This photo doesn't give you a proper idea of the vastness of the carpark. I particularly like idea that the drivers the two semi-trailers piled high with big bales of straw are in with us taking lunch.
L'Escale Village at Déols, near Chateauroux, is a huge truck stop (one of the biggest in Europe apparently, and reknowned all over). Situated just off the A20 (the autoroute known as the Occitane) it is open 24/7. There is a restaurant doing up to 600 covers a day and a brasserie doing 1500. They host conferences and do catering for events. Truck drivers can stop there, chill out in their own dedicated space, and take a shower. There is a shop where you can buy clothes and personal hygiene items. Wifi is free. The 4000 square metre carpark takes hundreds of cars and dozens of trucks. It sounds horrendous, but actually it's rather good and we warmly recommend it. The staff, 85 of them in total, are friendly and welcoming and the food is excellent (and good value -- three courses in the brasserie is €17.90, €14 for a 'trucker's lunch', €9 for kids, up to €50 in the restaurant).
Simon and I had the brasserie special of the day
-- lamb shank with mashed potato and roasted aubergine, followed by bombe Alaska.
We've eaten there a couple of times, the most recent being with Simon's father before we dropped him off at the airport.
The front entrance.
The figures are staggering. 150 kg of steak a week, 120 kg of calves head (one of their specialities), 60 kg of salmon, 80 kg of kidneys, 3600 eggs. In the kitchen there are ten dishwashers, twenty chefs and five pastry chefs. The boss works 16 hour days, seven days a week and hasn't taken a holiday in 10 years.