I don’t know if it’s because we have entered the school holiday period; we’re going out more mid-week than we used to; or maybe it’s just that all us parents are desperate for drink after months locked in with the kids. But there has definitely been a big increase in the number of kids in pubs over the last few weeks. And it was no different at the Six Bells.
In the small village of Witham on the Hill (it’s not actually on top a hill weirdly) just north of Stamford, the Six Bells pub dates back to 1680, though the current landlords have been in since 2013. An old stone building with large front courtyard, the interior is more modern and spacious, without losing that local country pub feel, having been refurbished under the latest owners. Inside there plenty of dining space, with options to sit in the main bar area or in the (slightly) more formal dining room off to the side. If you get a chance to have a night off from the kids, then there is also a hand full of rooms available.
The Six Bells is definitely a destination pub that focuses on the food, being included in the Michelin Guide 2020 – but that doesn’t mean its overly pretentious. Or even unsuitable for kids. What you do get is top quality food at fairly reasonable prices. Alongside the a la carte menu, they also offer a set menu Mondays through to Saturdays with 2 courses £16 and 3 course £20.
Unable to pick a single meal, we decided to go all in and order a selection of dishes to share between us. Picking the Buffalo Mozzarella, Parma Ham, Figs & Olive Oil (£8.00), Wood fired Piccante with mozzarella, N`duja salami & pepperoni (£12.00) and homemade garlic bread (£3.50) from their wood fired pizza oven all washed down with a pint of Wherry (£3.70) and a glass of prosecco (£5.50). It helped that Six Bells was running the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme and all food was 50% off.
The little nipper’s menu is made up of usual kid’s pub fare - Chicken Goujons, Mini Margherita Pizza, Macaroni Cheese. But at under £6.00 a meal, you definitely get great quality for your money. As ever, the Dixie bypassed all the lovely choices food and dove straight in for Bangers and Chips. The staff very kindly swapped out the big chunky chips for fries, because even though they are exactly the same, kids can be weird with food sometimes!
When it arrived, however it was a monstrous portion. I mean a full-on massive plate with huge bangers, carrots, greens and quite possible the best gravy I have ever had. As it turns out it, it was actually an adult’s portion. Needless to say it didn’t get wasted. For afters, they can select a shrunk down version of the adult’s puddings, for £4.00.
& for the Bubs
Grab your pound coins and be prepared to get hustled. There is a sweet machine tucked away en route to the loos, with a dozen or so mini tubs featuring everything from chewy to sticky sweets. Your kids will definitely want more than one pot!
If you are looking for a little more activity to tire the kids out, then be sure to try the Spinney in Little Bytham before lunch. A fantastic little wooded area, just 5 minutes up the road with an amazing little adventure playground. All free too.
Pub crawl: August 2020
Read more: The Six Bells