Château De Germigney, Port-Lesney 🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾

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Just making myself at home!

Hotel

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.

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Can you spot me?

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.

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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 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!

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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.

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Verdict – definitely dog-friendly

Nice touches

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

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

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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

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 Clos de la Tour, Chátillon-sur-Chalaronne 🐾🐾🐾🐾

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But you said bistrot, not bath?!

Hotel

We had booked into La Tour, but, when we arrived, we found that we had been moved to La Clos, which is another of their hotels around the corner. We had booked just a basic room which was small but perfectly comfortable and very quiet! The bathroom had just a shower, so was a bit too small to put Barnaby in, but he was happy sleeping by the side of the bed.

If you are staying in summer, I would recommend making sure you ask specifically for a room at La Clos, as this has the main restaurant that is open in the summer. It also has a lovely outdoor pool.

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I’ve found my spot!

Restaurant – dog-friendly in summer

On the website they say they have three restaurants: Gastronomic, Bistronomic and Patio. In the summer only the Bistronomic, at La Clos, is available in the evenings. I don’t know what other options are available in the day or if the indoor restaurants are dog friendly, so do check. All the restaurants are closed on Sunday evenings and all day Monday.

The Bistronomic restaurant was set up on the outside terrace and really nicely laid out. We had a table near a fountain, slightly away from everyone else, so Barnaby had a bit more space and could lie on the grass. There were cacti everywhere, even in teapots on the tables! The staff were very smiley and friendly and we had an excellent three course set menu, all of which was delicious, particularly the rather huge chocolate fondant.

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I’ve found more cacti here!

Nearby walks

La Clos has a garden which is perfectly adequate for morning and evening bathroom duties. Our only difficulty in arriving early evening, was that we had to try and find a more discreet place where diners couldn’t see Barnaby doing his business! There is a handy bin in the car park for you know what!

As we left the following morning at 6am, we noticed a lovely park on the river very near the hotel. This would have been a really nice place for a longer walk. Next time!

 

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Are you coming in?

For more information visit their website: http://www.hotel-latour.com

The Swan at Bibury 🐾🐾🐾

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Mmm breakfast!

The Hotel

The Swan is situated in the picturesque Cotswold village of Bibury, right on the river Coln. It’s very much on the tourist map, but with a dog you have an excuse to explore the beautiful countryside and get away from the coach parties! The hotel was super dog-friendly and our room had a dog bed and bowl for Barnaby. We had a basic room in the main hotel which, although it was small, had a bathroom big enough for Barnaby to sleep in. The hotel requests that you feed your dog in the bathroom where there are tiles, for ease of cleaning; fair enough!

The Restaurant

The plan was to eat in the bar area where Barnaby was allowed with us, but it was quite busy and noisy so we took Barnaby back to our room and headed to the brasserie on our own instead. This was much more relaxed and comfortable and we very much enjoyed our meal. We had breakfast with Barnaby in the bar area the following morning when it was more peaceful! You can also take dogs into the little sitting room where there is a fire. We had a coffee and read the papers there after breakfast.

Nearby walks

The Swan is situated right on the road at a junction, which has to be navigated first when taking your dog for its loo visits! The hotel does however have a small enclosed garden just across the road, with a stream running through it; a great place to wash off muddy paws! For a longer walk the very picturesque six mile walk from Bibury to Coln St Aldwyns (see link) is great, although you’ll need to work out how to get back if you don’t want to do double the distance! There can be livestock so some lead walking may be necessary and when we were there it was quite muddy!

 

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Wellies required!

For more information visit: http://www.cotswold-inns-hotels.co.uk/the-swan-hotel

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

The Seaside Boarding House, Burton Bradstock 🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾

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Come on, let’s go in!

The Hotel

Visiting the Seaside Boarding House is like stepping back to another time, yet it’s also feels modern and sophisticated. There are no TVs or kettles/coffee machines in its eight rooms, but this just adds to its charm. Instead, with a dial of your old-fashioned telephone, you can request a pot of tea that arrives almost instantly! Instead of watching the TV, you can sit at the window seat and admire the beautiful view looking out to sea. We were in room 303 which had amazing views from both the bedroom and bathroom and the comfiest bed imaginable (apparently they have Devon-made natural mattresses). The bathroom was too small for Barnaby to sleep in but he was fairly well-behaved sleeping on the floor of our room.

p.s. Apologies to my husband for missing the FA cup final (I told him later that TVs are available on request!).

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So where is the TV?

The Restaurant

Dogs are not allowed in the restaurant but they are allowed in the bar area, library and outside terrace. The great thing is that the menu is the same in any location so we ate once in the restaurant and once in the bar, where Barnaby slept peacefully under the table. The food was consistently excellent and worth a special mention were the hake with aoli and the turbot with smoked mussels. My husband said it was the best hake he’s ever eaten! I also managed to squeeze in afternoon tea with scones, jam and cream (very generous portions!) and we both had classic fish soup for lunch on the terrace, divine!

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Yes, I’m allowed in here!

Nearby walks

Steps down from the front garden lead you straight onto the beach which stretches from Weymouth in the east to past Lyme Regis in the west. We walked Barnaby at 7 in the mornings and had the beach to ourselves, apart from the odd fisherman and lone swimmer. The beach is closed to dogs from 1st June to the end of September but you can walk the pretty coastal paths parallel to the beach instead.

The Seaside Boarding House has a handy shower room downstairs that can be accessed through the back door. We were able to wash off Barnaby’s sandy paws before taking him upstairs.

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Where is everybody?

Nice touches

It really felt like nothing was too much trouble for the super-friendly staff. I also loved finding a daily newspaper posted underneath our door.

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A beautiful evening at the SBH

For more information visit their website: http://www.theseasideboardinghouse.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. Situated on the banks of  Lake Windermere, Storrs Hall really is a gem. The Georgian 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. 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.

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

Château de Courban, Courban 🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾

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Err is this supposed to be a dog?

The Hotel

We’ve stayed at Chateau de Courban three times now as its a fairly straightforward drive in a day from Calais (4-5 hours). The first time we stayed in their basic room on the third floor of the main Chateau which was nicely decorated with a small bathroom and perfectly adequate, but as Barnaby was a puppy and in the same room as us we didn’t get a very good night’s sleep!

So the second time we booked a bigger room in the separate building to the left of the main chateau. This was great as it was a really big comfy room with a huge bed, but even better a large bathroom in which to deposit Barnaby ensuring a good night’s sleep for all. He was perfectly happy in his space and so were we!

The last time we stayed we were in the main house again but on the second floor with a big room and big bathroom. However, Barnaby could hear lots of noises in the hotel and being a bit nervy kept growling to protect us from anyone or thing that might have been lurking. So we’ll try and book in the separate building again next time. The resident dog is the lovely Dolly who came on a walk with us the first time we came, and showed us the route!

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The restaurant – Dogs welcome

This has always been the highlight of our stay. The restaurant is separate from the main chateau and you can enjoy an aperitif in the sitting room by a lovely fire before dinner. The nibbles are fabulous, particularly the savoury macaroons with wasabi! Well behaved dogs of any size are welcome. Barnaby was very happy to lie by the table, whilst we dined in style. By the way the cheese board is to die for!

Nearby walks

You can easily take your dog out for a short or longer walk from the chateau without even putting them on a lead. For a longer walk exit through the car park, turn right, take the left fork by the little cemetery and you can be in the woods in 5 minutes. There are well trodden paths so you can do a quick circular route or go straight and pick up a right hand path that leads down to the road back to the village. We spotted deer in there one morning which was very exciting! For a quick night time wee for your pup, just take the right hand fork at the cemetery and keep to the roads in the village. There are rarely any cars!

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Puppy Barnaby and Dolly

Nice touches

Nespresso machine in the room.

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