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Secret Drinker reviews The Whichcote Arms in Osbournby





I’d not even made it to the bar at the Whichcote Arms before I was having my groin sniffed.

I’m sure we’ve all been fortunate enough to enjoy some random affection at bars over the years, but on this occasion my suitor was stone-cold sober.

Duke, a slim, dark and handsome, greyhound – or lurcher, or whatever, I’m not very good with breeds – had wandered over to say hello and, to be honest, I should have expected nothing else from a venue whose website wonderfully states ‘dogs are always welcome with well-behaved owners’.

The Whichcote Arms at Osbournby
The Whichcote Arms at Osbournby

But what I didn’t expect to see was that my new mate was also part of the decor at this pleasant country inn.

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Stuck across the immaculately-kept modern bar were a series of Polaroids of pooches of all shapes and sizes, their names written underneath in biro like some kind of Ace Ventura project wall.

“Every dog that comes in here gets their picture taken,” the barman told me as he poured a pint of Neck Oil.

The roll call of pooches can be seen on the bar
The roll call of pooches can be seen on the bar

‘Where everybody knows your dog’s name’ I found myself thinking to the Cheers theme tune.

No doubt you’ve drank at pubs and eaten at restaurant where the regulars’ plastered images are plastered all over the walls, but to celebrate our four-legged friends was a lovely touch that makes you instantly like the place.

But it's not just the mutts who give the Whichcote Arms it’s warm, friendly feel.

The bar area of the Whichcote Arms
The bar area of the Whichcote Arms
The refurb did a cracking job of the bar area
The refurb did a cracking job of the bar area

As I took my seat by the fireplace a young family of four finished their drinks, two pals at the bar chatted away and Duke got the occasional rub on the head from his owner in between sups as the barman held court while carrying out tasks.

By the door two young employees stood patiently, ready for the evening’s restaurant trade to arrive.

But if you weren’t that hungry don’t worry, the bar has a welcome selection of Pipers crisps and pork scratchings.

Crisps and scratchings in case you fancy a snack
Crisps and scratchings in case you fancy a snack

The eyecatching stone building was built by Sir Thomas Whichcote, one of the Whichcote Baronets which, despite my initial guess, wasn’t a Motown quartet but a family lineage created in 1660 to reward an ancestor for services to the exiled Charles II.

Fast forward 204 years and the seventh baronet – and third Thomas in a row – gave Osbournby this splendid building, which was refurbished last year. And what a cracking job they did.

Read more of the Secret Drinker’s reviews here

The well-lit bar and deep green colour scheme adds warmth to the room while the bar is nicely stocked with a range of favourite beers, a decent selection of gins and one of those London Essence machines that offers a selection of posh mixers which are all far too refined for my taste.

The bay window offers additional seating
The bay window offers additional seating

The refurb extended to the gents which was nice, clean and – a rare treat – actually warm for this time of year. Plus there’s the added bonus that your groin is very much your own businesses in here.

I’ve actually passed the Whichcote Arms many a time over the years after being diverted off the A52 yet again, but I’m delighted I made the effort to check it out for myself.

I just wish I had a dog.

The toilets were clean and warm
The toilets were clean and warm

THE WHICHCOTE ARMS, LONDON ROAD, OSBOURNBY, NG34 0DG

DECOR: A warm country inn feel. You can tell the place is newly refurbished and plenty of thought went into it. 4/5

DRINK: A Beavertown Neck Oil (4.3%), one of my favourite session IPAs and a pint of good old Amstel (4.1%), which is one of the nicer lager regulars on the pumps. 4/5

PRICE: The two drinks came to £10.05, which I though was decent value for a place off the beaten track. 3/5

ATMOSPHERE: A nice, friendly mix of punters all out for a good time. 3/5

STAFF: The barman kept himself busy but found time to chat. And he’s not a bad photographer either. 3/5

What do you think? Where should the Secret Drinker go next? Post your suggestions in the comments below



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