Home   Boston   Article

Subscribe Now

Secret Drinker reviews The Red Lion Inn in Stickford





Few pubs look as picture postcard perfect as the Red Lion Inn.

At first glance, with St Helen’s church opposite on this windy village road, you’re instantly struck by a glorious, timeless beauty.

This is little England from an era we’re told we should long for by politicians who weren’t there.

Is there a more picture perfect setting?
Is there a more picture perfect setting?

The sort of place where those cocksure Tommys would roll in and quickly get put in their place by the hardy locals called Peggy, ‘Arry and Reverend Cockering in one of those 1940s propaganda movies.

You know those old black and white photos you find in village pubs of the horse and cart delivering barrels from the brewery from magical days gone by? Well, if you take away the defibrillator (mentally, not physically - please!), that’s this street.

The beautiful red lion mural on the side of this building in Stickford, a swift drive from Spilsby, is a wonderful touch while the skeletal frame of a marquee in the adjacent garden hints that we’re about to embark on a lively summer period.

The Red Lion had a timeless feel
The Red Lion had a timeless feel
By the fireplace
By the fireplace

In through the door and dashes of red paint, beer mats stuck to the walls and an enjoyable ‘education is important but beer is importanter’ sign modernise the surroundings of this old traditional village pub of a bygone era.

There was nothing oldy worldie about the locals, predominantly a 20s-to-early-30s crowd who were hanging around the dart board, bawdily chatting amongst themselves as they took it in turns to toss their arrows.

A couple of thirsty pals, fresh from the farm with no time to change, their truck and trailor left out front, joined in.

A pint of Bunny Hop went down far too well
A pint of Bunny Hop went down far too well
The bar at the Red Lion
The bar at the Red Lion

Having studied those old war films, I quickly ordered drinks and allowed the barmaid to get back her banter with Peggy, ‘Arry and co as I took my pint to the other side of the room by the fireplace, above which there happened to be a couple of models of shirehorses pulling those aforementioned beer carts.

A nice touch in each corner were models of red lions. But it was when studying them I spotted it.

Dust. All over the statues.

The red lion statues were a nice touch. But they were covered in dust
The red lion statues were a nice touch. But they were covered in dust
The Red Lion in Stickford
The Red Lion in Stickford

Sadly, once I’d noticed it I noticed more around the place. And once it’s in your head you can’t let it go.

Read more Secret Drinker reviews.

Had I owned a pair of white gloves I’d have slapped them on and gone about the place doing my best snooty Jeeves impersonation.

In fairness, this is my only visit to the place to date and I may have caught it on a bad week. But I can only call it as I see it and first impressions always count.

I'm not sure what happens in the gents... or who is trying to justify what?
I'm not sure what happens in the gents... or who is trying to justify what?

With nature calling I spotted a poster of John Wayne with the words ‘never apologize and never explain’ hung in the gents which made me wonder exactly what goes on in this lavatory.

But that wasn’t the oddest thing about the loo which, itself, could have done with going a few rounds with a bottle of Cillit Bang.

Nope. That was a sign above the urinals reading ‘the Revie Stand’.

The Revie Stand. Revelry or critique?
The Revie Stand. Revelry or critique?
The gents could have done with a scrub
The gents could have done with a scrub

Was this put there by a football fan in testament to his side, or a rather scathing critique of old Don’s Leeds United? Either way, I imagine Brian Clough would have enjoyed a good tinkle here, young man.

I may have left the Red Lion confused by the meaning of the badge in the bogs, but one thing was for sure. This was a glorious looking pub… but it just needs a bloody good scrub.

Beer mats stuck to walls and red paint offered a little modern touch to this traditional village boozer
Beer mats stuck to walls and red paint offered a little modern touch to this traditional village boozer
Inside the Red Lion
Inside the Red Lion

THE RED LION INN, CHURCH ROAD, STICKFORD, PE22 8EP.

DECOR: Inside it’s a nice old traditional pub with some nuice touches, some bizarre signs in the gents and, on my visit, a bit too much dust. 3/5

DRINK: A pint of Bunny Hop (ABV 3.4%), a hazy pale ale by Purity. It went down far too well. 4/5

PRICE: I paid £8.85 for the pint of Bunny Hop and a pint of Madri, which I thought was good value. 3/5

ATMOSPHERE: Lively by the darts board, with a proper village pub feel. 3/5

STAFF: The barmaid served me and resumed her chat with the future Littlers and Bristows. 3/5

Click here to follow Secret Drinker on Twitter/X.

Do you agree with the secret drinker or have any suggestions where he should go next? Where is your favourite beer garden? Email secretdrinker@lincsonline.co.uk or comment below.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More