Oooh.  Rare Hothouse Flowers reference there.  Second LP, the one that Clarkson owns.

I’ve been staying in the Brantwood B&B near Christchurch station, attempting to avoid a drunk bloke from York. You would too.


I haven’t quite got the full picture of Christchurch yet, but it’s clearly a popular place.  Three of the four folk I spoke to at breakfast were considering a move there.

It reminds me a bit of Abingdon, though neighbouring Bournemouth is no Oxford.  Apart from the Priory, it lacks great architecture, but looks the part on a sunny February morning when you’re not working.

First signs of Spring ?
Another Christchurch fan

Attractive church, good for twitchers and sailors, half the price of Sandbanks.

And quite a lot of curry.

Dead pub revived for curry

The centre has a bit more substance than Eastleigh, but feels a bit outdated. Most of the visitors are gentlefolk who like it that way.

Ye Olde…

There’s one craft beer bar, and what appeared to be a Dire Straits themed micro.

Gund for Private Investigators

The cultural highlight seems to be a visit from Dennis Wise next week.  I hope Dennis can fix that Kevin Rowland style moustache before then.


I was only wandering round town for half an hour before the trip to Wool, but I succumbed to the questionable charms of the Thomas Tripp, a pub so unremarkable I declined to bore you with it after my visit back in August.   I’m all heart.

What’s wrong with the Dorset flag ?

There’s so few Ringwood* (or Badger or Palmers) outlets in the Guide you can justify revisits. Last year I found a busy dining pub filled with 30-somethings with cardigans listening to jazz, and an average pint of Best.

This time it looked a bit spartan, and the Six Nations tat (and Rugby World Cup 2015 inflatables) does it no favours.  Edwyn Starr sang “War”, and for the next month it really will be a battle to find a southern pub without rugger bores on a Saturday.  Just ask Si.

Oh no

The Best was marginally better on Monday lunchtime (NBSS 3+).  My notes say “robust“, whatever that means.

The two on the right would be plenty

Still too many high tables to be pubby, though the Old Boys at the bar were suggesting this is as pubby as it gets in Christchurch.

But of course, a dreadful toilet pun can rescue the dullest of dull dining pubs.  Ladies and Gentleman, I give you…


*Yes I know it’s Marston’s but you know what I mean.



40 thoughts on “CHRISTCHURCH HELLS

  1. Your “Dead pub revived for curry” photo got me thinking that if a pub is destined to go out of business, there are certain specific replacement businesses that might take the edge off it for you. Have you ever seen a former pub turned into a Chinese takeaway?


    1. They definitely exist, and most likely to be a restaurant primarily (one in Cambridge and one in Histon spring to mind).

      I’m distinctly unsentimental about saving pubs that people don’t use. Berating pub companies for closing places you visit twice a year is just selfish.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That’s true. The nearest ex-pub to me has been a curry house for 20 years. I guess, Chinatowns apart, Indian restaurants are much more numerous than Chinese, the reverse for takeaways.


    2. The Bendigo in Sneinton, Nottingham became a curry place, much to the relief of law-abiding citizens for a two-mile radius.

      I suppose that means that it could become a pub once more in principle, just as the reactor at Chernobyl might yet be fired up again.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Best of all is my nearest pub which has been taken on by Nepalese folk who have kept on two real ales, one of them now Banks’s Amber Bitter.
      The Bar is unchanged but the Lounge ( which previously was only used much for wakes as it’s not far from the crematorium ) is effectively a restaurant offering the best Nepalese and Indian food this side of Asia and at very reasonable prices.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Martin,
        Thankfully you offer the wider picture.
        I was only thinking of the pubs.
        Bournemouth has only the Cricketers I would want to return to ( and the Dean Park Inn – like a very up market Lost Dene – on the edge of town where I stayed ) while Oxford would need two days at a brisk pace.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mention of the Lost Dene means I can work out this is Paul. What fun anonymization is !

        I think Simon (BRAPA) and I felt the same about the Cricketers, as close as Bournemouth gets to Manchester !


      3. You have to hear this to the end…

        The pub life conversation clip was recorded at the Blue Boar, Chipping Norton. Yesterday.


      4. Sounds OK on my MacBook Martin, but everything’s better at 11. That was released to celebrate the breathalyser’s introduction, incidentally.


  2. As I mentioned in this post, the Thomas Tripp does appear to be the best of a rather uninspiring crop of pubs in Christchurch.

    There seems to be a lot of resistance on the ground to renaming Ringwood Best as “Razorback.” Entirely understandable.

    In Christchurch, I stayed at a guest house on the same road as the Branksome, where I had to send my breakfast bacon back as it was virtually raw 😦 The owner seemed a bit huffy about it…


    1. There’s a strip of traditional guest houses on that road, two minutes walk from the station. I can highly recommend the Branksome, whose bacon and coffee was spot-on (and the WiFi better than most hotels).


      1. I think it was there (The Saxon Ale House) when I visited, but only being there for one night time was limited. It’s worth a visit for the attractive area round the Priory and the Quay. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before on here, but Christchurch Priory is the longest parish church in England.


  3. Glad to see you enjoyed one of the South’s finest retirement towns (except for Worthing). Even the squirrel looks a bit elderly.

    Also good to see that seeing Dennis in retirement costs much more than it did to watch him on the pitch! (His eyes don’t seem that wobbly in the photo do they…?)

    Tip – don’t choose the local ubiquitous ale – nobody else does… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly I’m obliged to choose the beer with the blandest name and pumpclip; it’s the law !

      Will there be a beer called “Wobbly Eyes”. Do you remember the Greene King “Demon Eyes” from about 1997 (pre-General Election) ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s great Martin- would like to meet up with if I can.

        Lovely sunny day out in Southampton today – did a Spoons, the Guide Dog, the Cricketers and the Crammed Inn and great beers all afternoon – blog posts on the way… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 55 quid seems steep just to listen to Dennis’s ramblings,even if there is a bit of finger food and a drink thrown in.
    I remember talking to his agent many years ago – a Jewish wideboy who called everyone Bubellah because he couldn’t remember their names – and he bemoaned the fact that as Dennis was so thick he could never get him any work on TV.
    ” As a player he was okay for a few words grabbed in the tunnel immediately after a game but any more than that and you could actually see the cogs in his brain working,Bubellah.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. At least the Tripp still uses the proper pumpclips for Ringwood. Back then it was brewed, now it’s crafted. Only tourists ask for Razorback, us locals ask for a pint of Best.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I thought you would have stuck with your allegiance to Marston’s PLC and called it Razorback? The name change was on their watch and commensurate with the, in my opinion, silly name changes of some of their other brands products. I wonder how many drinkers really know that Ringwoods are Marston’s PLC in disguise?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Silly names is obviously a disease spreading from the ‘crafty’ breweries. At least they are faithful to some of their sensible names – like Boondoggle 🙂


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