FOOD MONSTER: Service, food and view makes Cloud Bar king of the hill
There are fewer better sights in summer – apart from an Australian batting collapse – than enjoying a drink on the roof terrace at The Cloud Bar.
The views are stunning, as you bathe in the sunshine and take in the historic surroundings of uphill Lincoln.
That explains why the terrace starts filling up as soon as the mercury rises above 10c. And with the decent few months we've just enjoyed, Cloud's new owners will have hopefully made hay while the sun shone.
But is that all Cloud has to offer?
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I had heard good things about the new menu, and decided to take a stroll up Steep Hill on a quiet Monday night.
It was too chilly to sit outside, so an ideal chance to check whether the food offering could live up to expectations.
As my friend and I arrived and took our table, my hungry eyes immediately settled on the tapas menu.
Cloud has a varied offering – a substantial number of mains, or a specialty range of burgers, but I do enjoy a relaxed evening picking at tapas.
The choice was mouthwatering.
The usual fish, potato and chorizo dishes complemented by Andalucía Sausage, baked in a lightly spiced tomato sauce with Spanish chorizo and an egg.
The mussels, calamari, tempura asparagus, chicken skewers and grilled halloumi also looked tempting, as did the king prawn pil pil.
I had been warned that the portion sizes here were substantial, not the pitiful offerings you can be served in chain tapas restaurants.
However, belly quickly overpowered brain, and we ordered. A lot…
The Andalucian sausages were a no-brainer, as was the chorizo in red wine. They were joined by calamari, patatas bravas, the grilled halloumi and chicken skewers.
Our waiter, who was polite and friendly, took the order and we waited with a couple of pints of Birra Moretti. It's one of my favourite lagers, and not seen in too many pubs in our city. Landlords take note.
As my friend popped away from the table, I chatted to a couple of other diners who were sitting near us. They said they particularly like Cloud because of the relaxed atmosphere, and it was hard to disagree.
Then the food arrived, and looked like it could have fed the 5,000.
Generous portion sizes? Massive, more like.
You could tell they had all been cooked to order. The sausage was as tasty as we'd hoped, and the chorizo with caramelised red onions in rioja red wine was fantastic. The calamari was just right and even the salad was crisp and fresh.
There was certainly no skimping on ingredients here.
I enjoyed the halloumi – griddle-cooked on toasted focaccia and finished with home-made balsamic and salsa syrup.
We managed to somehow finish all the dishes and then – all in the name of research, you understand – we went for the cheeseboard.
More often than not a cheeseboard can be a bit overpriced, but for a tenner we got a mountain of cheeses, including Lincolnshire poacher, Applewood, Shropshire blue and Camembert, with a lovely chutney and plenty of biscuits. It was well worth it, and would make a nice snack if you and some friends were just popping out for a drink.
The bill came to a few pence over £50, but this really was value for money.
The food and service had been top notch and showed there is so much more to Cloud Bar than just nice views from a terrace.
Where: 1 Bedford Court, St Paul's Lane, Lincoln, LN1 3AL.
Telephone: 01522 305241
Parking: Find a space where you can
Food hygiene: 5/5
The damage: Andalucian sausages £4.95; chorizo in red wine £4.95; patatas bravas £4.20; grilled halloumi £4.50; chicken skewers £5.50; calamari £4.50; cheeseboard £10; 3 x Birra Moretti £11.70
Veggie friendly: A limited selection
Visit again: Definitely
Good for: Great good in a relaxed atmosphere
Final verdict: Couldn’t fault it. Food was fantastic and excellent value for money