Another year, another trip to Andover.
If Newbury is the Newmarket of the South, then I guess that Andover is its Haverhill*, a commuter town enclosed by light industry and surrounded by beauty, a place you have to make some effort to get to know.
I couldn’t be bothered to get to know it any better, to be honest. Just a quick walk from the station, a tick, and back out again.
I was using the GBG app to guide me via the Guide pubs;
the Spoons, the ancient Angel ?
All those pubs I’d made such effort to visit over the last 5 years, ALL gone ?
More to the point, where’s my Andover Tap , the GBG21 new entry I’d failed to do twice previously ?
Well, it’s still there, but moved a few yards up the road from a shop conversion to an ancient Wadworth’s pub shell, so it’s lost its lost its little red and black dot on the App. At this very moment the GBG Tickers 37th convention are meeting to debate whether they need to revisit it or not if they went to the Lamb in 1988.
In its new home it’s seemingly open ALL DAY from 11:00 (not Monday, nothing opens Monday), which is most un-micro like.
At noon I’m the only customer, and the folk there seem pre-occupied with deliveries, so I don’t get anyone to chat to, but I do get a choice of seat, I guess.
Let’s take the one in the corner, shall we ?
Bit twee for the Mudg(i)es, but it’s comfortable, and when you’re 57 comfort comes before first.
Some quirky stuff to look at, including this rare Test Valley dispense mechanism. I think it’s foot pedal operated.
My half of Crafty comes by pump, and seems a bit thin at first but improves over time to a respectable NBSS 3. You really need to let your beers settle for the flavours come out, folks. About 3.7 minutes is ideal.
And it’s always best to eat your grilled cheese toastie beforehand.
* I compared it to Haverhill in 2016, I note, so at least I’m consistent.