My local city has been getting a lot of press lately, the castle is having its official opening with Princess Anne next month, the Magna Carta will be there too, and it seems that the anniversary is really making Lincoln's best step up their game.
I thought it would be nice to point you to my favourite spots in the city in case you fancied visiting. There are plenty of things to keep you busy for a day or two like The Collection museum, the Usher Gallery, the Cathedral and Castle as well as the numerous ghost walks and tours of old Lincoln. As a visitor though it is often the little places that get overlooked, or are hard to weed out from the Patisserie Valerie's, so I thought I would give them some love.librarian-lincoln2 librarian-lincoln1
First stop, Stokes at the High bridge Cafe, perfect for light refreshment before venturing up the hill, and conveniently located right in the middle of the high street, this cafe is built on the medieval bridge over the river Witham in a tiny tudor mews house and it has been there for donkeys. Stokes offer a huge range of teas and coffee varieties, along with lots of Lincolnshire specialities such as local plum bread. As this is down the flat part of town I like to have a drink and a snack here after I have visited all the normal shops and before I head up to the good stuff, though it does house a full cafe upstairs if you need something more substantial.
If however you aren't peckish until you get half way up the hill, I also highly recommend Stokes at The Collection, where they make the most delicious fresh crepes!
My Pick :: Their Full house hot chocolate with everything on it and a scone with butter, they are freshly baked on site and still warm, beautiful.
Time to get moving to the local shops. Lincoln has a pretty big hill in it called Steep Hill. It is quite steep and defeats many, but there is a bench half way in case you struggle. Lots of locals avoid this area because it is a bit of a climb but I have to say it is a gold mine for quirkiness.librarian-lincoln-4 librarian-lincoln3
Goodies is the first stop on our tour up the strait and is a traditional english sweet shop full of jars of nibbles to choose from. The owner still rings up your purchase on the old till and is always happy to recommend his favourite, especially from the wall of chocolate behind the till! Goodies has been a go to for many many years for me, even more so at christmas when they dress in Victorian outfits, fab!
My pick :: Jazzies, the milk chocolate ones, they take me back!librarian-lincoln5
Right opposite Goodies is the Cheese Society, a must for any cheese lover, they boast a wide range of British and european cheeses and suitable accompaniments. They are great about letting you sample something before you buy a wedge of the stuff and if you have a certain type of cracker in mind they will find the right cheese for it, impeccable service! If you love cheese and fancy a treat for lunch head to their cafe around the corner, it is tiny so gets full quick but well worth the wait if you need to. Hands down the best macaroni cheese I have ever eaten.
My pick :: Lincolnshire poacher, of course!librarian-lincoln6
Further up the hill now and just after the bench on the right you will come across a delightfully blue coloured shop called simply 44, as it is number 44! If you need a quirky gift or just fancy treating yourself to some beautiful hand made jewellery this is stop number one. Lucie the owner is lovely, and very particular about what she will stock, I would happily buy everything in there if I could make room in my house!
My Pick :: The beautiful selection of greetings cards, you are guaranteed to find one no-one else will sendlibrarian-lincoln7
Head up into the Bailgate area past the Cathedral and you will find the best bookshop in Lincoln, Lindum Books is part owned by an old colleague of mine and well supported by our team at work. They host numerous author events in partnership with The Collection and stock used and new titles. I love that their selection is limited but carefully curated, a nice balance of popular titles and the slightly obscure.
My Pick :: Check out the shelf of Persephone Classics, they always draw me in.librarian-lincoln8
I can only describe this place as my dream shop, it has interior nick nacks and kitchenware that can only be described as beautiful, I mean just check out that window display! the best selection of Keith Brymer Jones I have ever seen, this place is perfect for gifts for the discerning.
My Pick :: Besides the Keith Brymer Jones mug in the top picture? The selection of Weck jars is a must for any organisation freak.
Shopping over with, it is time to head back down the hill, it is far easier going in this direction. Be sure to have a drink in Widow Cullens Well if you fancy as they do some different ales, and ogle at the chocolates in the luxury chocolate shop.librarian-lincoln11 librarian-lincoln10 librarian-lincoln9
Get right to the bottom and at the Stonebow take a left instead of heading straight on, along here is my new favourite place to eat or drink in Lincoln, The Angel coffee house. A great atmosphere with hands down the best artisan sandwiches I have come across, this place wins my heart every time. They also make the best flat white, serve a huge range of fancy teas and cater to a variety of dietary requirements. Drop in and say hello to the girls, or hang around for one of the many events they have going on.
My Pick :: Without a doubt, flat white and the caramelised onion and goats cheese focaccia bread, toasted. Sandwich of dreams!!
Suitably re-fuelled, feel free to wander the rest of the city centre, I am still finding new little gems as I wander around. Lincoln is one of those cities that appears to be ever changing, and I like it.