Slowly but surely, my knowledge of the UK increases every year.

In 2022, I can even tell you about Chilbolton in the Test Valley. You’ll note the recent National Pub of the Year lurking somewhere about.

Here’s what Wiki says (I just donated a tenner to them on their 377th request so my conscience was clear).

Chilbolton is a village and civil parish in Hampshire, England, near Stockbridge.. Its most notable feature is the Chilbolton Observatory situated on the disused RAF Chilbolton airfield. The parish church of St Mary the Less dates back to the 12th century, on the site of an earlier wooden church. The River Test runs through Chilbolton Common. Chilbolton is recorded in the Domesday Book under the name Cilbodentune.”

And that’s your lot. Blimey. No famous residents, no ancient dwile-flonking customs, no 1959 Derby winners. Nowt.

Until now, as the unassuming Abbots Mitre smashes into the Guide.

A half-full car park round the back, just me and other whispering couple in the pub. How dare people whisper when I want to report their domestic detail word-for-word to you ?

Nice dark wood panelling, a rather plain bar that says “We’re not posh“, and a couple of pumps. Sounds about right, but it’s all microbrew, so should I be worried ? To be honest, I always get worried when the pub gives tasting notes for the “local real ales”.

Not at all; the Andwell is cool and rich, a decent 3. I admire the brewery livery, hopefully genuine as you know how much I hate fake beer memorabilia.

Hang on. Is this pub lighter for real ?

Dunno. Who cares. The staff are lovely (all the staff have been great in 2022), they have chipolatas as a bar snack, that King John gets even better as it warms up a tad, and I decide I can forgive the C******y soundtrack.

Only joking. NOTHING can excuse C******y.


  1. The story goes that the pubco’s architect muddled the plans for this pub with one earmarked for downtown Portsmouth ..allegedly there is a bucolic thatched boozer lost in the estates of Pompey that should have been in leafy Chilbolton !


  2. We had the Bowman’s Swift One in there, a favoured beer of Malt and I, and it was in superb condition. A terrific recall to the Guide after many years absence. More on the observatory and church in your next post please. Know you will have been to see both.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Strongs of Romsey, were one of many breweries bought by Whitbread in the late 1960’s. So Chilbolton is in the right area, but then there is another beam, with the name Boddingtons splashed across it.

    Boddies were a much later acquisition for Whitbread, and being based in Manchester, had no connection with Hampshire.

    As you point out, Whitbread did similar things in Kent, and Fremlins was the brewery they acquired, in that case.

    Hence my conclusion these stencilled names are fake – even though they are quite a nice touch.

    Liked by 1 person

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