7 dog friendly pubs in the Cotswolds
- Credit: Archant
There’s plenty of pubs that welcome dogs across the Cotswolds. Barnaby, a three year old Border Collie from Old Sodbury, shares with us some of his favourite places to go.
The 16th-century Plough at Clanfield, West Oxfordshire, is a great pub as it’s very atmospheric and so well looked after. Actually the furniture’s so highly polished I can see the reflection of my face when I gaze around at the fixtures and fittings. Apart from serving the most flavoursome food, this inn also stocks a remarkable range of gins (more than 200 when I last counted the bottles stored in an attractive little gin pantry besides the bar).
Normally I can ignore gin, even though it looks rather like chilled water, but how can a dog ignore a gin called Dogs Nose that’s made from hops? Helen (my owner) remarked that it is one of the nicest gins she had ever tasted, and although I am not allowed to drink it, she did dip her little finger into her glass and allow me a lick. I was surprised to discover it had a very dry finish, which is strange because I thought that dog’s noses were supposed to be moist. Mine is.
You will find the Trouble House, which is a 17th-century white-washed building, laid back on the right hand side of the A433 as you head for Tetbury. Because it serves the most delectable home-made chocolate cakes throughout the day, also breakfast, lunch and dinner, the owners describe it as a café bar, whereas we reckon it’s still a pub. The amusing thing about this stylish establishment is that it has a ghost, a lady in blue, who glides gracefully from table to table, moving the occasional tea pot as she goes. I have watched her in action because dogs (particularly Border collies) can see ghosts, whereas humans can’t. If she looks in my direction she winks and I wink back.
When I stand on the terrace at the 17th-century Mount Inn, which overlooks the picturesque little village of Stanton, the spectacular panoramic view laid out before me always takes my breath away. This glorious dog-friendly pub, which began life as a farmhouse, rates as one of my favourite watering holes. The staff make a great fuss of me and there is always a plentiful supply of biscuits on hand for canine visitors. As the inn stands beside the Cotswold Way, walks in this area are exceptional and when I say exceptional I really do mean exceptional. This really does rate as one of the most idyllic spots in the Cotswolds. We once walked from Stanton to nearby Broadway, however Helen finds that rather too far these days, so we now peel off the Cotswold Way after about a mile and turn back towards Stanton, making our way down the hill across undulating landscape of exquisite beauty.
You will discover Halfway House in the hamlet of Kineton between Temple Guiting and Guiting Power. This is the pub that organises a dog walk for their customers on the first Sunday of every month, which is followed by a glorious roast lunch for our masters. Dogs just get biscuits and water, but that’s OK because we can relax and chat to all the new furry friends we have made during the walk while the staff go more than halfway to keep us happy.
When we visit the Lamb Inn at Burford, which dates back to 1420, I always get excited because on entering I am greeted by a charming barman who bows then hands me the Doggy Menu offering the choice of fish casserole, tasty chicken breasts or beef casserole. I also get presented with a little bowl of gravy bones which he describes as “Nibbles for the little chap”. This makes me feel very important.
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I couldn’t possibly finish this article without saying something about The Smoking Dog at Malmesbury. This classic 17th-century inn stands at the bottom of the High Street and has a well-deserved reputation for serving a splendid assortment of real ales.
Apparently it was given its name when an old photograph of a dog smoking a pipe was found in the attic during the 20th century. It’s the only Malmesbury pub that has a spacious beer garden and holds an annual sausage and beer festival in May. Sausage Festivals have to be taken seriously, don’t you think?
The Dog Inn, Old Sodbury, stands on the edge of the Cotswold Way, close to where I was born. This attractive inn with its friendly family atmosphere is more than 500 years old. The staff always serve me a great bowl of tea and Helen says the food they cook for her is to die for and all at very modest prices.
This article was featured in the November 2015 Pets Issue of Cotswold Life.
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