Scotland doesn’t do average.  For every dull dining pub or vinegar tasting experience, there seems to be a classic boozer that would hold its head high in Sedgley or Stockport or Woolwich.

Onwards to Hawick.


It’s a pretty place, very atmospheric at dusk last Tuesday.

All the people are in the Spoons
Dusk in Hawick
Hawick family turned to look at the Spoons & turned to stone

And a proper Scottish town, with a Spoons so scary it’s not in the Guide, a shop selling Joanna Lumley wigs, and a jewellers run by a Hamish.

Spot Joanna

What Pub tells me there’s bars in a Burns Club, a Golf Club, a Masonic Lodge, a Conservative Club and a Ex-Servicemens’ Club. Almost a full house.

The Waverley and Queen’s Head look the most tempting of the keg outlets.

Queens’s Head – possibly R.I,P.

Which is all of them except that Spoons, the weekend-only Masonic Lodge and the sole Guide entry.


And so it is that Hawick (pronounced Oik) hides away the Exchange Bar Dalton’s)., a pub to rival South London’s Rose for basic loveliness.

Exchange Bar

All it needs is a big red triangle in the window and it’d be perfect, wouldn’t it ?  But I’m partial to McEwans man, if not his lager.

Proper brewery

Like the Bridge up the road in Peebles, it’s immaculate.


A few locals dotted round the walls, a couple at the bar, all said something approximating to “Hi“.


Just one beer, always a good sign on a Tuesday.


You’ll have noticed the other top craft option.


It’s very popular” said the wonderfully cheery barmaid. Sometimes that means “I sold one of those on Sunday“.  Not here.

Pub life

The Campbell’s Gunner was, as I say, nectar (NBSS 4.5). Cool, smooth, fruity.  Proof that not ALL great beer comes from Wolverhampton*.

Smooth Gunner

Scottish lacings may be the best in the world. More academic study is required.

Lacings of the Month

Astonishingly, while I was there Scotland scored in Budapest.

Matt Phillips puts Scotland ahead

The roar was one of mild astonishment, the sort of noise you’d expect if you heard that Sam Smiths had reduced the price of OBB by 10p.  Then the locals went back to their racing posts and fruit machines.

I didn’t want to leave. I suspect some other punters haven’t yet.



*SPOILER.  After our trip to Banks’s on Wednesday, I now believe that MOST great beer comes from Wolverhampton.




  1. Take that Puskas! Great post. Budapest is a magnificent city for beer but perhaps not for football at the moment despite the Hungarian Prime Minister’s penchant for building new grounds from state funds, including the club he played for whilst still PM. Surely the shock of the goal was akin to Sam Smith’s raising the price of a pint by 10p?

    Never seen that brewery before- from Peebles I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “All it needs is a big red triangle in the window and it’d be perfect” but instead it’s got a bigger red triangle, the table umbrella, outside and to the left of the windows.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh, Hawick. We passed through only stopping at Weensland Filling Station on the way out of town. The “highlight” was using the men’s room around the back. It was an emergency and I still considered other options.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see it once or twice a month, mainly in northern clubs and the odd free house. But given I mainly visit Good Beer Guide pubs, it’s probably more common than you’d think, particularly in Yorkshire pubs.


  4. Some nice 60s or 70s tongue and groove panelling there. One advantage of many bars in Scotland being independently-owned free houses is that they don’t end up being wrecked by brewers or pubcos every five years in line with the latest interior design fad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was much cheaper than the proper panelling formed of wood panels but such tongue and groove panelling is longer lasting and much more pleasing to the eye than the red flock wallpaper that M&B thought appropriate for their lounges in the 60s and 70s, and as we get further into the twenty-first century it might not be long before such a 60s or 70s interior makes the National Inventory as has the incredible Laurieston Bar across in Glasgow.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sam Smith’s beers can be spotted on draught in several of Glasgow’s happening music venues: Stereo had the wheat beer, Broadcast two or three lines and, spotted just two days ago, the Extra Stout in The Hug and Pint, home of pan-Asian modern creative vegan cuisine. Not sure what they were charging for it, but the Drygate beers were north of a fiver (and they still had Tennent’s, £3.95). https://www.thehugandpint.com/


  6. “All the people are in the Spoons”

    And whilst there, probably in their cups as well. 🙂

    “Hawick family turned to look at the Spoons & turned to stone”

    I’m guessing Carrie Nation was somehow involved. 😉

    “Spot Joanna”

    Easy! She’s the one inna wig.


    And it’s chock-a-block with Hornsholes and Mosstroopers!


    It was the throw pillows that made you swoon I bet. 🙂

    “I didn’t want to leave.”

    High praise indeed.


    PS – just wanted to say your phone takes very nice “dusk” photos. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely pub, and is that proper tartan (at least on some of the seats)?

    Almost enjoyed that fine looking pint with you Martin (I wish) – creamy head and contiguous* lacings…

    *appropriate scientific terminology…

    Liked by 1 person

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