Time for a Spoons in Ards before we check-in to Bangor, Mrs RM ?”

Do Ards, and there’s only 3 (plus Donaghadee just in case it restores cask) left to do and I can pink in the whole of N.I. !

Why not, it’s on the way, we’ve never been to Ards/Newtownards/N’ards and there are obviously few things better than a run-down Spoons to lift the soul.

Now, I didn’t have high hopes for Ards, think Chatteris or Atherton and you’re in the right territory.

The aerial shot does it few favours,

but at ground level, amid the drizzle, I do at least find some startling fonts for Matthew Lawrenson,

and some pub tiling for all of you.

I think Harp is a Brew Dog craft beer,

Anyway, 3 things to bring you here;

1.Bunelos donuts (not tested).

2. Street art centred on Rodin’s masterpiece, something to do with the town’s role in dispute resolution.

3. The aforementioned Spoons, which is a corker.

Gentlefolk dominate, their orders Old Speckled Hen, Bells and San Miguel.

A better choice than some English Spoons, and all at that “priced to sell” £2.10.

The barman was cheery and chatty and highly amused I gave him £1.10 for a half; I think he would have chased me to Bangor (N.I.) with that 5p change.

Several pints were pulled, mostly the Speckly Hen, interestingly (or perhaps not).

But was it any good ?; my previous experience of real ale in Spoons was catastrophic, beer so bad you’d NEVER drink cask again. In Ballymena, the young chap actually did say “It’s real ale, it’s supposed to taste like that”.

Well, Whitewater Maggie’s Leap it was splendid; (very) cool and chewy (NBSS 3+). Let the lacings reveal.

If I said it was in the top three (3) drops of cask on the trip you might imagine I was damning it with faint praise. And you’d be right.


  1. Real ale does not travel well. I love Belfast, but I stuck to safe Guinness on my last visit. I travelled through Newtownards on one of them tour buses. The murals were terrific. I spent the night in a bar on the Shankill which will never ever make the guide!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It would be good to see some classic BBBs like that in my local Spoons rather than the usual diet of “astringent microbrewery pales”.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Just to let you know Martin, I’m experiencing difficulties with the “Like” button on your blog. Every time I click on it, a box rapidly opens up, before vanishing just as fast. The software does not accept my “Like.”

    I’m not sure if it’s a problem at my end, but I thought I’d let you know, all the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not currently accepting any “Likes” from Kent, Paul, but if you could walk over the Sussex border to Frant I’m sure that your “Likes” will be recorded. And as I get zero pence for every “Like” I’ll be glad to sponsor you to do that. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It seems to be a WordPress issue, as I’ve experienced the same problem on Boak & Bailey’s site.

        Have tried logging in to WordPress again to see if that fixes the issue.


      2. I wouldn’t worry about the likes as long as you can comment, Paul. I don’t even notice the lines but I get notification of comments which is what I care about.


  4. Sorry I’ve not commented in ages, Martin; I’d say it’s down to us Yanks being unreliable, but I know you’ve got other American readers who prove very much otherwise!

    You must have to bite your tongue when some young barman tells you what cask is supposed to taste like. “I’ve had cask at more pubs than there are minutes in a day. But go on, by all means.” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve made a note in my class register to record your appearance today and will set extra homework ;-0

      I was in the pub in Deal when the Southworths were told they were wrong about a duff pint !

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That Bishops Finger reminds me of the pint I had in Mabels Tavern on the way to Eastbourne.
    I see that across the water you can still get Harp, the 1970s lager in all Banks’s, Greene King, Courage and S&N pubs

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And I think the original recipe, a rare chance of drinking a stronger beer of yesteryear.


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