The Chocolate and Chips story
Chocolate and Chips was originally dreamt up in 2013 when Siobhán first tried travelling with a small child and very quickly realised there was nothing at the motorway service station she wanted to feed her son. Yes, there was the usual array of fast-food outlets; five different coffee concessions, and a grocery store selling pre-packaged, sub-zero temperature sandwiches… but none of it, was what Siobhán was looking for.
Taking a step back, Siobhán had previously had a long career in the corporate world of marketing. Naively thinking she would be able to work in between feeds and sleeps after her son was born, she very quickly realised just how full-on being a parent was and dreams of a new career were soon put on hold. And so it remained until 2020 when lockdown struck, time moved more slowly and thoughts of how to make travel with children easier, once again percolated to the fore (even though at that point, travel felt a very long way away).
From Siobhán’s own experience of a mixed-foodie family (meatie, vegetarian, pescatarian, and one who doesn’t like cheese – who doesn’t like cheese???), she knew just how difficult it was to find good quality food for the whole family when travelling. There’s no doubt about it, motorway service stations are convenient; but a convenient location isn’t necessarily the only criteria when looking for somewhere to stop with children.
When Siobhán announced during a journey to the in-laws, she would prefer to get off the motorway and find somewhere different for lunch, the look on her husband’s face said it all. Where exactly? How long’s that going to take? Will they sell bacon sandwiches? After frantic searches for ‘places to eat near me’ that turned out to be miles away, and exasperated cries of “am I coming off at this junction or not?”, the calming effects of coffee and cake were eventually found, and his final words on the matter were “If you want to stop somewhere other than the services in future, can you please decide beforehand, so we at least know where we’re going…”
And so, Chocolate and Chips was born.
For some, motorway service stations are the answer. But, if they’re not for you, Chocolate and Chips is here to help you find the perfect spot within just a few minutes of a motorway junction. Whether you’re planning in advance or find yourself firefighting the cries of hunger, we understand how difficult it is to find somewhere suitable when you don’t know the area. All of our eateries offer good quality, freshly made food to suit the whole family. They have a safe space for children to run off pent-up energy before getting back in the car and they are close enough to the motorway so not to add hours to your journey. Whether you’re looking for a quick coffee and comfort break, a longer break or even a picnic spot, we can help you find the ideal place.