St Philbert de Grand Lieu. 10th June 2014

You’d think with a name like this the toilets would be lovely, they weren’t but they were good practice for Glastonbury.

We chose to stay on an Aire for a night, primarily because it was convenient to the motorway but also to save money.

We chose this one (number 132, green , Pays de Loire in the’Aires of France) because it was described as2 minutes to town centre, ancient Abbey with River Fishing. It sounded idyllic.

When we got arrived there were 5/6 motor homes already there but we managed to squeeze in between two though If people had parked a little better, we could have accommodated a couple more vans.b

We were in a lane, next to a broken hedge which allowed us to walk through into the adjacent field where there were picnic tables, the toilet block, a circular contraption with 3 toilet cubicles and a large lake.

The sun was shining as it had all day, and we set out some chairs and a small table and enjoyed the evening sun.

We had previously stopped at a supermarket and stocked up on supplies to we had steaks and duck breast ready to cook. However, with no electricity we would have to cook on Gas and we considered the different options available to us using the BBQ and the gas rings in the van. It all seemed very complicated.

So with the village centre 2 minutes away we decided to walk into town and find some where to eat.

One of our complaints about Aires is there is very little guidance available and here there was no map saying ‘you are here’ so we couldn’t plot a route. We walked back to the roundabout where we came in and took a turning off which looked like it might lead to the village centre but after a while it became obvious this wasn’t the right way so we turned around.

Back at the roundabout we settled for McDonalds, which was right on the junction. Against our better judgement we found ourselves in a Queue waiting to be served, and wait we did.

This outfit bore no resemblance to a fast food outlet.

It had a quick order facility where you used a touch screen to select your items and pay with a credit card but collection of your order still took ages and the queue there was just as long as the one we were in.

They had also changed the items, presumably to cater for French taste so we couldn’t find ‘Happy Meals’ or ‘Chicken Meals’ it seemed you had to order everything individually. Infact the whole menu was confusing, it was in French obviously but we didn’t recognise the options even where they had an accompanying picture.

When we got to the front of the queue Jaki gamely started to order in French but the girl behind the counter asked if we’d like her to speak English?

We ordered a chicken wrap, a Chicken Royal Sandwich, two portions of fries and two soft drinks, paid the €13+ and were given a tray with drinks and fries on it. Apparently the sandwich ‘wasn’t ready yet’.

At our table we sat and waited for our sandwiches whilst our fries grew colder and colder.

Eventually I went up to the counter, farming my way through the crowds of trendy young Frenchies who thought being in a McDonalds was very ‘Cool’ and tried to catch the attention of one of the servers.

When eventually I did, she threw two items at me as if I was a nuisance.

Returning with the bounty we sat and ate our meal including cold chips ( they tasted different to Mc Donald usual chips, or should I say Fries, and had no salt) whilst we used their wifi to catch up with Facebook and Twitter and plan the next days route.

I know what your saying. ‘Serves you right for eating in a McDonalds’ but needs must when your traveling and their wifi was the best we’ve come across in Months,methought their food was Crap.


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