If you’re looking for a setting to keep you warm during the winter months, why not try the Cross Keys Inn at Salmonby – an African themed pub.
Greeted by a Rhodesian flag atop a mast in the beer garden, there is also a spectacular mural depicting an African savannah at the back of the garden.
Owners Ian Jenkinson, from Rhodesia, and Barbara Norton will be celebrating their 20th year at the pub later this month, and have turned it into a setting you could associate with the African wilderness.
Both bars in the pub are adorned with African decorations, from animal heads to copper plate and everything in between.
Ian said: “Eight years ago we changed the décor of the place.
“We originally did it to bring in new customers, but it stuck and our collection grew.
“We didn’t even intend for it to be this big. We originally only planned for it to be just in the small bar.”
The Sundowners Lounge, as it is named, sets the tone for the rest of the pub as the bar stools are covered in zebra-print fabric and there is a mural, painted by Chris Freeman, artist of the mural in the beer garden, of an oasis painted on one of the walls.
The main bar has a pool table, but the unmissable animal heads take centre stage in this room.
The Plates Restaurant sits at the back of the bar, and has more of a subtle theme in a relaxed surrounding. An African-themed menu takes centre stage too.
As well as traditional pub-grub The Cross Keys offers Ian’s Speciality ‘Layers’.
The Layers are either chicken or beef fillet and are layered with toppings and home-made sauces, such as Chiesa (hot and spicy), Mombie, and Rhodie.
Ian said: “We wanted to keep the African theme running through the menu as well as the decoration.”
Alongside the African food, the Cross Keys also offers South African alcohol, with Castle Beer being served, as well as Cairns Whiskey and Oude Molen Brandy.
The Inn is well known for its big occasions and Ian and Barbara are planning on celebrating their 20th anniversary as landlords of the Cross Keys in style.
A full hind leg of beef will be roasted on a spit and will be served with all the trimmings.
“We’re also known for our Burns Night celebration,” Ian added.
The pub also celebrates Rhodesian holidays in July and November with a traditional Braai (barbecue).
“We cater for a lot of functions here,” Ian said. “We have people regularly come from Grimsby, Louth and Boston.”
Barbara explained: “People know they can come here with their families and there will be a nice atmosphere.
“We have a fair set of rules, and there is always a great atmosphere with the locals.
“We look after them and they look after us. We have new faces come in all the time and we enjoy seeing them.”
The Inn’s 20th anniversary celebration is on Saturday September 22. £7.50 per person. Bookings must be made.
Contact: 01507 533206.
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Weather for Horncastle
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: South west