Horncastle Food, Cafes & Tearooms

glass of orange juice next to salad roll on hardwood cafe table, newspaper and condiments

It's going to be a poor vacation without good food, luckily at the heart of Lincolnshire, Fish, Sausage, Local Farm Produce and, er, Ostrich can be found readily....

Food Standards 5* Rating
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Daytime Cafes

  Myer's has probably the most varied menu, and is easily found in the Bullring. The coffee aromas in the covered shop arcade are wonderful, and much of their morning goods and bread is produced on the premises. They've added a substantial delicatessen next door, in addition to their freshly baked bread shop. One of my most popular meals there is the sandwiches with chips and salad; the words 'food-mixing' doesn't do justice to that particular platter, and with coffees, it's about the only meal of the day one would need. More serious meals are available, and the seating area serves around 50, with toilets on the premises.

  Benton's out on West St has morphed under new management to 'No.29' but is still open as a coffee shop with wine now also stocked. The paninis are a little more flavoursome and exotic than a regular picnic bap from Cooplands, and attract a dinner queue of QEG's pupils around 1pm, who also appreciate the milk shakes and snacks, cookies and flapjacks, free Wifi and comfy chairs and a toilet available.
Clean brightly painted tearoom with marbled tables and curios Round the corner on Bridge St is  'Tea at the Bridge', who've taken to doing free refills for thirsty travellers. A quaint old building with outside patio seating now being employed in the summer weather - one of the only places in the town offering outdoor seating, barring the picnic tables further up the Bain river bank at Tesco, Stables tearooms and the Rodney or Bull patios.

The  Pop-In Cafe on the market tended to get crowded, but the opening of the Stables seems to have alleviated shopping day crushes. The prices and portions can't be faulted, with 4-8 piece breakfasts varying in price, including the famous Lincolnshire sausage. With a bain-marie keeping the beans etc warm, it's probably healthier than some cafes that tend to microwave.
 Longfellow's is For Salein the Bullring and was opening in the evenings for a time, but seems to have reverted to days prior to a June '11 fire that looks to keep it closed into 2014. A gorgeous property with the beginnings of a zebra crossing over the a153 (North St), it has owner hard-standing to the rear, whilst the frontage can be seen down the length of the two shopping streets in the town. A very successful licensed cafe, it utilised the front of the upper floor for a gallery and antique momentoes. My favourite snack was their homemade vegetarian pastie.

 sunburst compass on wall at back of tea room hallEateries Album
A newer experience is on Church Lane down the side of Barclays bank, where the  Capt. & Cook resides in the olde QEGs school building. With log burners, a deli & large restaurant hall, the business is finding it's feet, quickly establishing a niche for those who drive into town, with it's large car park.

Henny's on the market has re-opened under new ownership, previously being perhaps the most traditional, and had to impose a diners only rule between 11am and 2pm when seats were scarce - so only dinners were served during this time. Salads, snacks and 2 or 3 set meals meant lightening fast service. A large selection of fresh scoop ice cream and take-away drinks, makes this a favourite with kiddies and parents going to feed the ducks down the street. They started making a fresh veggy soup, home-made sauces and various cakes that weren't found elsewhere. The public toilets are just nextdoor.   Tanya's  opening after much refurbishment for 2016.

A newcomer to the eatery scene is Lucy & Jez's little cafe and bric-a-brac shop,  Excellenté in the old Good4books premises. Offering one of the warmest venues for a chance of a sit down and appraisal of an antique hunting mission. Still selling quite a few paperbacks for the previous residents in addition to their own stands and fresh food.
An often overlooked retreat is up at Crowder's Garden Centre a mile out on Lincoln Rd, where a  Botts Coffee Shop is situated in amongst the flower tubs and aquariums. Popular with some cyclists, it is at the top of the Western hill on the old roman Lincoln Rd, 3 bus stops out of town, served by the No.6 (and nearly the No.10) bus.

Becoming my favourite are the hotels, just across from me on North St., which are open for 'walk-in' drinks and bar snacks. With Tv and Wifi, it hosts many unofficial get-togethers and gatherings of the clan, together with the official ones in the function rooms. Teas and Coffees and meals are also served in other Licensed Premises, with the Punch House opening it's doors during the day to tourists, business people and shoppers. The Admiral Rodney, Red Lion, Fighting Cocks, Ship, Kings Head and other pubs are also available through the day for meals and drinks.

Providing the weather is ok, there are oppurtunity for picnics around the town. The Mermaid chippy on South St is just opposite the benches at the memorial green. The Trinity Church, not very far away, has a couple of benches in the grounds. Over by the River Bain at Tesco there is ample seating, and a deli counter and sandwiches sold in the shop. This, again, is popular with the QEGs pupils at dinner times. The benches on the market are often full of snacking humans, with Myers, Cooplands and Heron selling packaged pasties and pastries.

   The Stables , a new addition behind the rear of the market (under the Young Farmers arch), seating around 50 with a relaxed atmosphere. With an upstairs, and certain home cooked delicacies, it now also has outside patio dining, although the extension has had to be shelved due to extensive Roman architecture in amongst the foundations - view their menues on their  
new website

 Vegetarian Choices

As a vegetarian I find it pretty easy to get a snack about the town, the only proviso being the griddles may have been used for meat aswell. At the Pop-In there can be chip baps or cobs, varied with mushrooms or the occasional fried egg. Veggy burgers were available previously, but there isn't a great call for them in carnivorous Lincolnshire, so it may be hit and miss whether there's any in the freezer. Mantles chippy have garlic mushrooms, pineapple fritters, cheese & onion fryits, peas & beans; Henny's did poached eggs, or beans on toast; cheese toasty or a full set meal of vegetable ravioli with a garlic baguette, pleasing the discerning palate. Longfellows used to make their own vegetarian pastie, but they haven't even been through the insurance assessment after their big    Fire , at the time of writing. Myers sandwiches with chips include a cheese and onion chutney variety, whilst their morning goods are fresh and pretty vegetarian. Benton's paninies include a mediterranean vegetable version, whilst cheese toasties and various sandwiches and scrambled eggs are available. The benefits of going vegetarian include the spiritual lift of no longer having to kill other beings to 'live', I go into more detail in my 'sermon' in the   Spiritual post .

pizza takeaway lit up at night More exotic evening 'Take-Aways' include   Thai Dining Room on West st., who've also just added a dozen restaurant tables to allow dining. No tables yet at the Pizza Uno just off the market to the west; the Horncastle Pizza House on the market or the Chinese Bamboo Garden on the High St. These 'fastfood' outlets make some of the freshest and healthiest meals - I've been having a fresh grated cabbage salad in pitta for most of autumn, now the supermarkets here no longer sell sauerkraut.
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