Inside a luxury dog-friendly stay at Beaverbrook near Leatherhead
- Credit: Archant
The former home of Lord Beaverbook’s latest plaudit is for its dog-friendly credentials. Rebecca Younger took her pup along to see why
Ever since Beaverbrook flung open its doors in spring 2017, it’s been praised for being one of the leading country house hotels in the UK. And there’s good reason it’s held in such high esteem.
Beaverbrook is a lesson in understated luxury – you could quite easily knock up an extortionate bill here, but any pretentiousness should be left at the door. It’s warm and friendly and open to all. Children and dogs included.
Indeed, it has just been named the Best Luxury Hotel in the UK for dogs by PetsPyjamas.com.
And so, while I have been lucky enough to visit Beaverbrook before, the reason for this visit was to check out the family and dog-friendly rooms in The Coach House – the third and final phase of the multi-million-pound Beaverbrook estate.
The ethos at Beaverbrook is very much that of a home-from-home (albeit a very luxurious one) and for many, home just wouldn’t be home without their pet dog. With 475 acres of grounds to explore, as well as a luxurious spa, it’s the perfect place to pamper both human and pooch.
The six new pet-friendly family suites attached to The Coach House can accommodate families of four (or more in interconnecting rooms) and feature private terraces. Dog bowls and towels to wipe mucky paws are provided and Milo, our four-month-old miniature Dachshund, soon felt right at home curling up in front of the log burner.
In the Oak Suite where we stayed, there was plenty of space for him to run about at the dreaded ‘witching hour’ too – not that he needed the space indoors with so much parkland and wood to explore outside.
You can take a gentle stroll around the splendid estate, hike up Box Hill and admire the sunrise, or, as we did, take yourself down to Mickleham village, stop for a pub lunch or a pint at The Running Horses and then venture back. You can ask for an illustrated map of various walking routes on the estate at reception.
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Of course, being so close to the spa – I had to leave my husband in charge of the pup for an hour or so post-walk while I went for a bit of ‘me time’.
Lino, who has been at the spa since it opened, worked his magic on my walk-induced aching limbs with a bespoke Bio-Dynamic Bodywork Massage, which combined deep breathing techniques with a range of therapeutic methods involving muscle and tendon manipulation, basic and pulsatory touch and work on my biolfield (the field of energy surrounding my body).
Dine with your dog
Later that evening we left Milo in the room with a toy and a chew while we dined but mainly so we could stopped off at Frank’s Bar in the main ‘House’ for an aperitif beforehand.
This fabulous art-deco-inspired bar has recently had a bit of a re-design incorporating botanical prints on loan from the Marianne North collection at Kew Gardens.
While dogs aren’t allowed in the main house, they are welcome to join guests for breakfast and lunch in the conservatory area of The Garden House Restaurant, which offers an eclectic combination of locally-sourced ingredients to create Anglo-Italian inspired dishes that change with the seasons.
We sampled Seared Atlantic Scallops with Heritage Carrot, Vanilla & Fennel, Tian of Devon Crab with Cucumber, Clementine & Dill followed by Chicken Milanese & Somerset Hen’s Egg with Winter Black Truffle and Sautéed Spinach and Confit Duck Leg Red Cabbage & Petits Pois (and may have syphoned off some of the duck in a napkin for pup...shhh).
Fun for all the family
As well as its dog-friendly credentials, Beaverbrook has a host of facilities for kids too. In addition to its entertaining kids club, run by party supremos Sharky & George, the hotel has recently launched a Wild Woods programme for families with children aged 6-12 years old.
Every weekend there’s a host of high-octane woodland activities on offer, organised from a gigantic treehouse hidden away in the estate’s forest.
Kids can learn the secret of how bees produce honey at the beehives; take part in the ultimate den challenge to build the best hideout; enjoy some ninja training; get crafty at one of the mini plane or boat making masterclasses or pen a play to perform at the secret woodland theatre.
And if all that sounds too exhausting, then families can snuggle up in their pyjamas at the estate’s cinema and enjoy warming mugs of hot chocolate and boxes of popcorn served from the old-fashioned cart.
It may have once been a playground of the rich and famous but now Beaverbrook is very much a playground for all ages of human (and dog) to enjoy.
Dog friendly rooms at Beaverbrook start from £385 per night on a room only basis.
The Wild Wood package is £1,000 for a family of four.
More dog friendly hotels in Surrey
Just a couple of miles away from Beaverbrook, this coaching inn played host to Charles Dickens while he wrote The Pickwick Papers in the mid-19th century.
Guests can dine with their pups in the bar, café and lounge and dogs are welcomed with a doggy bowl and treat, while the Surrey Hills provide acres of countryside to explore.
Once a frequent hitching post for Lord Nelson, this is an inviting place with plenty of log fires for your four-legged friend to cosy up in front of.
The Inn has an enclosed private garden where dogs can roam or you could enjoy the 4.5 mile stroll along the nearby canal.
Dating back to 1580 and nestled in three acres of beautiful gardens, this Grade II Listed hotel has its own resident pup, Daisy, who is always keen to make new friends.
There’s a gourmet restaurant for the humans to enjoy but pups needn’t miss out thanks to the special doggy menu!
For more pet friendly hotels, visit Petspyjamas.com