Breaking the mould is one of the most underrated achievements I can think of. We’re so conditioned to conforming to the norms and adapting what’s already there to create something ‘new’. Which isn’t new, really. Then, when someone comes up with a truly different musical genre, device or way of doing something, you’ll hear people say, ‘well, that’s obvious, I could have done that.’

Yeah, but it wasn’t, and you didn’t! Maybe it was hiding in plain sight, but it’s only obvious in hindsight.

Have you been to Gloucester Motorway Services? It’s not like other motorway services. At all in fact. The building and landscaping is great, the decor is not at all what you expect, and the seating is comfortable. The toilets are clean and well kept. The food is lovely and reasonably priced. I’ve been in twice for a short break – it wasn’t there when I lived in Gloucester and I probably wouldn’t have gone since it was so close to home – and their decaff latte is probably among the top 3 cups of coffee I’ve ever had.

It’s got a farmhouse theme going on and sells some really nice products. It is, in fact, the complete opposite of a motorway services place. It’s genuinely breaking the mould. You’ll never look at one the same way again.

It takes an approach like this to make you realise that all motorway establishments don’t have to look like grimy monstrosities with toilets that resemble a war zone.

Oh, and it’s been awarded an architectural honour as well. A motorway services establishment! Awesome stuff.

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