Lincoln Cathedral has undergone significant restoration in recent times to continuously improve its facilities and offer exciting new visitor experiences. The latest development to be unveiled is a fresh new shop and contemporary café space on the west side of the building, supported by £16.4 million of National funding. Ahead of its grand opening, here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect at the new Lincoln Cathedral shop and café.

When will the new Lincoln Cathedral Shop and Café open?

The new-look Lincoln Cathedral shop and café opens to the public on Monday 28 June 2021. It marks phase one of a restored and renovated visitor centre at the cathedral.

We went along to a special preview event to take a look at the space, and came away impressed! It adds a fresh dimension to visiting the city’s most iconic building.

Lincoln Cathedral Cafe opening people
The opening event inside the new café at Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral Shop: bigger and fresher

The new shop and café complex is set in a large, bright and airy space on the west side of Lincoln Cathedral. In the mid-19th century this part of the building was used as the old deanery, and it was later repurposed as part of Lincoln Minster School.

Anyone who had been in the cathedral’s previous shop may remember it was set in quite a confined space by the main entrance, with little room to move around among other shoppers. This new space is a vast improvement, and positioned perfectly to pop in at the end of your visit.

The new shop has a high raised ceiling with a long sky-window that brings lights and warmth inside. You can also look out onto the cathedral’s famous circular stained-glass Dean’s Eye window above.

Don’t be afraid to ask staff questions about the building – they’re all enthusiastically knowledgeable about its history, and happy to share their insights.

Lincoln Cathedral Shop staff
The bright and airy new shop at Lincoln Cathedral

Sourcing locally

We often write on this blog about how Lincolnshire is spoilt for riches when it comes to both local food produce and creative arts. The Lincoln Cathedral shop embraces this by sourcing many of its products from local suppliers and creators.

You will find shelves stacked with chutneys, chocolates, honeys, gins and ales, all made by independent Lincolnshire businesses.

The jams and chutneys, for example, are provided by Saints and Sinners Preserves, based nearby in Spalding. The honey is freshly sourced from local hives in Hartsholme Country Park.

The same is true of much of the artwork you will see in the shop. There is a gorgeous collection of merchandise on offer bearing the illustration work of Lincolnshire artist Sophie Allport. On the opposite side of the shop is a collection of colourful glasswork by local designer Donna Evans.

On top of this, the shop is filled out with everything you would expect of a museum shop. Books, cards, novelty biscuits, keyrings, figures, pens – you name it.

Lincoln Cathedral Shop chutney
The new Lincoln Cathedral shop is stocked with lots of local produce

Lincoln Cathedral Café: a contemporary space

The new-look Lincoln Cathedral café is set in a spacious network of high-ceilinged rooms, with many of the tables looking out onto the recently revitalised Dean’s Green gardens.

The combination of high windows and white-painted walls ensure that the space captures lots of light. Bring a book on a sunny day and it’ll be a great spot to read with a coffee for an hour or two.

You can also tuck into a choice of light lunches and snacks from the fresh menu. Judging by the taste of the samples we tried at the preview event, you won’t be disappointed!

Lincoln Cathedral Cafe seating
The well lit seating space inside the new Lincoln Cathedral café
Lincoln Cathedral Cafe canapes
A selection of tasters at the Lincoln Cathedral shop and café preview event

Inspiring local artworks

Like the shop, the café is supplied by local businesses. One of our own favourites, Foster’s Butchers & Bakers, provides fresh meat produce. (Check out our guide to Lincolnshire sausages for more about them and other fantastic local butchers!)

An interior seating room showcases the works of talented Lincolnshire artists on its walls. One example is a set of three illustrations of Lincoln Cathedral Quarter by local artist Toni Stefaniuk.

Lincoln Cathedral Cafe paintings
Illustrations of Lincoln city centre by local artist Toni Stefaniuk

Community meeting rooms at Lincoln Cathedral

The upstairs space at the renovated complex has been repurposed as a community meeting space available for hire. There are boardroom and breakout-style meeting rooms, complete with a range of modern facilities, and the unique benefit of a stunning close-up window view of the cathedral.

Lincoln Cathedral Community Meeting Rooms
The new community meeting rooms look out onto the main cathedral building

More reading on Lincoln Cathedral and nearby

Planning to drop by Lincoln soon? Our complete visitors’ guide to Lincoln Cathedral explains everything you need to know before your trip.

Take a look at our rundown of things to do in Lincoln for more inspiration on activities in the area.

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We take a sneak peek at the new-look Lincoln Cathedral shop and café, opening in June 2021 after an extensive renovation. #lincoln #lincolncathedral

4 thoughts on “Lincoln Cathedral shop and café set to open in beautifully restored space

  1. Keith Parkins says:

    This reads as a PR puff piece. But then did attend a PR event, not when open to the public.

    What struck me though, was the lack of social distancing, a coronavirus super spreader event.

    What was it like last week, three weeks later?

    Superficial looks interesting, but misleading.

    Fountain not working, has not been working for weeks, full of dirty water. Stagnant water ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Maybe only turned on for PR events?

    Low grey lamps line the footpath. Less than a foot high. Ideal trip hazards. How long before an accident?

    Seating outside on a very hot day, burning sun, no parasols. When queried lack of parasols, told we did not expect it to be hot. That is like being told we did not know summer happens.

    Inside very hot, very noisy. Lack of ambience.

    Service abysmal. Disorganised, at least four waiting staff came to the table, and that is not counting the acting manager who later came to the table.

    Long wait for tea and coffee. Had to go and chase to learn what had happened.

    Was it worth the long wait? No.

    The coffee was disgusting, cup size far too large, too hot, chocolate dumped on top in a crude attempt to mask how bad the coffee.

    Coffee taken back. Waitress who took out of my hands had the gall to argue nothing wrong with the coffee, that is how we make coffee, it is how everywhere makes coffee. Person who made claimed ‘perfectly adequate’.

    The coffee, cheap catering supply coffee.

    Tea cup could have doubled as a soup bowl, as large as the tea pot.

    Water was not brought to the table, had to ask for a glass of water.

    Nearby what looked like a drinking fountain. It was not, it dispensed frothy soap. An accident waiting to happen when a child mistakes for a drink. Nothing to indicate it was not a drinking fountain.

    Cakes unappetising, looked like factory cakes. Food at PR event not typical.

    Laminated plastic menus. ideal for picking up coronavirus. I did not see cleaned when table vacated.

    The staff were at least wearing masks, though not name badges. Staff in gift shop were not wearing masks.

    First couple of weeks busy. Last week, mid afternoon, less than third full.

    Outsourced operation and it shows.

    No, it is not suitable as a venue for meetings and conferences. Very hot and noisy. The hard surfaces make it very noisy. It would be impossible to hold a conversation or follow a speaker. Either lack of air conditioning or not working.

    Follow the Lincoln Imp Trail, visit Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle, spoilt for choice on Steep Hill and Bailgate, walk through Lincoln Castle to Stokes at the Lawn where can reax outside with tea and coffee spoilt for choice scrumptious cakes. For the best coffee in town, walk into the city centre and try Madame Waffle or Coffee Aroma.

    • Paul Sibly says:

      Visited cathedral November 18th, totally unaware that this magnificently imaginative and sensitive development had taken place. The cafe was fairly busy around midday. Deserves every success, perhaps with a more developed menu in due course.

  2. Cafe Expert says:

    As a cafe expert I can categorically say this is one of the best Ive visited. Keith Parkin you have no idea what you’re talking about.

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