More industrial estates should have quality truckstops, and it would be nice to think any planning permission for future sites should include provision for an establishment as a requirement to gain approval to build.
One truckstop on an industrial estate is the Avon Lodge café in Avonmouth, close to Bristol. It is just a few minutes off the M5 at Junction 18 – also the junction where the M49 leaves to take traffic into South Wales.
The Avon Lodge might not look amazing from the outside, but inside it is immaculate. This is not a greasy spoon, it’s a clean, fit for purpose site with ample parking and good facilities.
The Avon Lodge café offers four breakfast options. They start with the mini breakfast at £4 which gives you a rasher of bacon, a sausage, and egg and the choice of either baked beans or tomatoes, and comes with a mug of tea or coffee.
The traditional breakfast is an extra pound and adds potatoes, mushrooms and toast to the plateful. The full breakfast comes with two rashers, a sausage, an egg, potatoes, black pudding, mushrooms, beans or tomatoes, two slices of toast and a tea or coffee and is priced at £6. Finally, there is the mega breakfast which has two rashers of bacon, two sausages, two eggs, potatoes, black pudding, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, with two slices of toast and tea or coffee and all for £7. The breakfasts are certainly good value for money.
For those not wanting to exploit the full breakfast menu, any two items on toast, with tea or coffee, is £4. There is also the breakfast bap – bacon or sausage with an egg for £3.50 or all three for £3.75. Breakfast sandwiches – bacon or sausage – are priced at £2.50 and extra items are 75p each.
Two slices of toast with butter is priced at £1.20, and with jam or marmalade it’s £1.60. Two slices bread and butter cost a pound while a bowl of cereal is £1.30.
A range of paninis – all priced at £4 – are available. They include sausage, bacon and egg, Cajun chicken with tomato salsa and cheese, brie and red onion jam and goat’s cheese with tomatoes and onion. All are served with a side salad or a bowl of chips.
A jacket potato with one filling and a side salad is also £4 and extra fillings are 75p each. The choice is cheese, baked beans or tuna mayonnaise.
Pre-made sandwiches are also on offer, and include ham, cheese, tuna mayo or egg mayo all at £2.50 each while cheese & onion is £2.65, ham, cheese or tuna mayo salad are £2.75 as is ham and cheese.
A simple plain omelette with chips, beans and peas is priced at £5.50 while extra fillings are 50p each and the options are ham, mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes or onions.
A portion of chips on their own is £2 while the popular cheesy chips are £2.60 a bowl.
There is not the widest range of main meals at the Avon Lodge café compared with other establishments. However, ham, egg, chips with either baked beans or peas is £6.50.
An 8oz gammon with fried egg, chips and beans or peas is £8. A quarter pound beefburger with chips £5, and with cheese on the burger it’s £5.30. A chicken burger with chips and garnish is £6.50, and again you can add cheese for 30p more.
There is a choice of three salads – cheese, ham, chicken – and these come with either hips or potatoes and are priced at £6.50.
Any two of bacon, sausage, egg, or beefburger served with chips and either beans or peas will set you back a fiver while additional items are 75p extra.
There is always a special or two on offer and on the day of our visit it was chicken curry with chips, and priced at £6.50.
You can also exploit the meal deal with – for a tenner – a main meal from the daily specials, along with a dessert and hot drink or can of soft drink.
Desserts and drinks
There are three standard puddings on offer – the old favourites of homemade apple crumble, chocolate fudge cake or banoffee pie and these are charged at £3.25, and all can be ordered with a choice of either custard, ice cream or cream.
Tea is a pound while instant coffee is £1.20. All other hot drinks are £1.50 and include Mochaccino, Café latte, Flat white, Double shot flat white, Expresso short, Expresso long, Hot chocolate to chocolate latte.
Fruit juice is £1.30 a glass while a milkshake will set you back £1.35 and milk is 50p for small glass or 90p for a large glass. Canned drinks are £1.
The Avon Lodge café has seating capacity for 100 diners. It is open on Mondays from 0700-2100, while Tuesdays to Fridays it’s 0600-2100 and Saturdays it is open only in the mornings from 0600-1100. The site is closed on Sundays.
There are 60 parking spaces for trucks in a secure compound with CCTV, a security guard and high secure fencing.
It costs £20 to park for a night and that gives you a £4 meal voucher and a shower token. Inside the clean seating area has a TV and there is free wi-fi. The site takes contactless payment and also sells fuel and has a shop for day to day stuff truckers need for their jobs and for their cabs.
The Avon Lodge
Third Way, Avonmouth, Bristol, Avon, BS11 9YP
0117 982 7706