Chateau de Codignat, Bort-l’Etang

IMG_0551.jpg
Welcome to my castle!

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

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

Advertisements

Cafés/restaurants W14

IMG_8333
Ready to order?

Cibo Restaurant – 3 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ – We braved the snow, cold and ice and headed off to Holland Park to visit Cibo Restaurant. It’s a great small and friendly Italian with a delicious menu. Beware – portions are large, with plenty of bread and olives to start. Save room for the tiramisu! The dogs were a hit with an American couple who had left their labradoodle in the States!

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

IMG_E6966
Just making myself at home!

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?

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

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

Cafés/restaurants SW10

IMG_4396[2869]
Did someone stay steak?!
Farm Girl café – 9 Park Walk, Chelsea SW10 OAJ – Newly opened (Feb 2018) Australian café, serving ‘healthy and fun food’. Very dog friendly!

Goat – 333 Fulham Road, London SW10 9QL – Italian eatery open for lunch and dinner. In the week, in addition to the normal menu, they have a bargain £10 set lunch and they are super dog-friendly! They even have Lily’s Kitchen dog treats on the menu!

Maze Grill – 11 Park Walk, Chelsea, London SW10 0AJ – Lunch and dinner. Meaty menu but they do great sushi!

Cafés/restaurants SW3

IMG_3724[2841]
More meat loaf?! Me and my pal @freddieposingcockapoo
Duke of York Square – This area near Sloane Square tube and behind the Kings Road has quite a few restaurants where dogs are only allowed at the tables outside. Dogs are allowed inside at the following restaurants:

  • Polpo – 81 Duke of York Square, London SW3 4LY – Italian eatery open for lunch and dinner. Great small plates for sharing.
  • Gallery Mess – Saachi Gallery, Duke of York Square, London SW3 4LY – Dogs are allowed in the bar area only.

Beaufort House 354 Kings Road, Chelsea SW3 5UZ – Stylish brasserie with a small but very tasty menu. It’s also a great place for cocktails.

Egerton House Hotel17-19 Egerton Terrace, London SW3 2BX – For a bit of decadence, enjoy afternoon tea with your pup in this boutique hotel in Knightsbridge. Barnaby loved the doggy meat loaf and the toy he got to take home!

Orée – 65 Kings Road, London SW3 4NT – A lovely place for breakfast or brunch, or just to have a coffee and one of the delicious pastries on offer.

Tom’s Kitchen 27 Cale Street, Chelsea, London SW3 3QP – A perfect place for Sunday brunch. We’ve also been along for dinner and they have a great  menu of classics such as mussels, fish and chips, steaks and burgers. Word of warning, when it’s busy it’s super noisy, due to the wooden floors and tightly packed tables.

 

Abbaye de Maiziéres, Beaune 🐾🐾🐾🐾

IMG_6500[3320]
‘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!

IMG_6479
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!

IMG_6508[3330]
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.

IMG_6525
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

Cafés/restaurants W1

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 newly open 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.

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!

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!

image1
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.

IMG_0465
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!

image2
Home sweet home

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

Cafés/restaurants SW1

daysleford
But I don’t want to park here … I want to come in!

Cambridge Street Kitchen –  52 Cambridge Street, London SW1V 4QQ – Open all day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffees. The avocado toast is divine! (Wi-Fi)

Como Lario – 18-22 Holbein Place, London SW1W 8NL – A lovely Italian near Sloane Square that I have been to a few times over the years, but never knew was dog friendly. It’s a small restaurant, with tables close together (especially if dining for two), so do call before to ask for a table with a bit more space.

Daylesford Farm shop and Café – 44B Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8LP – Open for breakfast and lunch (all organic). Dogs are only allowed at the tables outside.

Dominique Ansel Bakery – 17-21 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9RP – Open for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea, plus of course the famous Cronut. Dominique is famous for creating this combination of the croissant and donut, and each month there is a new flavour to try! Head to the enclosed garden in the back of the bakery (I think its the nicest place!) to sit with your dog (Wi-Fi)

No. 11 Pimlico Road – 11 Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8NA –  I walk past here all the time and had no idea it was dog-friendly until I just asked and they said yes! A lovely contemporary restaurant open for brunch, lunch and dinner. I can recommend the delicious halloumi and cucumber burger! (Wi-Fi)

Peggy Porschen –  116 Ebury St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9QQ – Just tea, coffee and cakes (and champagne of course!) I can highly recommend their cupcakes! (As from 2018 dogs are no longer allowed inside)

R Chocolate London – 198 Ebury St, Belgravia, London SW1W 8UN- Coffee, home-made chocolate and divine patisseries.

The Roasting – 31 Churton Street, London SW1V 2LY – A small café serving breakfast and lunch, but it’s all about the coffee! (Wi-Fi)

Wulf and Lamb – 243 Pavilion Road, SW1X OBP –  This is a new vegan restaurant. It looks like a small café serving breakfast and lunch but head upstairs for a more a formal dining experience.  Well behaved dogs are allowed upstairs.

All places have been tried and tested by Barnaby!

Peggy Porschen
Let me, in I’m parched!

Hotel du Vin, Birmingham 🐾🐾🐾🐾

FullSizeRender[1]

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.

FullSizeRender[2]
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.

FullSizeRender
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!

IMG_9559

Nice touches

  • Nespresso machine
  • Fresh milk in the fridge

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