Christmas, Dog Friendly, the dog blog

The Annual Christmas Gift Guide – 2017

It’s that time of year again . The time you’ve all been counting down the sleeps until. It’s the Annual Man About A Dog Blog Christmas Gift Guide!! Yay!!

We’ve got quite a few stocking fillers to tell you about this year. There are a number of new products and brands that we’ve found or been introduced to in 2017, and there are also a few old favourites that just keep getting better and better.

So without further ado, let’s step into Christmas.

Cornish Ware

Cornishware, Dog Bowl £25, Treat jar from £32.

Starting off with a nice bit of crockery. For the very stylish kitchen, head to Cornishware to pick up a dog bowl and treat jar, then spend an extra £5 to personalise them! Which doggie doesn’t like to eat from his/her very own bowl?


Sweet William

Sweet William, Dog Bowl £20.95, Mug £15.95

For more obvious doggie paraphernalia we absolutely love Sweet William Designs, mainly because the woofster on the water bowl could have been modelled on Grense, but also because we can get ourselves a mug for a nice cuppa.

protect my pet

Protect My Pet, Gift Box for the Dog £14.99

This online service, Protect My Pet, allows you to subscribe to a service which sends you your dog’s (or cat’s) flea and tick protection at the same time each month, making sure that you don’t forget (not that any of us ever forget….). They’re also doing this snazzy little gift box for Chrimbo.

Canine Travel Kit £22 PetsPyjamas_preview

Pets Pyjamas, Canine Traveller Kit £22.00

If you’re a fan of pressies in a nice box then the Canine Traveller Kit from one of our favourite travel experts, Pets Pyjamas, is for you. You can even personalise it, and I think we’ve already established that personalised is very much en vogue in our house.


Dog Treat Co

The Dog Treat Company, Trio of Tins £20

We were sent these recently by the Dog Treat Company, and I have to say Grenson absolutely loves them. A new discovery but if it’s up to Grenson they’ll be on the shopping list in future.


Lillys kitchen


Lily’s Kitchen, 3 bird feast £1.99, Christmas Cracker £3.49, Advent Calendar £9.95

A long time favourite of Grenson’s is Lily’s Kitchen and they have pulled out all the stops for this Christmas. Not only does Grenson give them the paws up for taste, but all of these goodies look absolutely fantastic.


Charley Chau Snuggle Bed Velour Cloud from £85_preview

Charley Chau, Dog Snuggle Bed in Velour £85.00

There is nothing that Grenson loves more than snuggling under a blanket. This snuggle bed from Charley Chau, has it’s very own blanket attached. Heaven!



Furbo, Dog Camera £155.00

For those of you intrigued to know what your pooch gets up to when you’re not there, try this gadget from Furbo. You can watch the camera on your mobile via an app, talk through the mic and even throw out treats. And it looks pretty nice around the house too. (And in case you were wondering, Grenson spends most of the time staring at the window waiting for us to get back. Bless him.)



Ruffwear, Knot-a-Long Leash £32.95

This is the leash that we use every day on our walks. We absolutely love it, especially because the safe carabiner clasp provides peace of mind when you’re walking your dog in the city. Ruffwear leashes come in various styles but we love the climbing inspired design of the Knot-a-Long and with a length of only 30 inches it makes controlling your dog by your side much easier.


unnamed (3)

Fetch and Follow, Winter Dog Coat Sunshine Yellow £60.00

We couldn’t leave old favourites Fetch and Follow out of our Gift guide could we? I’m also aware that I couldn’t get away with a blog post without a picture of the main boy. So here he is in action pose in his very snazzy winter jacket. Doesn’t he look smart? Everywhere he goes in this jacket he gets admiring comments. I’m pretty sure that once he puts it on his normal walk morphs into a full on strut.

So there we go. Hope that gives you some inspiration.

Above all else though, we both hope that you and your four legged friends have a flipping lovely Christmas and an ecstatic New Year.

See you all in 2018.

The Man and the Dog.

cafes for dogs, Dog Friendly, dog friendly cafes, dog friendly hotels, Dog Friendly Shops, Kent, Margate, pubs for dogs, the dog blog

Margate & the Botany Bay Hotel

Margate! Margate! Margate! I am of the firm opinion that when saying the name of this little seaside town it is the law that you must say it as Danny Dyer would say it. Margate! Try it – it’s fun!

Anyway, Margate (did you do a Danny in your head there? I hope you did) seems to be the latest ‘in’ place if you spend a little time scanning Instagram. Everyone seems to have been going there just recently.

Well, clearly En Brogue, Grenson and I needed to go and see what all the fuss was about (baaaa!).

We arrived and parked up next to the Dreamland theme park.


It’s basically this place that has brought the onslaught of Instagrammers. Dreamland is a retro, kitsch, seaside theme park for hipsters to create great ‘content’ in. They even have an event called ‘Hipster Seaside A-Go-Go’ happening later this year. In all honesty it does look well cool (as I believe literally none of the kids say anymore). As I myself have a beard I’m virtually a hipster too so I’m totally down with this place…unfortunately dogs aren’t allowed. So we quickly moved on, vindictively hoping that all those hipsters get candy floss tangled in their beards.

Strolling along the sea front, Morrissey entered my head and wouldn’t get out. Specifically a certain line from one of his most cheerful songs found itself on repeat in my head:

‘This is the coastal town, that they forgot to close down’

To be fair, I don’t imagine that there are many coastal towns that are looking their best in the first week of January, but I had been led to believe that Margate would offer more than just boarded up shops, tired amusement arcades and ‘caffs’ that probably haven’t had a new menu printed since Del Boy came on his jolly boys’ outing in 1989.

Luckily it didn’t take us long to find our first planned stop, a sweet little coffee shop called The Proper Coffee House (you can’t go wrong with a name like that!).


At last things started to look up, not only does a ‘proper’ coffee always help, but we found this sign very welcoming.


Take note Dreamland!!

Our next stop was the Old Kent Market and the slight uplift in morale nosedived again. There is no doubt that this is a cool little place and I’m sure that it is a brilliant, vibrant, hang out in the summer months. However, on a Thursday afternoon in January it’s somewhat lacking its spark.


As we began to think that we had caught Margate at a time when it really should have been in hibernation, we wandered down a side street away from the sea front and the attraction of the place revealed itself. Suddenly we were surrounded by the most beautiful shops.


Not for the first time we came across antique shops that welcomed Grenson inside with open arms. I have to admit that this does surprise me. At times I’m not sure whether or not even I should be allowed inside antique shops. I fear that at any moment I may spontaneously fall over, dragging a cabinet of priceless glassware down on top of me. They make me nervous. And yet, very much like when we visited Rye (click on the link for a read), all the shops seemed to be totally relaxed about Grenson having a peruse around inside.


En Brogue now went into retail mode.

Morale then went through the roof when she spotted Doggie Apparel. O…M…flippin G!


In this amazing little doggie nirvana you can watch the collars and leads being handmade at the back of the shop. And beautiful they are too. Needless to say, Grenson got utterly spoiled in there. But it’s virtually impossible for any dog person not to pick up something, from doggie bottle stops, to felt doggies. Personally I’m surprised we left without the woolly schnauzer in the window display.

Thankfully, when we did eventually leave it was with merely a small fortune spent rather than a flipping massive fortune. Heaven help the bank balance when their online shop is up and running!

Suddenly, Margate had come up trumps. We decided to end our visit the only true way that any self respecting traveller can. A visit to the pub.


The Lifeboat Ale and Cider House (what a great name) was a perfect venue. A fine selection of ales, craft beers and ciders (as you’d expect from that name I suppose), and a hearty menu on offer. The only downside was the sawdust on the floor. It played havoc with Grenson’s beard!

It was now time to head to our accommodation for the night. The Botany Bay Hotel situated just along the coast, on the way to Broadstairs.


This, my friends, is where the madness of going away on a damp Thursday at the beginning of January suddenly makes sense. We got a double room here with breakfast included for £64 (+ extra £5 supplement for Grenson). You cannot argue with that.

On top of that bargain price you can add the fact that it’s a lovely hotel too. Very friendly and helpful staff, comfortable spacious bar, lovely clean rooms, top-notch breakfasts (unfortunately we were not allowed in the main breakfast area with Grenson, but our set up in the bar was probably a better view anyway), and some prime dog walking beaches literally on the doorstep.


It really was a great visit, and I haven’t even told you about the meal we had at Wyatt & Jones in Broadstairs yet! Because that requires a whole blog post of its own.

Until then, despite a bit of a rocky start, our little trip had been a roaring success. And it’s at this point that I wanted to cleverly sum up our satisfaction by referring to a happy Morrissey lyric…unfortunately I couldn’t think of one.

So instead I’ll just use this picture of Grenson. Could there be a happier doggie?



The Man and the Dog.



Christmas, Dog Friendly, the dog blog

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide (For Dogs)

I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but it’s definitely getting colder and the goose is looking decidedly more plump than usual. This can mean only one thing – Christmas is coming!!

As a result the Man (me) and the Dog (Grenson) have decided to do a special post (we’re both a little excited).

No doubt the first mince pies are already hitting the hips and thoughts are turning to the luxury and indulgence of the Christmas period. This probably also means that rather than a relaxing, peaceful state of mind taking over, it’s the anxiety over how on earth you’re going to get everything ready in time?! In fact, you’re  probably already too late!! Panic!!

Well fear not Man About A Dog Blog followers, for we have compiled a list of our favourite doggie themed gifts to give you a helping hand in the annual present purchasing pandemonium … of course this is probably less helpful if you don’t have a dog, or know anyone who owns a dog … (although in that case I’d have to question why you are spending your time reading a very doggie flavoured blog? People are strange!)

Anyway, regardless of your reasons for reading, I give you the Man About A Dog Blog ultimate Christmas gift guide. You’re welcome!

  • Christmas decorations. Who doesn’t like a present that is not only thoughtful and beautifully made, but also adds to your festive decor vibe? Check out Oakdene Designs for a great range of personalised pooch paraphernalia. Our favourite has to be the personalised bamboo christmas pet decorations that come in the shape of over 60 different breeds, each of which can be personalised with your pet’s name. Super cool!


Personalised Bamboo Christmas Decoration £7.00 from Oakdene Designs

  • It’s not just us hoomans who should get to fill our faces until our bellies are about to burst at the yuletide break. Don’t leave out your dog. However, it’s probably best instead of sharing mince pies and pork pies and any other pies you can get your hands on, to try out the Christmas Treat Gift Bag from Lily’s Kitchen. This bag of goodies includes festive biscuits full of turkey and cranberry, breakfast beef liver treats and organic bedtime biscuits (that may help your pupper get off to sleep before the big man arrives) all of which are lovingly hand baked, natural, and come in a rather natty little tote bag!


Christmas Treat Gift Bag £12.00 from Lily’s Kitchen

  • Pets Pyjamas is your one-stop website for all your pet needs. If you can’t find anything here that takes your fancy then you might as well give up! Personally, my favourite is the personalised hessian Christmas sack to store all your pampered pooch’s gifts under the tree…this may or may not have something to do with the spectacularly tactile ears of Bella in the promo picture. I could play with those ears all the way into the new year!


Personalised Hessian Christmas Sack £9.99 from Pets Pyjamas

  • If you’re looking for something that little bit special for your four legged friend then take a gander at the Tales of Teddy site. I’m pretty certain that the bowls I eat out of aren’t as stylish as the dog bowls that can be found on this site. This really is for the more discerning pooch and as such it is at a higher price bracket, but just think how lovely those blankets would look folded up on your sofa! (Also, check out Teddy! He’s a bit of a handsome dude isn’t he?).


A Better Dog Blanket £90.00 from Tales of Teddy

  • It’s always nice to have something new to wear on the big day. For a lovely hand made leather collar may I suggest you head to the Fetch & Follow website? And if you also want to add a little Christmas bling then the ‘I am Loved’ brass dog tag would be a perfect compliment.


Dog Collar from £25.00 and Brass Dog Tag £12.00 from Fetch & Follow

So there you have it, I think you’ll agree that any (or all) of these lovely pressies would make an excellent addition to any excited pooch’s list to Santa.

Happy shopping!


The Man and the Dog.

Please note: I have hopefully posted this guide in plenty of time for your gifts to arrive in time for Christmas, but please do check each individual website for estimated delivery times to avoid disappointment! 









Dog Friendly Shops, Fashion, London, the dog blog

White Stuff Clothing – Battersea Store

Over the period of writing this blog I have on occasion been approached by companies requesting that I try out their goods, or write a review of their latest product launch, or produce a blog post that they can then use on their website. Generally, as you would probably guess, these companies are very doggy focused. However, intriguingly I (or rather Hannah, a.k.a the wife, a.k.a En Brogue, who I’ve somehow acquired as my unofficial agent) recently received an approach from the White Stuff Clothing Company…Clothes?! A clothing brand?! Why would they be getting in touch with Grenson and me? Surely they had mistakenly asked for us, (the very much dog focused bloggers of the family), when they really wanted En Brogue herself, (the very much shoe and fashion focused member)? I sent my ‘agent’ away with a flea in her ear, ‘it’s not us they want you fool, the enquiry is clearly meant for you’.

En Brogue quickly came back, ‘It IS meant for you, there is NO mistake, and never call me a fool again if you know what’s good for you’. (She’s mean when she wants to be, it’s what makes her such an excellent agent).

It turns out that White Stuff branches are all doggy friendly! Yay! They were interested in finding someone to pay a visit to one of their stores to test this out, and also check out their new Autumn/Winter 2016 range whilst they were at it. With this in mind they made the wise choice of seeing a man about a dog! Fancy new clothes? A dog friendly store? We were indeed exactly the right man and dog for the job.

After looking at the various stores across the land (and there are more additions as we speak with new openings occurring right now; check out the store locator on their website for details) we decided that we’d visit the Battersea store. This was due to a number of facts, as follows;

a) It was the very first store that they ever opened in the UK

b) It had recently undergone a full re-furb so would be looking all shiny and new


c) It was pretty easy for us to get to on the train.

Upon approaching the store the dog friendly credentials were justified before even walking through the door.


Brilliant! We already loved the place.

It never ceases to amaze and surprise me which establishments I can and can’t go to with Grenson. Pubs? Yes, that’s easy, especially in London, it’s more unusual to find one that won’t let dogs in. Cafes? Yes, generally fine as long as the dog is well behaved. Fancy restaurants? Increasingly the case is ‘yes come on in, we’ll get your dog some water, would sir prefer still or sparkling?’.

However, try to step foot inside a supermarket/corner shop? ‘You can’t come in here with a dog sir.’ A fish and chip shop? ‘You’ll have to leave the dog outside.’ The Post Office collection depot? ‘Guide dogs only!’ (I suppose dogs and postmen do have history).

Any shop that thinks I’m going to tie Grenson to a post outside whilst I come in to peruse their wares can think again. Of course I’m aware that this was the norm a few years/decades ago, but so was leaving your toddler outside in a pram. At least the toddler was generally asleep and unaware that it was being left alone outside the Post Office whilst mum nipped inside to pay the electric bill. Dogs generally tend to be awake when on a walk and so remain keenly aware when tied by the neck to a post and cruelly abandoned!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that not everyone likes dogs. Some people are scared, and if they own the shop and don’t want to be confronted by their biggest fear standing in front of them wagging its tail then that’s their prerogative.

But banning dogs on the grounds that they may wee on the floor, or tread mud into the shop, or drool on the sale items, or be really noisy and irritate the other customers, applies twofold to toddlers if you ask me. If toddlers are allowed into an establishment then dogs should be allowed in too. That’s my opinion! There, now I’ve said it.

With all that in mind the warm welcome we both received upon entering the White Stuff store was much appreciated. Even if the shop had turned out to be shabby and the clothing horrible, I’d have still been quite happy to have a walk around just because I could. Luckily for the successful outcome of this blog post, the store is super cool and the clothes are equally impressive.



Now, I must admit that I had never been in a White Stuff store before. I used to work near Lamb’s Conduit Street and almost exclusively shopped at the boutique stores that can be found in that area. Clearly this signifies that I’m very, very, trendy…and also skint! Even when waiting patiently all year and then taking full advantage of the sales these designer brands are not cheap. They are fantastic quality though, and I’m generally wary of going elsewhere and suffering a drop in standard (a snob? me? never!).

However, when I headed inside the White Stuff store I could immediately see that this brand offers easily comparable quality, but with the bonus that it’s all within a much lower price bracket. Even before we talk about the clothes you can just feel that this is a classy company from the newly spruced up shop. They’ve done a great job. I really liked the little touches; the vintage radios on the walls, the boiled sweets behind the counter, the scandi-style furniture, and the very relaxing seating area with complimentary drinks and biscuits for all those weary and, maybe less enthusiastic, shoppers who find themselves being dragged around the stores.


Grenson found the biscuits very interesting, until an actual dog biscuit was magically produced from behind the counter for him to enjoy instead (see?! dog biscuits! They’re really not joking about this dog friendliness).

As for the clothes? Let’s just say there is a new brand on my wardrobe block.

And now for the really exciting bit about doing a post on a clothing company: I get to pretend to be a true fashion blogger. Which can mean only one thing…standing awkwardly in front of a full length mirror wearing my new purchases and pretending to be a model!


(Jeans, belt, shoes, glasses, beard and dog are models own!)

Hell yeah! Check out that thumb almost in pocket on the t-shirt and waistcoat shot! I’m thinking that might be my ‘signature stance’.

It’s arguable that the pictures could have been improved if I had actually looked up instead of at the phone, and maybe Grenson’s ‘help’, wasn’t all that helpful in hindsight. But it’s the clothes you should be focussing on anyway.

The shirt is a flannel fabric (£47.50) so perfect for the colder days that are now arriving. The waistcoat (£69.95) seems to be a big thing in their new collection. I have to say I thoroughly approve,  I’m quite partial to a smart waistcoat these days. I’ll probably pair with a shirt but I think it almost works with the polka polo (£37.50)? Then of course there is the big cuddly jumper (£55.00) on the right, ideal for a winter evening in front of a roaring fire.

Last but not least how could I possibly resist ‘Howling Wolf‘ socks (£9.95)?


I am aware that I have only focussed on the men’s range. Sorry girls. We are MAN about a dog though. We didn’t spend much time in the ladies section if I’m honest, but from the items I saw the quality and style seems an equal match to the men’s items I’ve highlighted above.

So there you have it. The perfect shop for all of us who love fashion as well as love dogs.

Get you and your pooch down to your nearest branch is what I say…at the very least you might get a biscuit each!



The Man and the Dog.