dog friendly cafes, dog friendly hotels, dog friendly pubs, the dog blog

Family Mini-Break – Rye

Last weekend, along with Grandma, Grandie, Uncle Joe and Auntie Zoe (don’t try to tell me Grenson isn’t human) we made our way to Rye for a cheeky little family mini-break.

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The in-laws had been suggesting a trip here for a while, but of course with the addition to the family of Grenson, accommodation was needed that would allow dogs too. When booking we figured that any establishment that has a pooch as part of its branding is highly likely to be  a good place to visit with your four legged family member, and with the Ship Inn we were 100% correct.

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Grenson was very pleased to find out that the dog friendliness stretched to his very own sausage at breakfast time. This was his personal high point of the stay. The low point was the several minutes he spent carrying out a Mexican stand off with the bulldog in the foyer, before eventually realising that it was porcelain and as a result not really that into ‘having a play’.

Thankfully for us dog companions the highlights aren’t confined to the ornamental pooches and breakfast porkers. The rooms, staff and grub on offer are also great and as well as being a lovely hotel it’s also a very stylish little boozer.

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It’s not just the Ship that is accommodating to our canine companions in Rye, the whole town seems to have an open door policy (barring a few stuffy old establishments). There is a wealth of great antique and brocante shops and they all seem to be fine with dogs browsing too.

However, I have to admit as Grenson kept getting ever closer to the tables covered with antique glassware I decided it was actually fine for us to stand outside.

In the town you’ll find plenty of great pubs and cafes that are more than happy to let you include your dog as part of your group; these include the Hope Anchor Hotel, The Globe Marsh, The Standard Inn and The Fig cafe (for your Monmouth Coffee fix). Out of all of them I would give a big shout out to Edith’s House. This is a dog friendly cafe in the heart of town that is oozing with quaint decor and bursting with flavoursome lunches. I (weirdly according to everyone else) went for a cream tea instead of a toastie. It wasn’t so weird when they all had a sample of my cherry jam. The cherry-iest cherry jam in all the world! Ha! He who laughs last, laughs last … or something like that?

When your pooch begins to get a little bored of wandering around town looking at priceless antiques (such as the programme for the 1986 Liverpool v Everton cup final…no price attached… didn’t ask… too scared), or sitting around scoffing cherrytastic cream teas, then a few minutes away is Rye Harbour. This includes a beautiful nature reserve and a lovely walk along the coastline that Grenson loved.

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You can also pop over to Camber Sands and eat cockles on the beach in the pouring rain…

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…if you’re insane like our family.

All in all I would say that Rye is a perfect destination for a family mini-break, especially when your family includes a little pupper.

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The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cotswolds, dog friendly hotels, dog friendly pubs, pubs for dogs, the dog blog

Old Swan and Minster Mill – Cotswolds

It was Grenson mini-break time again last weekend (yes, I know he’s spoilt!). This time we ventured up to the Cotswolds and the Old Swan and Minster Mill.

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Now, there is dog friendly, and then there is dog SUPER friendly! All of the staff here seem to have been vetted not just for their love of dogs, but also to make sure that they are the kind of people who stop everything in order to make a fuss of any dog in the vicinity. Needless to say, Grenson loved it!

When he got to his room and found a doggy bed and a bowl of biscuits waiting for him he loved it even more.

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And when I found a bottle of sloe gin waiting for me I loved it too!

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But it’s not just the treats in the room that made us love this place. The accommodation is split between the Minster Mill (a series of rooms/apartments set along the banks of the River Windrush), and the old pub which is 600 years old. Yes that’s right, 600 years old! That means that conceivably you could have found locals in here supping pints and discussing the fact that Chris Columbus had apparently found a place called America … “well he says he’s discovered it , but try telling that to the indigenous people who have been living there for centuries. He should stick to directing The Goonies if you ask me, now I’ll have me another ale and some scampi fries please” … is probably how the conversation went, I imagine.

The properties are also set in 65 acres of dream walking land. Grenson particularly liked his early morning stroll along the river.

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And if you are eating here (which you must) you are going to need some gut busting walks.

The food is absolutely delicious. Look at this…

 

I started with poached cacklebean (no idea?!) egg, peas, bacon and walnuts, moved on to 8oz rare Longhorn ribeye, chips, land cress and truffle salad served with bearnaise sauce, and finished up with custard tart with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Notice that the dessert actually has a bite shaped amount missing. Sorry it looked too mouthwatering, I couldn’t wait to start. All of it was fantastic.

Grenson didn’t miss out either. While I was digging in to the above feast, the chef made him his very own dinner.

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Unfortunately he couldn’t wait for pictures either and licked the bowl clean. I think it may have been the best thing he’d ever eaten…until they brought him his sausage at breakfast time!

So if you’re looking for chocolate box perfect villages, stunning river walks, food to make you wobble and dog friendliness off the scale, then I heartily recommend a visit to the Old Swan and Minster Mill; you and your four legged friend won’t be disappointed.

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The Man and the Dog.

 

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dog friendly pubs, pubs for dogs, the dog blog

Ye Olde George Inn – Shoreham

As last weekend was a bank holiday long easter weekend (yay!) we had a visit from the in-laws (a.k.a Grandma and Grandie, as Grenson knows them). As a result of this, Brother-in-law suggested that we all take a trip into the country, and more importantly, visit a little village pub that he had recently discovered.

So, on Sunday morning he gathered us together at Catford train station … Woah, hold on! That can’t be right. Catford Station?! For anyone not associated with the environment of South East London, just take it from me that countryside and village pubs are not something that you easily associate with Catford Station!

However, it turns out that surprisingly, if you take the train in the opposite direction to the big smoke, within 30 short minutes, you will find yourself in the glorious greenery of the British countryside.

Unfortunately for us we’d planned our day trip to coincide with tropical storm grade weather. With rain and hail sheeting down and ominous black clouds on the horizon we cut short our planned walk and headed straight to the pub (always the best idea if you ask me).

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Disaster struck again as we approached Ye Olde George Inn to find that it didn’t open until 12 o’clock. Panic was about to set in, until I realised it was 11:59. There is nothing that makes you feel more of a party animal/serious alcoholic than banging on the door of a pub at Sunday opening time!

At 12:01 (I’ve no idea what the cause of the delay had been!?) finally the doors opened and what I found inside was well worth the wait.

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Is there a more welcoming sight to a weary and sodden traveller than a roaring open fire in the hearth of a pub fireside? … well yes there is actually … that menu.

Now I could go on about the lovely friendly welcome, the fact that our early arrival was not a problem at all, or the excellent choice of fine ales. But quite frankly I simply must move straight on to the food.

I ordered the rack of lamb for my main course. Oh my! Not only did I receive a mountain of succulent lamb but it was balancing magnificently on top of a ‘black pudding and potato ribbon cake’. Behold this wondrous invention in the picture below.

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It was A.MAAAZE.ING. (As the kids might say).

Whilst in a state of meaty nirvana, pudding orders were taken and I found myself presented with a dreamy chocolate fondant with Chantilly cream.

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Absolute flippin HEAVEN!

Quite frankly I could have stayed here all day and had the same again for dinner.

However, Grenson had been promised a country walk, and if we were all to avoid falling into food coma, a little walk around Shoreham to burn off some of the calories was in order. It seemed like a lovely little picturesque village but alas, the heavens opened again, forcing us to abandon the walk and hastily waddle as quickly as we could with full bellies back up to the train station.

So if you feel the need for a bit of fresh air, a walk, and a belly full of black pudding and potato ribbon cake, then jump on a train from Catford and you can have it all in just over 30 minutes … admittedly that is only any good if you’re near Catford in the first place and I appreciate some of you may be a little further away… I still recommend the journey though however long it takes. BLACK PUDDING AND POTATO RIBBON CAKE!! It’s worth travelling for days for that!

Before you do set off though, it might be an idea to check the weather forecast first…

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The Man and the Dog.

 

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