The Woburn Hotel, Woburn 🐾🐾🐾🐾

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Nice white linen – perfect!

The Hotel

The Woburn Hotel is situated in the picturesque Georgian village of Woburn, and part of the 3,000 acre Woburn Abbey Estate.  It opened its doors as a hotel in 1701 but has been transformed into a contemporary hotel with an award-winning restaurant. I have to confess that our stay was a freebie, offered to Anthony as he had stayed there before for work when the heating and hot water had broken! When he found it was dog-friendly he was keen to show me Woburn and to explore the grounds of Woburn Abbey with Barnaby.

The cottages on the side of  the property are dog-friendly rooms. We were in ‘Endsleigh’ which had a big bedroom and bathroom with ample space to sit and relax. It was very nicely furnished and  very quiet and peaceful.

Woburn is small but really very charming. There are quite a few lovely pubs and restaurants on the main street that would also be worth a visit.

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Welcome to Endsleigh

The Restaurant

The hotel has a big bar, full of character, with dark beams and a massive open fireplace which has a huge sofa in it! The chairs were a funky purple colour that Anthony wasn’t sure about. When I enquired if dogs were allowed in the bar area, we were told only small dogs and not if it was busy!

The hotel restaurant, Olivier’s, is AA star-rated and situated in a lovely room with big windows and wooden floors which, unfortunately for us, was just being refurbished! We ate instead in one of the conference rooms, which worked pretty well. The menu was great and we shared gravlax on a potato cake to start. I had halibut with crab bisque as a main, and Anthony had the venison. Judging with how many deer we saw on the estate it would have not had to travel far to the plate!  The restaurant is not dog-friendly but Barnaby was very happy in the room.

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So you’re leaving me here?!

Nearby walks

In theory with 3000 acres of estate you would think that this would be the very best place to walk a dog – but NO! Dogs have to be kept on a lead at all times because of the huge number of deer. There were only a few set footpaths for the public across the estate and, as we missed the first footpath, we found it very hard to get back on it again! We ended up having a lovely 6 mile walk, rather longer than intended, in the glorious sunshine!

 

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Explain to me why I’m on a lead?

Nice touches

  • Fresh milk in the fridge

For more information visit: http://www.thewoburnhotel.co.uk/

 

 

 

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Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter 🐾🐾🐾🐾

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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!

 

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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.

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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.

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What a lovely garden!
For more information visit: http://www.lordsofthemanor.com/

Abbaye de Maiziéres, Beaune 🐾🐾🐾🐾

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‘Mirror, mirror on the wall’
 Hotel

Beaune is literally the very heart of Burgundy. It is a very pretty town with cobbled streets full of shops selling wine, food and generally gorgeous things! Abbaye de Maiziéres is a historic former abbey,  owned by the monks of Maiziéres from 1301 until the French Revolution. It’s a charming hotel, with an unusual entrance stepping down into the vaulted room below which houses the reception, lounge and dining room. There are only 10 rooms, all of which are dog-friendly and with no extra charge for your dog. We opted for a larger room, the junior suite on the first floor, which had a very comfortable king-size bed and walk-in shower room. It had all been newly decorated, which was lovely, but it felt a little bare, as if they hadn’t put all the furniture and rugs back! It did however have a large fridge. Very handy for keeping Barnaby’s raw food cold and for chilling a half bottle of champagne, purchased on our way down in Champagne!

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I know, I know…I’m not sleeping here!

Restaurant – dog-friendly 

The restaurant, Le Castrum Café, really is the main feature of the hotel with its beautiful vaulted ceilings. You can really imagine the monks of old at work and at prayer there. When we asked if Barnaby could join us for dinner they said, ‘bien sûr’, of course! The menu was so incredibly French with snails and foie gras, and masses of meat!  There was only one fish dish on the menu. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but it was lovely and came in a delicious creamy sauce. Being in Burgundy, Anthony felt the need to  have a traditional boeuf bourguignon, although, strangely,  it was served with linguine. We both had a cheese plate to finish and the epoisse was tongue-itchingly good. I have to say that I felt a bit guilty as Barnaby got a bit chilled lying on the cold 14th  century stone floor, so maybe take something for your pup to lie on!

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Table for two, plus dog
 Nearby walks

Abbaye de Maiziéres is right in the centre of town, so we didn’t find anywhere off-lead for Barnaby to have a run around. We just explored the town with him on a lead, which sufficed.  In the morning we popped into a café for breakfast and again when we asked if Barnaby was allowed in they said, ‘bien sûr’, of course! Altogether it felt like a super dog-friendly place to visit.

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The entrance is down here!

Nice touches

  • Coffee machine
  • A fridge to store Barnaby’s raw food

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

La Cardinale, Le Pouzin 🐾🐾🐾🐾

The Hotel

La Cardinale is a very charming, small and peaceful hotel with a rustic homely feel.   Despite being only ten minutes from the A7, the Autoroute du Soleil, it was totally quiet and tranquil. The hotel rooms are separate from the main restaurant building and each has a little garden with table, chairs and sun beds, with trees offering privacy between the gardens. The rooms themselves are large with big bathrooms with a large tub, walk-in shower, and separate loo and bidet. Barnaby was banished to the bathroom to sleep (no door but we closed the curtain!) as he jumped on the bed in the night!

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What a grand tub!
The restaurant – Dogs welcome

We arrived very late as there had been delays with Eurotunnel. However, we managed to arrive on the dot of 9pm, just as the kitchen was taking last orders! As we were so late and didn’t want to inconvenience them further, we just ordered the set menu which was moules in garlic and dourade (bream) with vegetables. It doesn’t sound very exciting but it was all delicious. Probably the best moules I have ever eaten and we both said that we would have been happy with just the vegetables which were divine…sweet potato puree, roast potatoes with rosemary and a touch of truffle. It was all very relaxed as we were dining outside and, before our first course arrived, we took Barnaby for a quick walk in the garden and gave him his supper. The next table to us had two dogs; Australian shepherds, dad and daughter!

Breakfast is also worth a mention for its delicious home-made pastries served in colourful stripy cases, fresh fruit and smoothies.

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This way to the restaurant
Nearby walks

The hotel has enclosed grounds which are fine for a short walk. It was also very easy to send Barnaby out for his first and last toilet break on the patch of lawn in our little garden!

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Home sweet home

For more information visit their website: http://www.hotel-restaurant-privas.com/fr

Hotel du Vin, Birmingham 🐾🐾🐾🐾

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The Hotel

We were en route to Manchester so decided to stop in Birmingham to meet our nephew, who has just finished studying here. The hotel is a former eye hospital in the jewellery district of Birmingham. It’s a beautiful building with high ceilings and plenty of character. We had a superior room with a big bed and I loved the feature wall with its wallpaper of books! The bathroom was huge, with a bath and fabulous shower, big enough for Barnaby to sleep in.

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But I’m clean!
The restaurant – Dogs welcome

We were surprised to find that not only was Barnaby allowed in the beautiful bar area, but he was also allowed in the restaurant.  The staff went out of their way at dinner to offer him water and make a fuss of him! I had sea bass which was lovely and my husband had a cobb salad. Presentation was beautiful, especially the asparagus and duck egg starter which I rather wished I’d ordered.

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I’m just going to chill here for a bit…

Nearby walks

If you head out of the hotel and turn left you’ll come across St Philip’s Cathedral. There is a small park here where you can exercise your dog on the lead. For a longer walk, on the recommendation of our nephew, we drove for 10 minutes to Edgbaston reservoir. It’s a 20-30 minute walk around the outside and if your dog loves swimming then this is the place to go!

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Nice touches

  • Nespresso machine
  • Fresh milk in the fridge

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

Storrs Hall, Windemere 🐾🐾🐾🐾

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Come on!

 
The Hotel

We were driving up to Scotland so planned to stop off on the way in the Lake District. Storrs Hall was built in the 1790s by the Yorkshire landowner Sir John Legard and became a hotel one hundred years later. Situated on the banks of Lake Windermere it really is in a fabulous location. The hotel was quiet, the weather was amazing and for our first hotel stay with Barnaby (then aged 10 months) it was perfect. We had a lovely room with a lake view and a bathroom big enough for Barnaby to sleep in (then in his crate), although judging from the whining he would have preferred to have been with us!
 

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Apparently I’m not sleeping here

 The Restaurant

Dogs can’t eat in the restaurant and as it was our first ever hotel stay with Barnaby we decided to eat with  him in the bar area as we didn’t want to leave him in the room. We were the only people there so we didn’t disturb anyone. They have a fabulous old wooden bar that used to be in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, and a fantastic collection of gins!

Nearby walks

You are spoilt for choice with the Lake District on the doorstep but for short off lead walks from the hotel just head down to the lake and explore. You’ll come across the Temple of the Heroes, dedicated to Admirals Duncan, Nelson, Howe and St Vincent, and plenty of places for photo opportunities!

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

Hotel du Vin, Bristol 🐾🐾🐾🐾

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But I had a bath last week

The Hotel

The hotel is a converted Georgian sugar house in the centre of Bristol with masses of charm. We had a standard room but it was large with a huge bathroom where Barnaby could have slept happily.  I say ‘could’ because at the end of the evening he actually went home with his Grandpups so that we could have a lie in!

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So where are you sleeping then?!

The Restaurant

Dogs are not allowed in the main restaurant but they can eat in the lovely large bar area (where they were also serving afternoon tea when we arrived).  The main restaurant itself is full of historic character and we thought our dinner there was great! My sister and I had miso cod which was amazing. Puddings were very generously portioned although my dad had no problem finishing the pear and apricot tart. Great breakfast as well….the diet can always start tomorrow!

Nearby walks

For a quick morning or night-time wee for your pup there is a tiny triangular ‘park’ across the road from the hotel. It isn’t secure so you’ll need to keep them on a lead. For a fabulous long walk, drive for approximately 10 mins to Ashton Court where you can walk happily for an hour or two following trails through the woods and spotting deer. You can finish off with a coffee and cake at the converted stables cafe near the car park.

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Meeting my poo pals at Ashton Court

Nice touches

  • Nespresso machine
  • Fresh milk in the fridge!

For more information visit their website: http://www.hoteduvin.com
Visit – March 2018