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Secret Drinker reviews the Three Horseshoes in Leverton and Bricklayers Arms in Old Leake





Every drinker likes a BOGOF offer, so I think it’s only fair I get in on the action.

And for my first twofer I’m going to offer you a couple of pubs just one mile - but a world - apart.

The first rule of the A52 is that no matter where in Lincolnshire - from Muston to Mablethorpe - you happen to be using this stretch of road, the car in front is tootling along at least 10mph below the speed limit.

The Bricklayers Arms
The Bricklayers Arms
The Three Horseshoes
The Three Horseshoes

As coma-enducingly painful as this is, it does offer you the opportunity to rubberneck all the pubs as you pass and make mental notes about the ones you think could be worth a try.

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They say that in any city you’re never more than six feet away from a rat. Well, on this very flat and very cabbagey stretch of the A52 between Skegness and Boston it appears you’re never more than six feet away from a pint of XB.

Yes, this is very much the heart of Batemans country.

The bar at the Bricklayers Arms
The bar at the Bricklayers Arms
The bar at the Three Horseshoes
The bar at the Three Horseshoes

A recent trip back inland afforded me the time to stop off at a couple of boozers, The Bricklayers Arms in Old Leake and the Three Horseshoes in Leverton.

From the big red and recognisable Batemans sign outside to the sale of art on the walls, there are a number of similarities between these two places. Both also appear to rely heavily on the sale of food.

And when I went in on this afternoon, both were very quiet and waiting for things to pick up in the evening.

A pint of Moretti at the Bricklayers Arms
A pint of Moretti at the Bricklayers Arms
A pint of Cruzcampo in the Three Horseshoes
A pint of Cruzcampo in the Three Horseshoes

But despite these similarities, you couldn’t find two more contrasting pubs if you tried.

The Bricklayers is an extremely polished venue, with its neatly filled glass cabinets, regimented empty glasses decorating the high shelves and soft background music.

The comfortable, uniform seating, regular ring of the phone to request bookings and very sweet smells coming from the kitchen made it clear this is very much a diner’s venue.

Inside the Bricklayers Arms
Inside the Bricklayers Arms
Seating at the Three Horseshoes
Seating at the Three Horseshoes

Indeed, the few groups that did come through the doors - young families and elderly couples - had more of a hunger than a thirst on them and took to the tables while I commandeered one of the two comfy leather sofas afforded the drinkers.

The only hint of anarchy was when two very small, very fluffy and very friendly pub dogs popped in for a cheery sniff about on their way to a quick run about in the spacious beer garden, complete with brightly-decorated climbing frame.

Read more Secret Drinker reviews here

The Horseshoes is clearly another venue that prides itself on its food, judging by the bar manager who greeted me with a thick menu in her hand and proceeded to tell me how popular the meals and the breakfast buffets are long after I’d made it clear I was only there for a pint.

The Bricklayers Arms decking
The Bricklayers Arms decking
The outdoor area at the Three Horseshoes
The outdoor area at the Three Horseshoes

You can’t fault a solid sales pitch.

In contrast to the Bricklayers, the Horseshoes is a little rougher round the edges, but has its own charm.

The furniture is very working men’s club, but there’s nothing wrong with that as the place attempts to lure in a livelier crowd with its dart board and free - yes, FREE - pool table.

Outside at the Bricklayer's Arms
Outside at the Bricklayer's Arms
The pool room at the Three Horseshoes
The pool room at the Three Horseshoes

Rap and dance music played loudly on the big screen TVs in the main bar/restaurant area while the pool room, with its green and pleasant baize, was very much a nod to the patriot.

A St George’s cross hung from the wall alongside signed memorabilia from a Geoff Hurst shirt to a Ricky Gervais photo from the good old David Brent days.

The chat was less refined and opinions more stated in the Horseshoes and the friendly banter with the staff was a good laugh that set me up nicely for the slow, laborous drive ahead of me stuck behind Miss Daisy and the tractors.

Art for sale at the Bricklayers Arms
Art for sale at the Bricklayers Arms
A signed Ricky Gervais photo at the Three Horseshoes
A signed Ricky Gervais photo at the Three Horseshoes

Two opposite pubs, but both managed to attract in their own ways.

And I suppose that’s the beauty of having choice, it means you can always find the place which suits you best.

THE BRICKLAYERS ARMS, WAINFLEET ROAD, OLD LEAKE, PE22 9HT

DECOR: Very polished and neat. A pleasant pub 3/5

DRINK: A pint of Birra Moretti (ABV 4.6%), one of the better popular pump beers. 3/5

PRICE: £5.95 was a little on the steep side for my liking. 2/5

ATMOSPHERE: A quiet pub, suited more to the diner. 3/5

STAFF: A very smiley barmaid and well-spoken landlord were very attentive and good company. 4/5

THE THREE HORSESHOES, MAIN ROAD, LEVERTON, PE22 0AU

DECOR: The place was a little rough around the edges but is was warm and comfortable. The free pool was a nice touch. 2/5

DRINK: A pint of Cruzcampo (ABV 4.8%), arguably the best drink under the Heineken umbrella. 3/5

PRICE: At £4.25 a pint I thought this was reasonable. 3/5

ATMOSPHERE: I found myself nodding along to the music coming from the TVs. Not a Missy Elliott convert yet, but still… 3/5

STAFF: The bar manager and chef, who popped in for a chat and an attempt to twist my arm to try the food, were extremely sociable and good fun. 4/5

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



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