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75-year anniversary meals at Stokes High Bridge Cafe could become permanent

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 06, 2012

  • Stepping back in time: Nick Peel and Jean-Sebastien Braen joined in the fun as Stokes High Bridge Cafe marked 75 years

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Meals served 75 years ago at a Lincoln cafe could be back on the menu permanently following its anniversary celebrations.

Stokes High Bridge Cafe, in High Street, marked its 75th birthday by turning back the clock to 1937 – the year it opened.

With staff dressed in 1930s outfits, traditional dishes from yesteryear were served at a special price, taken from the cafe's first ever menu.

Diners were able to tuck into a hearty mock turtle soup, Scotch woodcock with a "gentleman's relish" and rabbit pie.

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And for dessert there was a choice of hot stewed prunes with cream and sago pudding with cinnamon.

The celebrations ran from Monday, November 26, until Sunday, December 2, and also featured a special party on Thursday, November 29, with Lindy Hop dancers and musicians singing songs from the 1930s.

Nick Peel, managing director of Stokes of Lincoln, said the 1930s menus may make a return if there was enough demand.

"A lot of customers have asked us if we'd serve the 1930s food all the time," he said.

"We brought back some dishes that people had forgotten about, but everybody loved them. The mock turtle soup was very popular and everyone who tried the sago pudding really enjoyed it.

"We have a set menu, but also a weekly menu that changes, so we could always look at bringing it back and doing something special."

Mr Peel, who is a fourth generation member of the Stokes family, hopes the cafe will still be serving in another three quarters of a century.

"There are only really three businesses on this stretch of the High Street that have been in Lincoln this long," he said. "There's us, Marks and Spencer and Boots.

"We have so many customers who come in and we hear all the time about how their nans used to bring them in when they were younger.

"Before High Bridge, Stokes had a cafe next door which opened in 1912, so there's always been that presence for us here. Hopefully, we'll be sticking around for another 75 years – we'll be doing our best."

Margaret Wilson, 65, from Lincoln, is a regular at the High Bridge Cafe and meets with friends and family for a coffee or bite to eat five days a week.

"I've been coming here for about 20 years," she said.

"It's a great place to meet your friends when you're in town, or to come with your family, and it's always somewhere I recommend.

"It just has a wonderful atmosphere and the staff are always very friendly.

"During the 75th anniversary I tried the rabbit pie and the sago pudding and I enjoyed them both very much.

"I'd definitely try it again if it was on the menu."

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