The blog reaches Scotland for the first of two long trips into the hospitable north of the GBG.

Look how green Scotland looks (or it did, before the last two days). A long slog to Hawick, (pronounced Hoik !, apparently) where I curse not doing the Bourtree when I was here in 2018. You should ALWAYS tick the Spoons that isn’t in the Guide; don’t bother with the micro, it won’t be there for long.

If you want to see what Hawick looks like at dusk you can read that post at your leisure.

We weren’t lingering in the Bourtree, despite the very un-Spoons like array of features.

Yes, darts and bingo and quizzes. There’s a lot more going on in the Hawick Spoons than the one in Saffron Walden. I think someone should ask Kemi Badenoch about THAT.

Not that there was any sign of action in a near empty cavern of a pub.

Note the generous beer range on the left, stretching beyond the Lothians to Somerset and Essex.

On the right hand side, the rather more distressed handpumps, including the obligatory Scottish broken pump far right.

I went for the Stewart Gold, so impressive lately, and lingered to enjoy the drama of a customer whose card was declined thrice. I think he’d already finished his pint of Tennents by the time his wife arrived at the bar with a fistful of change.

I plonked myself down on a table where the (same) barperson was sticking “RESERVED” signs, all the tables claimed by bingo folk in an hour’s time.

No rush, you’ve got an hour” she said, thinking I was moving. No, I was looking for a plant pot to tip my half.

Could I find a plant pot though ?

Of course not. I’ll have to write to Tim Martin and complain.


  1. I will take that beer experience over the experience of the bathroom at the Esso on the way out going north on the A698.


      1. Exeter (Imperial) and Buxton are the only proper gardens I know Tim has, and there’s a bit of one alongside Stafford’s Picture House.

        Liked by 1 person

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