Town and Country Pickering & Alandale review:

Town and Country Pickering & Alandale review:

Town and Country only make a couple of traditional wood burning stoves. The Pickering and Alandale. The Pickering is effectively the widescreen version of the smaller Alandale, but the Pickering also has the advantage of a considerably bigger potential output, than its advertised 5KW. They are both well made, tough British stoves that are entirely focused on wood burning. They have the provision of direct air, stay cool handles and a top flue outlet only.


Lighting the stove: 4/10

This is quite a big stove, so does need a good amount of fuel. It is best to fill up the stove quite a bit so that you don't have to keep playing with the stove, as it will spill a bit of smoke until it is up to temperature.


Cleanness: 9/10

This stove runs at a maximum of 82% efficiency and the glass stays very clean, even avoiding the dreaded misting that some high efficiency stoves can cause. It obviously has all the obligatory approvals, and thankfully you can remove the DEFRA kit with a small adjustment to the back of the stove if you do not require it. It also runs overnight whilst maintaining a clean glass which is another big tick.


Controls & Controllability: 8/10

Smoke spillage is a bit of a problem, so you can avoid this by re-loading the stove only when it has fully burned down. The handle is very nicely finished, but if I'm being picky it doesn't quite have the refined clunk that I would have liked to see. I'm also not a big fan of the "music note" tool for turning the stove up and down. It looks cool, but isn't all that practical, however if you opt for their remote control unit along with the direct air kit, then the stove is controlled by remote which is awesome. I tested the stove with the DEFRA kit installed but without it, the stove is ultra controllable so aside from a couple of minor points this due a very high score!


Fuel economy & Burn time: 8/10

This stove can run for 8-10 hours on a single net of kiln dried logs. It also performed superbly in regard to overnight or long burns. It made it very easy to keep going and use as a more functional tool, this definitely added to its uses and made it easy to enjoy as a serious tool as well as just a back up and focal point.


What I thought:

This stove is a really hard one to place or compare to others, because on the one hand I think it could be one of the best stoves I've used. It performs at a very high level, it's super controllable, economic and very competent as a serious use stove. It's also British built, tough and looks really smart. What lets it down is relatively minor, the steel door harbours ash, its low log retainer allows ash to fall out the front, and its 3 baffle plates causes smoke spillage unless you only re-load it when it has completely burned down. I still came away from using it thinking "that stove is damn good", but it like everything else I've tested, still hasn't given me perfection. 

Perhaps I'm getting a little too picky, it is still just a metal box for lighting fires in.


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