Yes, this morning I thought you probably needed a picture of oversized ladies underwear in Andover market. Probably a metaphor for something.

To prove this blog isn’t computer generated, here’s the result from the Andover etc parliamentary elections overnight. Tells you all you need to know.

NW Hants

I arrived in town on Saturday to be pounced on by 3 different political groups. I told all 3 I’d be voting for them, including the omnipresent Jehovah’s Witnesses (who would actually do a decent job).


Yes, only 10.30am

I feel like I know Andover by now, having been mighty impressed in 2016 and 2018.

But somehow I’d missed The Travelling Cupcake’s great font,

The follow-up single to Martika’s Kitchen was less successful

and the posh building housing the discount store.

As always, look up

One of the discount stores, anyway. For what you presume is a well-off town, Andover appears a succession of bargain bazaars. The Haverhill of the South-West.

I’m not knocking it. When Si gets here he’ll be able to buy his exotic Hull Tigers rug and have a celebratory bounce in the ball pool after collecting three or four Guide ticks.

Actually, what is that thing ?

On second thoughts, perhaps the bounce isn’t a good idea.

Andover isn’t craft central, thought the new Andover Tap may change all that.

Cute sign

I’d have popped in for a pre-emptive half (“Loads of real ale” said the owner when he caught me snapping outside) but I had trains to catch and my two (2) new ticks were both early risers, which will make BRAPA warm to the town already.

The Spoons opens even earlier, of course, but is taking a rest from the Guide this year. Possibly because the Eggs Benedict is a bit below par; the pub is still a cracker.

Invisible muffins
Gotta love Spoons

My first newbie is one of those Stonegate pubs that we’re allowed to like now we get CAMRA discount in them (heh ! when do I get my vouchers ?).

I can imagine Stafford Paul crossing that road now

The Redbridge looks a little smarter than the Spoons, the breakfast menu is tighter,

Stonegate life

and you can make table reservations to watch Burton Albion v Hull Tigers on TV here in 2024.

Book ahead, BRAPA

The beer range is huge, bigger than the Spoons, though admittedly it includes two varieties of Doom Bar and Proper Job.

Glass says “Beer” helpfully

This is my week for ordering only soapy homebrew, so I go for Penton Park’s Hastings IPA, which delights my prejudices. Foamy nothingness, NBSS 2.5.

Two blokes discuss the meaning (or perhaps spelling) of “gullible“, and ten minutes later my half is transformed.

Oooh, what’s this, a bit of depth, 3+ ?” I ask myself silently, and realise Mark Crilley will want to know how this is possible, and that I won’t know. A pint of London Pride always starts off OK and deteriorates.

A decent GBG entry, as is the White Hart, the smart hotel in town.

Why not stay here and make a week of it

What a joy to see a traditional hotel bar in the Guide.

What a joy to be drinking good Pedi at 11am.


What a joy to be told exactly how much it cost while it’s being poured, rather than after with an outstretched palm.

And what a joy to hear a considerate barmaid concerned for her customers.

Is the music too loud for you, John ?”

John was fine

They played “Living on a prayer” and “Hold Me Now” (for Mark C) and Andover made perfect sense.

The table next to me ordered a bowl of pigs in blankets. It felt like Christmas had started.


21 thoughts on “ANDOVER – PIGS IN BLANKETS

  1. The Angel is half decent but I think it is oppressed somewhat by actually being in Andover and what that tends to bring clientele-wise, that’s how it seemed to me on two separate visits anyway. That said I’m sure there are some nice people who live in Andover.


    1. I think you phrased that very delicately, Citra. It has a lot in common with the remaining one bar boozers in central Basingstoke, which is a bit like Offerton for the benefit of our Stockport readers.


  2. As you probably know, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are a fixture at the foot of Manchester Piccadilly station approach, so running straight into their stall outside Copenhagen central station when I arrived there from the airport last week felt very like being at home.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure other forum members would be as impressed with the architecture as I was with the “characters” and beer. But if you do get down there I’d be happy to meet you and Citra and anyone else.


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