Pavillon de la Rotonde, Charbonnieres-les Bains

img_8277[6094]
I love room service!
The Hotel

Pavillon de la Rotonde is situated on the outskirts of Lyon. It has a very handy train stop nearby so you can get a train into central Lyon in twenty minutes. We had a really great room and a really lovely meal in the Michelin-starred restaurant, but it’s not a charming hotel at all! You need to get your head around the fact that this 5-star hotel is attached to a casino and then it makes a bit more sense! It has eight deluxe rooms and eight junior suites and a complimentary spa area. The reception area is decidedly dull, but as soon as you enter your room, it’s spacious with a large comfortable bed, generous seating area with sofa and chairs, an outside balcony, and a huge bathroom with tub and shower. The staff had laid out a bed for Barnaby and bowls on crisp linen, with water in one already. It really was lovely and we had a very comfortable night there.

img_8263
Mood lighting and a suede sofa – I like it!

The Restaurant – One Michelin Star

You have to leave the hotel and walk just fifty metres to the casino to get to the starred restaurant. Dogs aren’t allowed to join you however. The entrance to the casino is a bit uninspiring but the restaurant is upstairs, out of the way. First impressions… bling! Lots of sparkle and a huge centre decoration featuring silver cascading teapots! The service was attentive and once I’d tasted the divine cheese amuse bouche, I felt confident dinner was going to be good, which it was! We went for the Inspiration menu, which basically meant it was the chef’s choice as to what we had. I had freshwater bass served in a fabulous buerre blanc sauce and Anthony had venison which he said was lovely. I can’t remember what we had for dessert, but we came away with a little box of petit fours as we just couldn’t eat another thing.

img_8276
So I’m eating here then?

Nearby walks

There are grounds outside the hotel/casino where you can easily take your pup for a morning and evening walk, but you’ll need to head further afield for a longer one.

Nice touches

  • Fridge for Barnaby’s food
  • Espresso machine

Accommodation: 4/5
Food:
4/5
Dog-friendliness: 4/5

For more information on the hotel visit: https://www.pavillon-rotonde.com/en/

Advertisements

Hostellerie de Levernois, Levernois

IMG_7864

Paw wash ready for dinner

The Hotel

Hostellerie de Levernois is situated close to Beaune in fourteen acres of beautiful parkland. We arrived in the dark so couldn’t quite appreciate it, but we did appreciate immediately being met at the door and our luggage taken and our car parked! There are twenty-six rooms located in the hotel in three different buildings, The Main building, The Pavillion and The Meix des Glyines. We had a large room (no. 36) in The Main building which was fabulous. It had a very comfortable bed with lovely linen, an open-plan bathroom at the back of the room with a large tub, and a large balcony which would be perfect for a summer’s evening.

They had set out a bed for Barnaby (nice and clean and not covered in other dogs’ hairs – my pet peeve!), two bowls with one already filled with water and a little leaflet ‘For our 4 Legged Friend’ as to what was expected from us and Barnaby.

The Restaurant – dog friendly and one Michelin Star

One of the first things the staff asked us when we checked in was whether Barnaby would be joining us for dinner. They have two restaurants, Le Restaurant Gastronomique which has a Michelin Star and ‘Le Bistrot du Bord de l’Eau’. We had booked a table at the main restaurant and so they said they would give us a table with space for Barnaby. We both had different set menus (Anthony’s being very meaty) and we both said every course was amazing! I started with a vegetable risotto (winter veg instead of snails and frogs-legs) and it was just divine, followed by plaice stuffed with crab, before encountering the biggest cheese board we’ve ever seen…, oh and then squeezing in a Grand Marnier soufflé with blood orange ice-cream. The food was amazing, the service fabulous and one of the owners even said if the floor was too cold for Barnaby, she would get him something to lie on!

Breakfast is served in the Bistrot, which is a beautiful stone room (with a roaring fire in November) that used to be the kitchen of the house in the 18th Century. This is the one meal that dogs can’t join you for, I assume because they lay lots of the food out and it could be too much of a temptation for some dogs!

Nearby walks

It’s easy to pop out and stroll around the lovely grounds that are well lit at night to take your pup out for a walk.

63b1b570-0fe4-4385-999f-0e3205b823b0
Come on in!

Nice touches

  • Fridge for Barnaby’s food

Our verdict – One of the nicest dog-friendly hotels we have stayed in. We couldn’t fault a thing. 

IMG_7879
They’ve thought of everything!

Accommodation: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Dog-friendliness: 5/5

For more information visit their website: https://www.levernois.com/fr

Domaine des Sequoias, Ruy

c98c5459-cb60-4d31-bbd6-a20d8f436d7d

The Hotel

Domaine des Sequoias is situated half an hour from Lyon and about 1km from exit junction of the A43 motorway, which we realised as we approached the hotel! We were slightly anxious if it would be noisy, but needn’t have worried. Domain des Sequoias is a little oasis tucked into five hectares of parkland and once we were there we didn’t notice the road again!

We had booked one of the five bedrooms inside the main hotel (which dates from 1840). We had the most enormous room with a high ceiling, beautiful wooden floors and masses of character. There are another fourteen smaller rooms, with more of a contemporary feel, located in restored outbuildings that overlook the main house and park, but I loved being in the main house.

The Hotel – dog-friendly and one Michelin Star

We came down for a drink before dinner and had it sitting at one of the little tables in the gift shop (there is no bar). We were going to take Barnaby back up to the room as we had assumed he would not be welcome at the Michelin starred restaurant, but they said as long as he was well-behaved he could join us.

The menu was very easy to decipher – we just had to decide if we wanted seven, nine or eleven courses. I said seven, but Anthony thought that we should go for the middle option, so nine it was (possibly a mistake – we were so full after seven!). Each course was small and tasty, with a fabulous baked egg, two seasonal vegetable courses, two fish courses, two meat courses, cheese, dessert, and then delicious petit fours which we had to ask them to box up for us to take away. Our waitress was super smiley and friendly and Barnaby did very well considering we were there for over three hours! When he started getting fidgety around his bed-time I took him back upstairs.

IMG_7774
Pour moi? (non!)

I have to mention breakfast as it was also really well done. Everything was homemade and organic with delicious breads, yoghurt, pastries, freshly squeezed orange juice etc. We were looked after by the chef himself, Eric Jambon, who made a bug fuss of Barnaby and brought him some water. He has two dogs himself, a large black lab called Iggy and a thirteen year old white dog that he said was rather grumpy! It is worth noting that the restaurant is not open between Sunday afternoon and Tuesday evening. It would be such a shame to stay when it was closed!

Nearby walks

All you have to do is get up and step outside the door and you can walk around the parkland on the property. You may be joined by Iggy!

The weather wasn’t great for us as it was dark and raining when we arrived and very foggy in the morning, consequently it was very hard to get any decent photos!

IMG_7770[5768]
They like dogs!
Nice touches

  • Tea making facilities and a Nespresso machine (we had to ask for milk – this is France!)
  • Fridge for Barnaby’s food

Our verdict

Accommodation: 4.5/5
Food: 4.5/5
Dog-friendliness: 4.5/5

For more information visit their website: http://www.domaine-sequoias.com

Chateau de Codignat, Bort-l’Etang

IMG_0551.jpg
Welcome to my castle!

The Hotel

Château de Codignat is a beautiful 15th century castle surrounded by 15 hectares of  wooded park overlooking the village of Bort l’Etang. At the north end of the Auvergne, near Clermont- Ferrand, this is a part of France that is a little off the beaten track for many tourists, but  none the less very beautiful. It’s not quite in the Rhone wine region as it’s between Rhone and Bordeaux, but we’ve classified it as this for the blog, based on the abundance on their wines on the menu at the château.

The rooms with their stone walls and antique furnishings, such as four poster beds and chandeliers, felt like you were stepping back in time.  Our room was approached by climbing through a door off of a stone spiral staircase. A hallway led past the bathroom on the left with a huge tub and then into our bedroom on the second floor. The bed was super-comfortable and we had plenty of room with a few tables and chairs to relax on.

IMG_0537
Photo op only – I’m sleeping on the floor!

We made the mistake first of all of booking a two-bedroom  cottage in the grounds as there were three of us plus Barnaby, but then we discovered that there was no second bathroom upstairs. We then asked to move into the main château, and I am so glad that we did! The cottage, although nice, can in no way be compared to staying in the main castle.

IMG_0559

The Restaurant – dog-friendly and 1 Michelin star

The main restaurant is in a beautiful  circular stone room, where a huge fireplace dominates the room. There were six tables in here and then further tables outside (where we ate breakfast in the morning). The restaurant has one Michelin Star, but although the food was excellent, I wasn’t sure it was quite to that standard, maybe marred by the fact that we didn’t actually eat for an hour after we sat down and I was starving! We had mackerel to start, followed by chard with an Asian influence. The cheese board was magnificent and definitely worth saving space for. We hadn’t asked if the restaurant was dog-friendly as Barnaby was very happy to be left (he’s so well practised now that he  didn’t even bother getting up when we said that we were leaving him in the room!). However, when a couple left the restaurant and we discovered that their dog had been under the table for the whole meal, I felt a bit bad and went and collected Barnaby so that he could join us for dessert!

IMG_0567
Dinner is through here!

Nearby walks

Just on the right before you get to Château de Codignat is a large house, and to the side of that is a path that leads you into the woods. There is one main straight path that seems to go on forever, that I followed for the first evening. However, in the morning I went back with Anthony and we took one of the little paths off into the woods and explored the woods a bit more. Barnaby absolutely loved running around and spaniel sniffing! n.b. There are no bins anywhere outside the château for poo bags!

IMG_0572
Let me go!

Nice touches

  • Coffee machine

Our verdict

Accommodation: 5/5
Food: 4.5/5
Dog-friendliness: 4.5/5

For more information visit their website: https://www.relaischateaux.com/gb/france/codignat-puy-de-dome-bort-l-etang

Cafés/restaurants SW6

IMG_7463
He’s behind you!

The Harwood ArmsWalham Grove, London SW6 1QP – ‘It’s not your average pub’, states their website, and indeed it’s not. It is the only pub in London to have a Michelin Star. They offer a set price menu for both lunch and dinner which is pretty reasonable, although the wines are quite pricy. It’s quite a meaty menu (with just one fish dish), so do ask to take a look at the vegetarian set menu too. My advice would be to make sure that you save enough room for the divine sticky toffee pudding.

 

Château De Germigney, Port-Lesney

IMG_E6966
Just making myself at home!

The Hotel

Château de Germigney is an 18th-century manor house, the former home of the Marquis de Germigney and now a luxury hotel (Relais & Châteaux). We arrived on a dark and wet evening and took a reluctant Barnaby around the grounds so he could do his business and stretch his legs. When we went to check-in, our bags were taken off us and we were ushered into the back drawing room where we were  given a cup of earl grey tea and a slice of lemon drizzle cake in front of the roaring fire! The château is perfectly charming, everywhere you turn there appears to be another little sitting room, where you can relax with a magazine or book.  The furnishings, pictures and finishing touches are really nicely done and the château has a very comfortable and cosy feel. Our bedroom on the first floor was lovely with a king-size bed with super-comfy mattress and a little bathroom with bath and shower.

IMG_E6969
Can you spot me?

The Restaurant –  dog-friendly and 1 Michelin star

Before dinner,  quite a few of the guests were having a pre-dinner drink in the drawing room. We decided to join them with Barnaby and sat in front of the fire again with a G and T. I am sure the château is just as fabulous in the summer, but it really was the perfect spot for a winter’s night! As the restaurant had a Michelin star, I had assumed that we would have to take Barnaby back to our room whilst we had dinner. However, he was welcomed into the dining room and they’d even put a bowl of water out for him. He was very well behaved and lay under the table! Another couple brought their dog in, somewhat unusually, in a bag, so it was nice that we weren’t the only ones!

I have to say that dinner was excellent. I had a truffle-fest, truffle risotto to start and Saint Jacques with truffle for my main course. Anthony had a set menu (a meat-fest before he goes home with the veggie!), and I should note that his apple pudding (that he of course needed help with) was divine.  During an excellent breakfast the following morning, yet more people had their dogs accompanying them.

IMG_E6994
We sat here!

Nearby walks

The grounds are great to have a walk around first and last thing at night with your pup. They were beautifully lit with lights for Christmas, but again, I should imagine that it is also really lovely in the summer to eat outside and to be able to enjoy the ‘natural’ outdoor pool.  We spotted some famous Bourg-en-Bresse chickens in the hen-house (a feature on the menu too) and a rather pretty shepherd’s hut in the car park!

IMG_6985
Anyone home?

In the morning we headed off for a longer walk. We went  left out of the château turning onto Maison Neuve and left again onto Rue du Moulin, following the river. The intention was to take a circular route back, but we were rather thwarted. The river was incredibly high and had burst its banks, flooding the road and making it inaccessible, so we had to take a bit of a detour. The village itself is also very pretty and Château de Germigney have a bistrot there, Le Bistrot de Port- Lesney, if you don’t fancy the fine dining at the château. It does have a Michelin Bib Gourmand, so you are still going to eat well!

IMG_E6995
Verdict – definitely dog-friendly

Nice touches

  • A mini-bar for storing Barnaby’s raw food

Our verdict

Accommodation: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Dog-friendliness: 4.5/5

For more information visit their website: http://www.chateaudegermigney.com/en

Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter

IMG_5123
Yep, it’s comfy!

The Hotel 

Lords of the Manor is situated in Upper Slaughter,  one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds. It has the added bonus of not being too touristy. The hotel  only has a few dog-friendly rooms which are situated further away from the main building. They are accessed from a covered walkway, but still feel very much a part of the hotel. We had a lovely sized room with a 6 foot bed which was super-comfortable. There was space to sit and relax, plus a decent size bathroom with bath, bidet and shower. It was also very nice that they had left Barnaby some Bob and Lush food and treats, and a bottle of mineral water!

 

IMG_5131[3021]
Are these really for me?!
 The Restaurant – 1 Michelin Star

The restaurant has one Michelin star which was the main reason for choosing the hotel, and I have to say that the food was amazing. On Friday and Saturday you have to have the tasting menu which is not a hardship! (our seven courses were described as  pumpkin soup,  beetroot, scallops, risotto, turbot, optional cheese course, cheesecake). I have to say that the mushroom risotto with 36 month aged parmesan was the nicest I’ve ever had, and only added to my menu as I don’t eat meat! A great substitute in my opinion. Dogs are not allowed in the restaurant, although  I think Barnaby would have been better behaved than some of the other diners there that night! He had a nice nap in our room while we were gone.

IMG_5181[2987]
Do you mind, I’m having a wee!
Nearby walks

Lords of the Manor has recently been announced as the Good Hotel Guide’s best Hotel with Gardens. It’s set in 8 acres with the river Eye running through it and Barnaby had a lovely run around in the wet grass in the morning. Anthony took him out in the evening before we went to bed and said that it was very hard to see anything as there was no lighting…so take a torch or a LED collar for your pup! The hotel also recommends some longer walks but unfortunately for us it was pouring with rain and we couldn’t face getting soaked.

IMG_5169[2983]
What a lovely garden!
Our verdict

Accommodation: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Dog-friendliness: 3.5/5

For more information visit: http://www.lordsofthemanor.com/

Cafés/restaurants W1/WC1

Locanda
Dinner date with Darcy

Liberty London – Regent Street, London W1B 5AH – Liberty is a must see for any Londoner and tourist alike. It’s such an iconic building and just tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Regent Street. Walk up the winding wooden staircase to the newly opened Arthur’s restaurant on the second floor. It’s such a pleasure to find dog-friendly places like this! The food was great and they brought water for our pups, always a nice touch.

Locanda Locatelli– 8 Seymour Street, London W1H 7JZ – This is the first Michelin star restaurant I’ve taken Barnaby to and we were made to feel very welcome. We had a discreet corner table so the dogs were out of the way. Giorgio came and said hello! He has a cockapoo called Olive so he was very sweet to the dogs and the food was excellent!

Wigmore]
I think I like her!

The Wigmore, The Langham Hotel– 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London W1B 1JA –  The Wigmore bar describes itself as a tavern, but it’s so much more! The former banking hall has wonderful high ceilings and funky green walls. It’s great menu is overseen by Michael Roux Jr. so you can’t go wrong! A great place to stop for a drink or lunch with your pup after a visit to Regents Park.

The Rosewood Hotel – 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN – The Rosewood Hotel is a fabulous dog-friendly hotel near Covent Garden. If you want to go with your pup for one of the finest afternoon teas in London , then the Mirror Room is the place to go. We were four people and four (well-behaved) dogs and no one batted an eyelid!

These were all visited with May Wong and Miss Darcy. Check out her blog http://missdarcy.org for an extensive list of Dog-friendly places!

Château de Bagnols, Bagnols

IMG_5313
Is it really only us here?

The Hotel

This château really has the wow factor! Built over 800 years ago it feels like you are stepping back in time. It was shortly before Christmas when we visited and it was fabulously quiet; it felt like we had the place to ourselves. We made ourselves comfortable in the most enormous stone-walled bedroom and admired the huge bathroom in the turret with our very own throne!

FullSizeRender - Copy (2)
In France they have thrones!

The Restaurant – 1 Michelin Star

Dogs are not allowed in the aptly-named Restaurant 1217, which boats the largest fireplace in Europe (it’s very impressive).  However, there is the Café du Château in the enclosed courtyard, just outside the restaurant, where you can eat with your pup. Barnaby was able to join us for a drink upstairs in the beautiful sitting room with its brick floor and grand fireplace, before we popped him back in our room whilst we went for dinner.

IMG_5319
But no dogs allowed!

Nearby walks

We took Barnaby for a short off-lead walk around the grounds last thing at night and first thing in the morning. It was perfectly adequate for a young pup but you’d need to venture further afield for a longer walk.

Our verdict:

Accommodation: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Dog-friendliness: 3/5

For more information visit their website: http://www.chateaudebagnols.com/en