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Secret Drinker reviews the Green Dragon at Ryhall





I must admit to getting pangs of barfly envy at the Green Dragon.

Visiting random pubs and sharing my first impressions is a cracking way to spend spare time and a delightful opportunity to meet new folks and discover new places. And drinks.

But tramping round the county and beyond means I’ll always be the outsider.

The Green Dragon in Ryhall
The Green Dragon in Ryhall

To date, I’ve never been afforded a Edward Woodward Wicker Man moment, where the music stops playing and a bustling bar silences to suspiciously eyeball the stranger.

But you don’t get the knowing ‘hey Norm’ greeting as if you were a character in Cheers either.

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However, I’d have to say that one of the warmest welcomes I’ve had on my journeys so far came here in Ryhall.

There was even a dragon on my pint glass
There was even a dragon on my pint glass

The first room I entered had a big screen showing the cricket. Howzat for a start?

But, because there was a staff meeting going on and no other punters, I thought it best to leave them to it. I was out quicker than you could say ‘Don Bradman at the Ashes’.

Into the lounge, I was greeted by two of the most joyful gents imaginable.

Plenty of outdoor seating, for when the weather's better
Plenty of outdoor seating, for when the weather's better

These chaps, with their matching heads of white hair and mirroring one another with folded arms on stools either side of the bar, engaged with one another in conversations about family, travel and sport with gusto, willingly inviting me in to their world as I placed my order.

That’s the life, I thought. Wiling away a wet afternoon at the bar with a mate in front of the fire, just good chat and drink.

It’s the leisurely afternoon pint with good chat I hope I’ll be able to enjoy one day if the Government ever contemplates stopping raising the pensionable age.

The lounge area at the Green Dragon
The lounge area at the Green Dragon

The lady serving was equally as jovial, keeping the conversation going and sharing the laughs. We were the only people in the room but it felt full, and that’s not an easy trick to pull off.

You don’t even need to get your foot in the door of the Green Dragon before realising this place has a great sense of its own identity and a quirky sense of humour.

Regular readers of this column will know I’ve got a thing for pubs which have a solid sense of self, Jubilee Garage in Bourne and Paten & Co in Stamford two recent examples.

An old tennis racquet fills a space with other trinkets
An old tennis racquet fills a space with other trinkets

An it was a case of more of the same when I stopped of at this pleasant stone-built village venue.

The first thing I spotted upon entry was a green dragon doorstop, propping the front door open and inviting me inside.

Another of the beasts could be found glaring back at me from my pint glass and a third lounging in the window of lounge area, covered with fairy lighting.

A green dragon doorstop greets you at the front door
A green dragon doorstop greets you at the front door

If I’d looked hard I would surely have found a few more. And why not, it is the Chinese year of the dragon now after all.

But it’s not just the pub’s name which is celebrated in the trinkets around the place.

Read more Secret Drinker reviews here.

There’s a sporting theme with tennis racquets and a cricket bat and stumps from bygone eras tucked into corners and hung from walls near old pictures of village scenes.

A cricket bat and stumps hang from the wall, close to village scenes
A cricket bat and stumps hang from the wall, close to village scenes

With its low wooden beams, roaring – and wonderfully warm – fire, and comfy pews, the Green Dragon mixed modern comforts with that enjoyable ye olde taverne feel. One of those pubs that feels something of a labyrinth until you get your bearings.

But, of course, as we’ve had a few dragons in the room it would me wrong to end this column without mentioning the elephant in the room.

Why is Lincolnshire’s Secret Drinker in Rutland?

A dragon attempts a snooze
A dragon attempts a snooze

Well, as I stopped off I was on a journey from Stamford to Bourne, so the blame should lie not with me but the people who can’t walk straight and mark out these baffling county lines.

Besides, nothing screams Lincolnshire quite like a place with a Peterborough postcode, does it?

And let’s not forget either that Ryhall close enough to south Lincs that anyone in the area can easily pop over for a drink. And, if you’re looking for a warm welcome, I suggest you do.

A tropical feel to the gents
A tropical feel to the gents

The GREEN DRAGON, THE SQUARE, RYHALL, PE9 4HJ

DECOR: A simple but effective countryside pub feel with some nice touches. 3/5

DRINK: To complement the sporting themes I went for a pint of Scrumdown Golden Ale (ABV 4.1%), a decent drop by Greene King. 3/5

PRICE: At £4.60 I didn’t think it was too bad. 3/5

ATMOSPHERE: This was a quiet midweek lunchtime, but still a lot of fun with a warm welcome. 3/5

STAFF: Most of them were having a meeting (or enjoying the cricket) but the lady who served me was charming company and kept the fire burning brightly too. 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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