Another in my series “Visit the homes of Britain’s great Boring Brown Bitters and convince you they’re still great“.

Part 1 of the long-awaited Skeggy Trip made a rare trip into South Holland (Fenland version), having picked up top Beer & Balti Buddy Charles from Dereham.

The Road to Hell, via Hell, from Hell

It’s a grim trip around the Wash.  Now, I’m all for an HS2 investment that will enable BRAPA to get from Leeds to the Midlands to tick pubs quicker and annoy people in Buckinghamshire.  But I’d also like to see a toll-free three lane motorway from Hunstanton to Skegness to reduce my own ticking times for Lincolnshire pubs.  Please.

The A47 and A16 are grim, but Boston is intriguing, and once you get into the mysterious area of East Lindsey there’s even a hint of hills.

The Wolds

And a vast number of Red Lions.

Red Lion.PNG

You take your chances when you turn up at remote village pubs on Thursday lunchtime in early March.  And not just dodging the residue of the Beast from the East.


And the resultant potholes, the curse of our age.


Raithby’s Red Lion has four cars in the car park and three people leaving as we arrive at 1pm.

Red Lion, Raithby

The whole village would fit in the pub, a cosy, rambling, affair that has resisted the gastropub route we will no doubt find has afflicted Skegness when we eventually get there.

Batemans in a picture

It’s very 1970s, and therefore very Lincolnshire, with a simplicity long lost in Cambridgeshire but hanging on in Fenland.

Note lack of serviettes

We had the tiny bar area to ourselves. sitting next to a fire powered by (according to Charles) kinetic energy.


Our chatty Landlord has escaped from Bamford in the Peaks to run this free house; presumably a man who dislikes heights.

Proper Landlord

He keeps his gorgeous handpumps shining.


XB was the only beer, with a guest not available as the van from Masham (clue !, clue !) couldn’t get through the snow.

It was the best XB I’d had in years; cool, rich and with a nice head of foamy scum.

Foamy halves

As a noted beer sommelier, I’ve enjoyed educating Charles on the finer points of beer; the importance of scum, how you make lacings look like Renaissance paintings, and the status of Punk IPA as the “pinnacle of the brewers’ craft”.

Charles walks very fast

No sandwiches (“there’s no call for them”), but the lunchtime menu was a bargain;

Exemplar simple menu

To make things simple, two steak and kidney puddings for £12. It was a huge plate of comfort food, the delicate presentation reminiscent of my visit to Medomsley.

Proper food

It gets better.  Rare ’70s Kenny Rogers and Nat King Cole tracks reminded you of a time before punk, a quiet only interrupted by our host occasionally asking our travel plans.

“Skegness ?”

“You’re going to Skegness ?!”

“Be careful lads”















    1. The Lincolnshire Wolds have the weirdest place names in Britain – Ashby Puerorum, Hagworthingham, Skendleby Psalter, Belchford, Strubby etc.

      The A17 is mind-numbingly dull, and due to the lack of dual carriageway and the large number of wagons carrying agricultural produce progress is often slow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was convinced you’d made a couple of those up, Mudgie, but apparently not !

        I just drove Charles back to Dereham from Skegness and can only agree that this is Dullsville (not many roadside pubs, either). Th


      2. See A Lincolnshire Tale by John Betjeman:

        Kirkby with Muckby-cum-Sparrowby-cum-Spinx
        Is down a long lane in the county of Lincs.
        And often on Wednesdays, well-harnessed and spruce,
        I would drive into Wiss over Winderby Sluice.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wot no gravy. Was there no call for it?

    Really good point about BBBs presented properly 😉.

    Re OS cartographers…I don’t think they went as far as naming villages, but they did write their name in cliff face markings. That’s what did the AA for copyright infringement. My useless fact of the day.


  2. Russ style comment coming up (from Southampton, England – not Canada)…

    “Visit the homes of Britain’s great Boring Brown Bitters and convince you they’re still great”
    I’m convinced….I really am…looks like a great pub/beer/food combination…

    If the pothole photo is the A16 I can see why you’re desperate for that motorway…:0

    “…I’ve enjoyed educating Charles…”

    Next lesson – how not to walk into my photographs…

    …”with a guest not available as the van from Masham (clue !, clue !) couldn’t get through the snow.”

    Black Sheep – the best clue is in the glass…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “And a vast number of Red Lions.”

    I recall reading somewhere that Red Lion is the most popular name in the UK for a pub.


    Ok, after looking at the map I have to ask what St. Peter did wrong around Toynton to get cast aside from the other Saints?

    “Batemans in a picture”

    Batemans was the starring brewery in episode 2 of the Beer Hunter series:

    “Note lack of serviettes”

    And cutlery. 🙂


    PS – “ourselves. siiting next to a fire”

    I think you must have sneezed whilst typing that. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, you must have CCTV access, Russ. I have been sneezing today. Actually more surprising I spelt serviettes right.

      What did St Peter do wrong ? Have you ever tried their bottles beers !


  4. “What did St Peter do wrong ? Have you ever tried their bottles beers !”

    Ah. Obviously he was expelled from Toynton All Saints due to not making cask beer and had to slink off to Toynton St Peter a little bit to the southeast. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I thought steak and kidney pudding only started in the north… somewhere like Oldham? Surely the time before punk was why punk started? And with no punk brewdog wouldn’t be as successful with their main beer….so indirectly Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis are responsible for the punk craft beer revolution 😀 great looking boozer and nice BBB


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