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Leave London for a retro motel beside an A-road in Oxfordshire

Ellie Walker-Arnott

A stretch of the A420 between Oxford and Swindon might not seem like an obvious place to take a break from the city. But head there, and look out for a rural service station set amid nondescript fields.

Photograph: Soho House

It has petrol pumps, a car park and – the reason to visit it – Mollie’s Motel and Diner, a roadside haven from Soho House. The motel, diner and drive-thru has popped up on the site of an abandoned Little Chef to serve travellers burgers and buckets of milkshake.

Photograph: Soho House

Get your fill of food and classic American vibes in the gleaming diner, before crossing the tarmac for a snooze. Beneath its neon sign, the motel is sleek, simple and super-stylish. Download the app and you can use your phone as the key to your room.

Photograph: Soho House

If plans are realised, this 1950s pitstop will soon be one of many in lay-bys around the UK. Life’s all about the journey, not the destination, eh?

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