Lincoln’s Hidden Gems – By Ian Robinson, GM at The White Hart Hotel

A historic city steeped in culture and charm, Lincoln is the perfect spot for sightseeing. Home to Lincoln Cathedral, this beautiful region also boasts an array of hidden gems from stunning walks and theatre shows to museums and boutiques. Here’s a local perspective on the best bits of Lincoln from Ian Robinson, the General Manager at the White Hart Hotel:

(1)  How long have you worked at The White Hart Hotel?

Five and a half years and the time has flown by! I love working with my colleagues here – you won’t find a friendlier team of people anywhere else.

 

(2)  What do you enjoy the most about your job and why?

The diversity of the job and meeting people is one of my favourite aspects. I also like hosting weddings at the hotel – there’s no greater satisfaction than seeing the smile on a bride’s face and knowing that I’ve contributed to her perfect day.

 

(3)  In your opinion, what makes The White Hart Hotel one of the top hotels in Lincoln?

The top-class service, the superb location in the heart of Lincoln (the historic Cathedral Quarter), a superb cocktail bar, and award-winning dining at Grille – Restaurant & Bar.

 

(4)  What do you like most about the city of Lincoln?

The city is big enough to matter, but still small enough to care. Community spirit still exists here!

 

(5)  What would you say are the ‘must-see’ spots of Lincoln?

Lincoln castle, where visitors can see the Magna Carta and go on a medieval walk around the historic walls, is a must-see as well as the stunning cathedral that attracts tourists from all over the world. The cathedral entrance is right at the top of Steep Hill – it’s fun to walk up the cobbled street simple because it’s so steep and there are lots of boutiques and speciality shops to visit along the way. The Guild Hall is a great place to visit too because it gives an insight into Lincoln’s fascinating history.

 

(6)  In terms of ‘hidden gems’; can you share any with us?

  • Not many people know that there’s a thriving night-time economy here in Lincoln. There’s always somewhere fun to go every evening and no two nights are ever the same.
  • The Bailgate shopping area has a plethora of independent traders, speciality food stores and clothing boutiques. It’s based in the Cathedral Quarter, one of the most historic parts of the city, so it has a quaint charm to it that shouldn’t be missed. Plus, it’s just a short stroll away from the hotel entrance.
  • You can use a downloadable app called Roman walk boundaries to help you find your way around the city’s historic perimeter. It makes for a fantastic walk and there are plenty of opportunities to take some eye catching photos.
  • For the most fantastic view of the Cathedral, our rooftop terrace is the perfect spot.

 

(7)  Finally, if you only had one day to spend in Lincoln, where would you go and what would you do?

  • Brunch at one of the little cafes on Steep Hill because there are so many interesting places to eat.
  • A ride on a tour bus because there’s always something new to be seen as well as the main stops at the Cathedral, Lincoln Castle and Cultural Quarter (ghost walks in the evening can also be great fun where you learn about the legends of the spirits that haunt Lincoln’s local attractions!).
  • Champagne Afternoon Tea at Room Bar, which comes with a chilled glass of champagne, fresh scone, clotted cream and homemade cakes, simply because it’s so lavish and delicious.
  • Drill Hall Theatre to see a performance – there are comedy, music, dance, film and children’s events all year round.
  • Room Bar for cocktails, a night cap to end the perfect day.

Meet Mike House, Head Chef @ Grille

 

Mike House has been Head Chef at White Hart Hotel’s restaurant ‘Grille’ for over six years. He began working in the industry at 16 after earning an apprenticeship at Carlton House, Bournemouth; at the time the only 5* family owned hotel in Europe.

Mike went on to work in Gibraltar where he catered for the Duke of Edinburgh and featured in his own TV series ‘House and Home’ and ‘Michael’s House Guest’. Upon returning the UK, Mike worked alongside Raymond Blanc at Le Petit Blanc (now Blanc Brasserie) where he was instrumental in expanding the chain.

Mike places enormous value on high quality, locally sourced ingredients which is reflected throughout his menu. The menu is regularly changed and constantly improved upon, with daily specials and seasonal dishes readily available. Mike’s personal favourite is Beef Wellington, a classic that is fast becoming his signature dish. Currently served at Grille alongside dauphinoise potatoes, French beans and Madeira sauce, this has been Mike’s speciality for over 35 years.

Grille prides itself on its extensive use of local produce and suppliers, which undoubtedly plays a significant role in the success and popularity of the restaurant with both local diners and hotel guests. Grille’s outstanding menu is perfectly complemented by its excellent wine list, which is detailed in our recent Wine & Food Pairing blog.

The success of the Grille relies greatly upon the hard work of the staff; Mike commented, “It’s a real team effort at the White Hart, the team all help devise the menus and we make sure that all waiting staff sample the dishes so they are knowledgeable about what they are serving”.

If you would like to browse Grille’s menus or make a reservation, please visit our website.

 

*Some of the above information has been taken from Bailgate Independent’s article on Head Chef Mike House