I was very pleased to be asked to contribute an essay to The Good Pub Guide 2017, and even more so when they asked if it could be a dog-friendly guide
Growing up in the English countryside and spending a lot of time in pubs means I can’t think of going out for a drink without a dog at my feet (or, shhh, sometimes on my lap). Sadly, in London, where I now live with two miniature dachshunds and the occasional visiting blue whippet, it’s hard to find restaurants and bars that do welcome dogs.
So, thank goodness that the majority of pubs in the city remain an oasis for dog-lovers. Some lovely pubs not only welcome dogs but go the extra mile, offering crispy pigs’ ears and bowls of water – the Spaniards Inn, hard by London’s Hampstead Heath, even has a dog-washing facility.
Here are four of my favourite dog-friendly pubs, in London and beyond:
Oh we properly loved our stay at The Wheatsheaf Inn in Gloucestershire, from the lovely staff and comfortable room to the delicious supper and welcoming bar. (That’s Lettice in their beer garden at top.) You can read the full LLG review here.
The Globe Inn Marsh, Rye, Sussex
We visited the small but perfectly formed Globe Inn when we rented a house for New Year in East Sussex in 2015/16, and I included it in this story of our holiday here.
Above: My sister & Posetta Baddog (RIP) at The Greyhound, which is just a lovely, lovely place to both stay and to hang out, with excellent food in the pretty small town of Stockbridge. It’s also super popular with anglers, thanks to its position by the River Test. You can read the LLG review here
The Gipsy Queen, London NW5
This is my sister’s local in the no-man’s land between Belsize Park and Kentish Town High Street; it serves great food, has a fab quiz night on Sunday evenings, and an excellent Sunday lunch. It’s a also a quick dog trot to Parliament Hill so it’s a useful post-walk option when the Bull & Last is packed out.
Above: My sister, mother and Maisie the Miniature Wire-Haired Dachshund at The Gipsy Queen
The Royal Oak, Eydon, Northamptonshire
I grew up a few miles from here, and have been drinking in the pub for many years now. We used to walk cross-country in the evening by torchlight when we were teenagers, across the fields and over the old railway lines to get here, but it’s a lot easier now that my mother has moved just down the road. The Royal Oak dates from the 17th century, and is very atmospheric, with hidden alcoves and low beamed ceilings. It’s absolutely everything you’d expect from a traditional English country pub. I wrote a little about in this post from Easter at my mother’s back in 2012. (Northamptonshire was a hotbed of activity during the English Civil War, and The Royal Oak is the English oak tree within which the future King Charles II of England hid to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester in 1651.)