it crammed with sumptuous classic cars, the menu isn’t bad either. The ‘Mechanic’s Breakfast’ is a winner, complete with bacon, black pudding and a toasted Farmhouse Cobb. Hit the road and you’ll also enjoy the A616, which winds its way south into the Peak District.
The Feathers Hotel, North Yorkshire
This hotel, eatery and coffee house caters to thousands of bikers on a busy summer’s day, but it’s also popular with car owners. And that’s because it’s set in the pretty market town of Helmsley, which acts as a gateway to the stupendous driving roads of the North York Moors National Park, and the coastal towns and villages to the east. You can enjoy fine dining in the restaurant or bar, and there’s an Afternoon Tea menu, too.
Hartside Top Cafe, Cumbria
Between Penrith and Alston, Cumbria, and way up on the A686, sits the Hartside Top Cafe - the highest cafe in England. Set in the vast moorland landscape of the North Pennines, it’s popular with truckers, motorists and bikers. And you can gaze out on a view of famous mountains like Skiddaw and Helvellyn while filling your cake-hole. What’s even better is that the Hartside was recently revived having been gutted by a devastating fire in 2018 - all the more reason for you to show your support!
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