I live in Lincolnshire ..... I love Lincolnshire .... it's a vast and beautiful county, and I never tire of exploring here. I work for Community Lincs ~ the Rural Council for Lincolnshire and I work hard to help to make Lincolnshire a great place, with great people. I was delighted to receive a phone call from Visit Lincoln to tell me that I'd won their competition and my prize was a night's stay at The White Hart hotel in Lincoln. The White Hart is a beautiful old building, right in the heart of the Bail in Lincoln - one of my favourite parts of the city. Martin and I packed our bag and set off for our Lincoln adventure on Friday.
Despite the awful weather, we were determined to enjoy every minute and we certainly did! We arrived on Friday tea time and were thrilled to be told that we had Room 400 - right on the top floor of the hotel, in fact Room 400 is the only room on that floor. It's a suite, with it's own sitting room, access to a roof garden and the most fabulous views of both the Cathedral and the Castle. It is stunning and we felt like a pair of celebrities as we unpacked.
It was teatime and I was famished, so off we went to Bunty's Tea Room on Steep Hill. Bunty's is one of our very favourite places to eat in Lincoln. It's vintage themed, with so many interesting knick-knacks dotted about, and the food is delicious. Home-made cakes to die for including my favourite; Dandelion and Burdock flavour. We were warmly welcomed and soon our bacon, brie and cranberry sauce sandwiches were placed before us - and demolished within minutes. I had to say no to a slice of cake - although so very tempting, I knew that I had to leave space for my meal at the Grille restaurant back at The White Hart later.
It was still raining but I knew where I wanted to go next. A new independent book shop opened at Easter; Lindum Books is just across the way from The White Hart and I'd not had a chance to take a look around yet. I'd been tweeting the owner earlier and wanted to pick up a ticket for a book event that she is hosting in July. Oh what a beautiful shop - it really is a book lover's dream. New titles, with handwritten notes to tell the customer about the book - it's scrumptious and I really hope that it does so well. There are so few indie bookshops left these days, and there is nothing quite like that smell of new books to lift the spirits. Of course, I had to make a purchase or two - it would be rude not too!
Back to The White Hart and a couple of drinks in the bar before going back up to Room 400 to freshen up before dinner. The Grille Restaurant is open to both residents and non-residents and we were seated in the window - looking out over the Bail. How lovely when the waitress brought over two complimentary glasses of Prosecco with fresh strawberries - the perfect way to start the meal. I opted for the Pan Fried Scallops - served with fennel puree, grilled asparagus and lemon and prawn butter. Martin went for the Roast Lincolnshire Pork Belly, served with bubble & squeak, caramelised apples and shallot & port sauce. We shared a couple of side orders of hand-cut chips and french beans. The food was absolutely delicious, the service was wonderful. The dessert menu was very tempting and it didn't take me long to choose the Banana, Kirsch Cream & Crisp Shortbread Tower whilst Martin opted for the Salted Caramel Macaroons - both were perfect. I managed to drink another half bottle of Prosecco and Martin drank lager. We were so full afterwards, but in a very nice way.
We decided to go out for a stroll after dinner, and walked up to the Cathedral where we came across a very friendly ginger cat! Lincoln during the evening is special, especially in the Bail area.
After a nightcap in the hotel, we went back to our suite and spent a little time on the roof garden, looking out over the lights of the city and the awesome Cathedral, beautifully illuminated by floodlights.
We both slept soundly, there was very little noise from outside as the room is so high up and I even slept through the chimes of the Cathedral. We went down to the dining room for breakfast on Saturday morning and were amazed by the choice. Cereals, fruit juice, fresh fruit, yoghurt, Danish pastries and a vast hot food selection. I had a plate of fresh fruit and decided to go for the full Lincolnshire breakfast which was freshly cooked to order and very delicious. Bacon, Lincolnshire sausage, fresh tomato, mushrooms, black pudding and possibly the best scrambled egg that I've ever tasted. Freshly toasted bread with an assortment of jams and marmalades and a couple of cups of filter coffee and we were set up for the day.
We checked out at around 11am and went off to visit my Mum and Dad. We had the very best of times; the hotel staff were warm and welcoming, very friendly and they treated us like royalty. The White Hart is a special place, and Room 400 is extraordinary - it was the perfect break - we will be back!
Thanks so much to Visit Lincoln and the management of The White Hart who made our prize trip very special.
Visit Lincoln www.visitlincoln.com Twitter @visitlincoln Facebook Visit Lincoln
The White Hart Hotel, Lincoln www.whitehart-lincoln.co.uk Twitter @WhiteHartLN1 Facebook White Hart Hotel, Room Bar, Lincoln
Bunty's Tea Room Twitter @BuntysLincoln Facebook Bunty's Tea Room
Lindum Books Twitter @LindumBooks Facebook Lindum Books