TV actress and dog lover, Ali Bastian has joined the K9 Magazine pack as our new pet friendly travel reporter. Alongside her two sidekicks, Molly and Mable, the trio will bring you monthly dog friendly hotel reviews, things to see and places to visit across the UK.
This month the trio have visited the Spread Eagle Hotel and Spa in Midhurst, a market town in the South East of England.
Molly, Mable and I love any excuse to escape from the big smoke and head for the rolling British countryside, but finding somewhere to accommodate our little furry family isn't always easy. Luckily, more and more hotels are catching on that, as a nation of pet lovers, many of us are unlikely to holiday without our four legged friends.
For me, this has also extended to travelling for work, touring the country with theatre productions and filming in various locations across the UK, I'm no stranger to taking to the open road with my two little sidekicks for company.
Together, we've travelled the length and breadth of the country and have put together our little black book of favourite puppy friendly accommodation. I'm so excited to share them with you. But, ssshhhh, keep them under your wax dog jackets... these are my best kept secrets!
Photo Credit: Anthony Mayatt
First up, Molly, Mable and I took the Spread Eagle hotel in Midhurst by storm.
Within easy reach of the South Coast, and a stone's throw away from the breathtaking views of the sprawling South Downs national park - an absolutely ideal place for the pooches to run wild - the Spread Eagle hotel nestles in the heart of the historical town of Midhurst in West Sussex.
Complete with an award winning spa, cosy candle lit restaurant with inglenook fire place and a very warm welcome for our furry four legged friends, the spa hotel is the perfect location for a pet friendly relaxing escape.
One of the oldest coaching inns still in existence, this 14th century hotel has just the right balance of old world romance and contemporary convenience. For added decadence, stay in the Queen's Suite, said to have accommodated Elizabeth I in 1591 and enjoy a hand carved four poster bed, luxurious roll top bath and even your very own wig room!
After treating yourselves to any of the wonderfully relaxing treatments the spa has to offer, you can then curl up in your fluffy dressing gown in the sunny conservatory for a cream tea and a glass of bubbles. There's also a well equipped gym, should you feel so inclined, swimming pool, steam room and jacuzzi at your disposal. This warm, friendly hotel is ideal for a romantic weekend getaway, or equally with groups of friends or family (private dining can be arranged on request). It's a wonderful location to hideaway and recharge the batteries.
A Puppy's Perspective...
Molly's Musings.... I loved the treats, toys and cozy dog beds lovingly laid out in our room on arrival and long walks around the historical Cowdry ruins. As a King Charles cross, I feel close to my ancestry in such regal surroundings. This is where I belong.
Mable's Mutterings... Although I appreciated the dog beds, I much preferred to recline on the four poster bed. I like to sleep right in the middle and leave as little space as possible for my captor, Ali. I was over the moon with the pigs ears left in the room when they turned down the bed each night.
Not to be missed...
Fitzcane's Cafe, a super Doggy friendly cafe in the heart of Midhurst.
Take a trip down memory lane listening to your choice of vinyl records, read the daily paper and try out one of the 20 flavours of locally produced ice cream! Molly and Mable were delighted with the 'Pupsicles' home made healthy ice cream treats made from yogurt, peanut butter and honey... The holding handle is a smoked sausage! We recommend grabbing a coffee and a Pupsicle and heading off for an afternoon of treasure hunting in the many antique shops Midhurst has to offer.
Book your dog friendly weekend at the Spread Eagle Hotel and Spa www.hshotels.co.uk.