16th March 2023.

Enough of pubs, let’s focus on Grade II listed Anglican churches on quaintly named Lincolnshire villages. More importantly, let’s liven up the relentless 2:20 hours journey from Sheffield to Waterbeach with a stop in a place I’ve never stopped before.

Quite why I’d never been to tiny Burton-le-Coggles before last Thursday is a mystery that will never be solved, but I guess you’re more interested in what that white blob over Swayfield is. Believe me, you don’t want to know.

Five miles south of the new Grantham relief road, the road to Burton allows a stop at Easton Walled Gardens, where I spent a whole £5 on some hyacinth plants for my parents for their 62ns wedding anniversary.

And then I thought I’d better visit the pub.

There aren’t many pubs in South Kesteven to start with, and there’s even less that sell real ale and haven’t graced the GBG.

But the Cholmeley Arms, which sounds like it’s escaped from west Cheshire, is a winner of “Four In A Bed” (don’t ask, Dave) and has received a visit from the King, the ACTUAL King. So I doubt they care about GBG tickers.

One photo will tell all you need know about the Cholmeley, run by the Easton estate;

The only entrance is from the car park, tellingly. Three rooms, two for gentlefolk dining and a bar that served as a waiting/reception area for expectant diners.

I guess you’d have predicted the jam jars on the bar, and I bet you can guess the hidden middle cask. Go on.

I rang the bell, and in due course a uniformed staff member left the profitable business of presenting the pudding menu to attend to my request for a half of the Grainstore.

At least I had a seat near the fire. Note the 17th century musket originally used to shoot visiting craft beer salesmen.

Oh. I’ve been spotted by the lady drinking a pint of Ribena (national drink of South Kesteven).

Rude to use your phone in a pub, lady. But it’s not a pub, really, thought the Grainstore Spring beer was cool and foamy (NBSS 3 at a push) and the staff were as polite as they are in Brunning & Price. A very well-run dining pub.

If it ever gets in the Guide I’ll be laughing, but really I came for the hyacinths and the history in St Thomas a Becket.

Lincolnshire may have rubbish pubs, but the churches are great and they often leave them open so you can admire the sculptures,

and the stained glass.

An exercise in simplicity, though I wouldn’t want to sit on those pews for a long sermon.

I did stay a while and explore the wonderful collection of account books spanning the last century,

In 1926 there was more income from the Cribbage and Whist drive than the collection plate, but all of it was seemingly squandered on sacramental wine. Should have used York Guzzler; no-one would have noticed.


      1. “Twas ever thus, Martin.

        Incidentally I see that Google – at least – have dropped the “le” from the village name. Must be brexit.


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