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Secret Drinker reviews The Six Bell at Witham-On-The-Hill





You don’t need me to tell you the Six Bells serves up magnificent food. But is it any good for a drink?

This village pub at Witham-on-the-Hill, halfway between Stamford and Bourne. is Lincolnshire’s only entry into the 2024 Michelin Guide.

But as someone who cares more about the seal of approval from organisations that prefer acronyms – think SIBA and CAMRA LOL – it was time to do some investigating of my own.

The Six Bells at Witham-on-the-Hill
The Six Bells at Witham-on-the-Hill

Upon arriving two things struck me; I should have arrived about an hour earlier and I should have arrived a few months later.

The popularity of the place brings punters from far and wide and had I been a little less tardy I wouldn’t have had needed to dart uphill in the drizzle because the car park and roadside spots were already packed.

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One white van man (or woman) was so desperate to get a spot they’d dumped their vehicle right in front of the entrance. There was no way I was squeezing past, not even in my strongest girdle, so it called for a bizarre meander round a few other packed-in vehicles until we made it to the outdoor terrace.

No way I could squeeze in through the front entrance
No way I could squeeze in through the front entrance

Now, this was the reason I’d wished I’d arrived a few months later.

You just know this stunning seating area – with faux blossom hanging from the ceiling and lit by the kind of lamppost that’d encourage the Tumnus family to househunt nearby – will be quite something on a gloriously sunny day.

It's the kind of place where you could happily lose a Bank Holiday weekend as the bikers stop off to refresh and the passing traffic offers a friendly wish-I-was-there double pip of the horn.

This beautiful courtyard greets you at the Six Bells
This beautiful courtyard greets you at the Six Bells
The Six Bells at Witham-on-the-Hill is set up for a summertime afternoon
The Six Bells at Witham-on-the-Hill is set up for a summertime afternoon

But today was grey skies and drizzle. So in we went.

I’m glad to say there was a warmer feel inside, as the place bustled with chatting diners and busy staff hopped from table to table with the latest courses.

There are designated slots for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but drinkers will be pleased to learn – as the website states – the bar operates ‘all day, every day’.

A snug fit for Suggs
A snug fit for Suggs
Inside the feel is country pub, but with a little more grandeur
Inside the feel is country pub, but with a little more grandeur

And with a snug area – the sofas decorated with the kid of tartans that make you want to scream One Step Beyond – drinkers have a places to sit and feel they’re not imposing on the diners.

Inside, the Six Bells feels like a mixture of country pub and something a little more stately, while a sense of humour is on show with a ‘wash your hands you filthy animal’ sign in the gents and a caricature on one wall I can only guess is someone being kind to Robert Peston.

Read more Secret Drinker reviews

Time for a quick disclaimer. We may have all heard that old ‘eatin’s cheatin’ mantra over the years, but I decided it would be remiss of me to come out to Witham-on-the-Hill and not try the grub I’ve heard so much about.

All set up for diners
All set up for diners
Robert Peston, surely?
Robert Peston, surely?

As I’ve already pointed out, you don’t need me to tell you this place serves fantastic food. So I’ll keep it quick.

At our table by the pizza kitchen a neatly-scrawled blackboard explained each week the restaurant brings in a whole deer from the park of nearby Grimsthorpe Castle, with the beats skinned, butchered and prepared on site.

In a nutshell, the venison – washed down with a pint of Pravha – was outstanding, as was the chicken and ham hock terrine starter.

The venison was outstanding
The venison was outstanding
The Pravha was reasonably priced
The Pravha was reasonably priced

Stuffed I knew I wouldn’t be able to manage any more, until I realised ordering an £8 dessert meant my grub would then fall into the three-course lunch time menu and actually be a whole £1 cheaper.

You don’t need the money-mad mind of Martin Lewis to know your next words will be ‘.. and I’ll have the tiramisu’.

The Six Bells at Witham-on-the-Hill
The Six Bells at Witham-on-the-Hill
A little reminder in the gents
A little reminder in the gents

Bill paid and the last plates of the lunchtime shift being cleared, I felt the urge to justify my Secret Drinker moniker and ordered another pint just as two groups of drinkers arrived, and suddenly the place had nothing but that leisurely afternoon pub feel. Bliss.

One place. Two experiences. Three courses. Zero complaints.

The Six Bells at Witham-on-the-Hill
The Six Bells at Witham-on-the-Hill

THE SIX BELLS, MAIN STREET, WITHAM-ON-THE-HILL, PE10 0JH.

DECOR: A country pub feel but with perhaps a little more grandeur. 3/5

DRINK: I drank two pints of Pravha (ABV 4%), a tasty lager from the brewers of Staropramen. 3/5

PRICE: No complaints at £4.80 a pint, which was better value than my dining partner’s £4 for a 0.0% bottle of Bitburger. 3/5

ATMOSPHERE: A Jekyll and Hyde afternoon with a lively dining experience followed by a pleasant pub feel. 4/5

STAFF: As we dined this was table service, but the staff who attended to us were faultless. 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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