A lot of hotels these days advertise themselves as ‘Doggy Friendly’. Just recently, as you all know very well if you’ve been reading this blog, we’ve tried out our fair share of them. Many, like the Cary Arms in Babbacombe and the Old Swan and Minster Mill in the Cotswolds, truly live up to that billing, with doggy treats, doggy dinners, staff that are dog crazy, and basically canines pretty much everywhere.
However, The Devonshire Arms is, I’m afraid, going to have to be put in the category of, ‘Doggy-Tolerant’.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is a great hotel to stay in with your pooch. They provide a few treats in the room – even a four-poster bed if you request it – and the grounds are plentiful for a good walk (although they do insist that dogs stay on a lead).
They also have the most magnificent dog themed lounge.
It’s very difficult to grumble when you can sip cocktails in a room with doggy wallpaper.
However, as you may have all realised, Hannah and I are a bit soppy with our little Grenson. He’s part of the family. And unfortunately at this hotel one family member isn’t welcome in any of the dining areas. It’s common even in the most doggy friendly establishments for there to be places that are off limits. That’s fair enough, not everyone is as potty about dogs as we are. But at the Devonshire the only options are to leave your pooch in the room whilst you dine, (not very nice for the other guests if he howled constantly for a couple of hours), or leave him with the staff at the reception desk. To us this is akin to saying we could leave our toddler chained up in reception or in a room on their own for a few hours.
Normally we would have gone elsewhere, but we’d booked this place specifically for the restaurant as our stay coincided with Hannah’s birthday, and we’d been looking forward to a bit of fine dining. So on this rare occasion, we decided to be brave and leave Grenson with the reception staff.
The meal was delicious, but of course we both hardly concentrated on it at all, as our little boy was sitting in reception tied to a lead wondering what he could have possibly done that had caused us to cruelly abandon him and leave him out of our plans. He was convinced that we’d all been having a lovely time and he hadn’t been a bit of trouble. As we rushed back to retrieve him, we found him sitting patiently looking for us with a pained expression somewhere between, ‘how dare you leave me’ and ‘please don’t leave me again, I’ll be good’.
On the second night we had room service!
It could have been worse. During breakfast, (that Hannah and I had to do in shifts, so as not to leave Grenson on his own again), the full English was disturbed by an irate cocker spaniel desperately searching the room. It had been subjected to the reception treatment, but had managed to bite through its lead, escape, and come looking for its owners!
One place that definitely should never have it’s doggy friendly credentials brought into question however, is an amazing little cafe that we found in Hebden Bridge.
This place is truly doggy nirvana.
Not only do you get hessian sacks for the dogs to sit on. Not only do you get a choice of plain old water, or doggy beer for your furry friend…
…but your canine companion also gets a choice of their very own cake to enjoy alongside you!!
Isn’t that flipping amazing?! Now that is what you call doggy friendly.
Oh and the human coffee and cake wasn’t bad either!
We absolutely loved this place, and cannot recommend it enough if you’re ever in Yorkshire and you and your four legged friend are feeling peckish.
Which just goes to show, dining and doggies don’t always have to be separated. And if you really want to earn your doggy friendly stripes, you could even go the extra mile and make them their own meal too! I know one pooch who would definitely appreciate it.
The Man and the Dog.