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Secret Drinker reviews the Pyewipe Inn in Lincoln





It’s that time of year when our attention turns to long, boozy afternoons in the sunshine. And with that in mind I decided it should be my mission to try to find you the perfect beer garden.

So, of course, the past few weeks have given us nothing but the type of weather that makes Noah look nervously at his workbench and double check he can still count to two.

Refusing to have spirits dampened, I recently spotted a gap in the clouds and ventured out to the Pyewipe Inn to see if the place was still an al fresco delight.

The Pyewipe Inn
The Pyewipe Inn

It’s been at least 15 years since I last visited this family-run pub-restaurant a 25-minute stroll away from Lincoln city centre, spending an enjoyable day on the bank of the Foss Dyke watching the ramblers and narrowboat folk arrive and lustily quench their thirst.

Unfortunately, rocking up by car is a less scenic experience along a bumpy, narrow lane with few passing places, plenty of speed bumps and an imposing tunnel. It feels like the journey will never end and makes you question exactly why you agreed to get in the car with Peter Clemenza.

But when you eventually pull up you instantly realise it’s worth the effort.

You can arrive by car, on foot or by boat
You can arrive by car, on foot or by boat

Beyond the spacious car park you are greeted by a summertime drinker’s delight, rows and rows of bankside benches and, a little further on, the outdoor patio area.

To the far side of the cosy, unimposing white hostelry there is also a row of tipis available for weddings or private hire, in the opposite direction a lodge for anyone fancying an overnight stay.

While The Pyewipe Inn may look unassuming from the outside, the interior is anything but.

Inside the Pyewipe Inn, a cosy place for a pint or meal
Inside the Pyewipe Inn, a cosy place for a pint or meal
The Pyewipe Inn is a 25 minute walk from Lincoln city centre
The Pyewipe Inn is a 25 minute walk from Lincoln city centre

Pink benches and purple neon lights lift the grey, faux-tile wallpaper and black-painted wood, while old meets new as bright, plastic flowers, metallic slogans and bold light fittings share space with traditional trinkets, from coal buckets to wall plates.

You may remember me popping a few blood vessels at the interior of Upstairs at the Embassy not too long ago.

Now, there may be parallels with the colour schemes, decor and neon lighting. But while that coastal spot got everything wrong the Pyewipe got everything right - the design adding to the experience rather than overtaking it.

The Pyewipe Inn mixes modern and traditional looks well
The Pyewipe Inn mixes modern and traditional looks well
The bar has a vibrant look
The bar has a vibrant look

But anyway, we’re here to talk beer gardens.

Just like inside, tables were available to both drinkers and diners and it was clear serious thought had gone into the customer’s experience.

Read more Secret Drinker reviews

Yeah, benches are benches, but the patio tables and chairs were the no-expenses-spared, comfy types that are easy to sink into. How many times have you plonked yourself on cheap, square-ended patio furniture and had to wiggle your backside in the search for the perfect sweet spot that doesn’t exist.

There's plenty of outdoor seating at the Pyewipe Inn
There's plenty of outdoor seating at the Pyewipe Inn
Off to the pub or a mob hit?
Off to the pub or a mob hit?

While overcast on my visit, it was still warm enough to sit and enjoy a drink outside and watch the boats, the ramblers and a young family prepare their paddle boards.

Supped up and ready to leave we joined a five-car queue hoping to head back down the lane, blocked off by police officers having a rather loud exchange with a driver who had appeared to question why they were holding up the traffic as they chatted with some local kids.

Part of the impressive outdoor patio area
Part of the impressive outdoor patio area
I had a pint of The Stonewall Inn... it was cracking
I had a pint of The Stonewall Inn... it was cracking

Probably asking them if they’d seen Carlo Rizzi.

The Pyewipe was just as good as I remembered. But next time I’m coming by boat.

The PYEWIPE INN, SAXILBY ROAD, LINCOLN, LN1 2BG

DECOR: Indoors the place is cosy yet vibrant, traditional yet modern. But the place’s real charm is its outdoor drinking options. The tipis look quite fun too. 4/5

DRINK: I had a pint of The Stonewall Inn IPA (ABV 4.3%) by Brooklyn Brewery, complete with its rainbow logo. I don’t care what side of the culture war you’re on, this was a cracking drink. 4/5

PRICE: At £6 it’s on the steep side. But I’d be willing to pay it again for that tipple. 3/5

ATMOSPHERE: The place was reasonably busy inside and out with a nice mix of folk. Definitely one to try on a hotter summer’s day. 3/5

STAFF: A crew of young bar staff shared jokes in between busying themselves and were polite, helpful and chatty. 3/5

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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.



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