Travel has become more complicated but much more fun in the two years since Dogstarke came to stay. She doesn't always come with us, plane journeys aren't really practical but she is quite a well travelled doggie with her very own passport, last year she accompanied us to Ile de Re, although most of her travelling has been on home turf. So now my personal filters when searching for accommodation, dining options and days out include "dog friendly". I've found that this varies greatly particularly for hotels; I've been more than slightly confused by "dog friendly" hotels where dogs are not allowed in public areas nor allowed to stay alone in rooms: the loveliest dinner can be spoiled by that little face gazing back at you from the car. We now look for pub/restaurants with rooms which often let you eat from the main menu in the bar with a happy dog at your feet. It's nice when you can stay in the "good" rooms too, after all there's usually an extra charge for cleaning once your dog has left, so it's galling to be allocated the tired, due for refurbishing room around the back "convenient for letting your dog out". I know there will be irresponsible dog owners but most take great care that their dogs don't leave a trace. When I rented out self catering accommodation I only once had to do extra cleaning to remove traces of dog: several times if I hadn't actually greeted the dog on arrival I'd have been hard pressed to have known it had been there.
Rant over, where would I recommend?
The lovely Traddock at Austwick (www.thetraddock.co.uk), The George and Dragon at Clifton (www.georgeanddragonclifton.co.uk) and ThePlough at Lupton ( www.theploughatlupton.co.uk) are all places with great food which are also very welcoming to dogs - and their owners.
Living in Edinburgh we were really spoiled, our old neighbourhood of Bruntsfield was full of good dog friendly spots, Ruby Shoes (www.oohrubyshoes.co.uk), Falko (Konditermeister) (www.falko.co.uk) and The Edinburgh Bookshop (www.edinburghbookshop.com) were particular favourites.
With the help of the wonderful DugsWelcome site (www.dugswelcome.com) we are exploring our new (temporary) home of Leith. So far we really like Cafe Tartine (find them on Facebook), The Printworks cafe and Sofi's bar. If you are a dog owner in or visiting Scotland I would definitely recommend signing up to Dugs Welcome.
Then at journey's end?
Still exploring our nearest town but mostly relying on good weather and outdoor seating. Though I do know at least one dog friendly local bar
But I'm not telling you where that is..........