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Secret Drinker reviews The Lincoln Arms in Spalding





There’s always been something comforting about walking into a pub and being greeted by shelves and shelves of silverware.

It’s not the successes that arouses me, but the knowledge that there’s a real sense of community to the place that too many hostelries lack these days.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had many an enjoyable time in a diversified boozer which keeps itself afloat thanks to the punters heading through to its restaurant, as this column will testify.

The Lincoln Arms in Spalding
The Lincoln Arms in Spalding

But, as anyone who was a fan of the old TV show Indoor League (seriously, look it up) or ever played for a pub team will testify, venues with thriving sports teams - darts, pool, footie, quiz, dominoes, kabaddi, whatever - have this knack of bringing together a rare blend of very different people with one common interest that help make a bustling boozer all the more interesting.

I like to see the battered old trophies up on pub shelves, a poignant reminder that you’re just part of something greater, keeping someone else’s tradition going until the young, better players come through and the cycle continues.

In this sense, it’s really not the winning that counts here but the taking part.

Trophies galore at the Lincoln Arms
Trophies galore at the Lincoln Arms

The Lincoln Arms is one of those pubs where sporting legacy is more than evident, to the point I’d suggest you bring a pair of sunglasses to block you from the array of shining silverware.

And with its many dart boards sharing wall space with some nice sketches of sports scenes it seems a place where that team ethic still matters.

On my first visit to this Spalding pub a while back I was greeted by a friendly German Shepherd which holds court in the small outdoor area, followed by a busy midweek afternoon crowd.

The Lincoln Arms got busier as I supped
The Lincoln Arms got busier as I supped

I was passing through town a little earlier on this trip and the place was only just starting to get going.

Not many were in but an owd boy in a flat cap - with both hands guarding his pint as if it was the last one on Earth - offered me a slight nod of the head as I ordered my drink.

Ready to explore, and with plenty of seats available as the place had just recently opened up, I found a spot to begin work on this column.

The Lincoln Arms has a comfortable, welcoming look
The Lincoln Arms has a comfortable, welcoming look

It was then I noticed a guy stood over over me, drying a glass.

“You OK mate?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said.

A pint of Banks's was good value at The Lincoln Arms
A pint of Banks's was good value at The Lincoln Arms

A brief pause followed as he maintained his position over me, before adding: “It’s just that you’re taking some photos?”

“Yeah.” I responded. “Sending them to some friends who are busy working.”

This is where I have to point out that a real perk of this gig is that the select few who know the Secret Drinker’s identity have to suffer regular updates of the fun I’m having while they slave away. It most certainly adds to the enjoyment.

More darts love at the Spalding pub
More darts love at the Spalding pub

“So you’re not from Spalding then?” he quizzed.

“No. I work all over but do like to stop off at different pubs when I get the chance,” I added.

“Oh. OK,” he added, before returning to wherever he came from.

An attractive bar
An attractive bar

It was then, after this awkward exchange, that I noticed the CCTV camera on the wall and realised the delicious irony that this gentleman only knew I was taking photos because he was watching images of me. Like a voyeur’s version of the movie Inception.

Read more Secret Drinker Reviews here.

The conversation was cordial enough, but in this era of Instabook, TwitAdviser and SnapTok surely seeing someone taking a photo in a pub is no shock?

A glimpse of the importance of sport at The Lincoln Arms in Spalding
A glimpse of the importance of sport at The Lincoln Arms in Spalding

I can’t be the only person who, whether I’m on SD duty or not, likes to share a snap of a good time with pals and enjoys updates on other people’s fun too?

I’m pretty sure I’m 99.9% more likely to be uploading an image to the web, rather be trying to steal ideas for a rival boozer or be on a reconnaissance mission for the Quadring branch of ISIS?

At first I felt a little guilty about taking any more pictures, but you know what? I’m glad I did, because the Lincoln Arms is a glorious pub, both inside and out.

The Lincoln Arms
The Lincoln Arms

It’s warm, it’s comfy, it’s neat, it’s clean, it’s well laid out and the drink was great and even greater value.

From its darts boards to its lounge area to its fruities, it has a bit of something for everyone but still manages to blend it together well.

And by the time I’d supped up a few more were in and the atmosphere was getting livelier.

The Lincoln Arms is a good looking pub. Just don’t try to let people know.

THE LINCOLN ARMS, BRIDGE STREET, SPALDING, PE11 1XA.

DECOR: From a military shrine to sports pictures, to trophies, to comfy bar and lounge areas… there’s a little bit of everything. But it’s welcoming and works. 4/5

DRINK: There was a nice mixture of drinks on offer, but I went with a pint of Banks’s Amber Ale. 3/5

PRICE: At £3 I thought this was great value. 4/5

ATMOSPHERE: Progressively got busier as I was in there, but I can testify the place does get livelier. 3/5

STAFF: The guy who served me was polite and welcoming. He can have a 3/5 and I’ll let you make up your own minds whether it was right or wrong to accost a customer for taking pictures.

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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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