Fantastic dog-friendly pubs for a pit stop after a country ramble
5 minute read
The Bull Inn, Totnes
This is a cool little inn with a buzzy vibe, the perfect match for Totnes’ independent spirit, and dogs are welcome in the restaurant. The rambling mid-19th century inn has been thoughtfully revived with a good mix of colours, eclectic furniture and local art. Owner Geetie Singh flies the flag for super sustainable cooking and sourcing. Everything is made from scratch and there’s an emphasis on veggie dishes and proper bar snacks - don’t expect bags of crisps here. Menus change daily: try crab on toast with cucumber and fennel salad; crispy cauliflower with pesto and beans; finish with a white chocolate miso ganache.
The Royal Oak at Keswick
This cosy, traditional haunt on Keswick’s high street is a crowd-pleaser. Dog-walkers, holiday makers, families and locals are all going to be happy here. Prop up the long, narrow bar or bag a comfy seat by a fire, then order homemade fish pie with parsley mash and juice mopping up bread. Children can choose smaller portions of the hearty mains and there’s always a water bowl for your dog. Most of Thwaites’ cask ales are available, the wines are good, the landlord is welcoming and the staff are smiley. A super lunch stop off when you’re holidaying in the Lakes.
The Inn at Fossebridge
A gorgeous 17th-century coaching inn set in a fine Cotswolds garden with a lakeside stroll, fires in winter and barbecues in summer. Enjoy the happy hubbub at lunchtime, eating in the beamed, open fire’d dining room, or out in the garden. There are real ales on tap, spectacular roast dinners and a happy welcome for all, including dogs. This place prides itself on serving really good pub food: prawn cocktail, fish and chips, cottage pie, great puddings. The pub garden is one of the largest and most attractive in the Cotswolds with a two-acre lake fringed by mature trees. After lunch, walk up the river Coln valley and revel in glorious countryside.
The Cornish Arms
The Stein’s tenant this charming country inn and the food, as expected when Rick Stein is involved, doesn’t miss a beat. Come for the exceptional Sunday lunch and the lively atmosphere - it’s unpretentious and authentic, with locals rubbing shoulders with dog walkers and holiday makers. Hearty comfort food is cooked with aplomb – scampi in a basket, rump steak and chips, sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream. The merry bar is where the locals sup pints of St Austell Brewery’s best ales, the big garden is the place to be on sunny days and there’s a wood-burner for dogs to snooze beside on chilly afternoons.
The Acorn Inn
‘We like dogs and muddy boots’ is The Acorn Inn’s motto. Great! This 400-year-old gem set in gorgeous Evershot - Thomas Hardy country - has a long flagstone bar and menus are sourced from within 25 miles. In the dining room, the atmosphere is rural country house with smartly laid tables, soft lighting and elegant fireplaces. Good food is taken seriously, be it a homemade burger, or twice- cooked pork belly followed by a warm sticky toffee pudding. After a long muddy walk, pitch up for scrumptious gastropub food, or a pint at the bar, while your dog dreams by the fire.
The Talbot Inn at Mells
A beautifully restored 15th-century inn set in a timeless village. Huge oak doors open to a cobbled courtyard, then a big sofa’d sitting room on one side and the bar and dining rooms on the other. Inside, a warren of passageways, low doorways, nooks, crannies and beams. Dine at old dining tables decked in flickering candles, relax in front of crackling log fires. The food is top-notch, tuck into roast beef sandwiches with horseradish, rocket and chips; sea bream with white beans and chorizo; vanilla rice pudding to finish. Effortless hospitality is a further plus and dogs are welcome in all public spaces.