Friday, 27 June 2014

Housedean Farm Campsite Brighton BN7 3JW

Sunday 22nd June 2014 was the 5th annual GBGW. I begged the hooman for months to book time off from work so we could go to it and I wished and wished for us to go to West Wittering to do walkies as I luff the beach there and I haff fwends in the area to sniff and bark with.

Finally hooman girl came to tell me we were going to GBGW and not only that but she had scored a whole 10 days off work. So I set about organising a road trip for us; I looked around at different campsites, some we have camped at  before and some new ones we've not been to before. We settled on Housedean farm.
Housedean farm is a farm and a campsite on the A27 between Brighton and Lewes and their website looks really amazing. They  have bigger pitches than most campsites so lots of people can camp on one pitch together and every pitch has its own firepit for campfires.They have toilets and showers for the hoomans and most importantly they allow dogs. So we decided it looked like a soopa place and in a good area for all our plans and so we sent an enquiry email to the site to ask about vacancies - we weren't holding out  much hope as it's summer time and the site looked like it might be popular - we heard back quite quickly and they told us they did have space and how to book/pay (There was a link to a clever payment website - very modern of them!)

Eventually the day arrived for our camping trip. We arrived at the campsite at 1430, it was the most easy to find / best signposted campsite we have ever stayed on. We pulled in and went to reception - it was closed  but not to panic a note said for new arrivals to take a leaflet , choose a pitch and come  back to book in once you are set up. The leaflets had directions to the camping field - it was straight ahead past the barn - with a map of the pitches, details about taxi and buses, information on the local walking routes on south down ways and the site rules (Though the rules on the leaflet and the rules on the website aren't the same!).


We read the leaflet and chose a pitch - it was as expected crazy busy on site. We chose pitch one because it was close to the facilities so it would be easier for me to be left when hooman girl needed to use them (plus you know it was one of the few still available at the time!) Hooman girl wrestled with the tent until it was standing up and looking like a tent should look whilst I sunbathed and watched the world go by. A couple of hours later just as the tent was erected and we getting things set up the campsite owner dropped by and said hi. He told us where to go to book in and pay the rest the money - he seemed nice and friendly , doesn't say much but that is fine by us (who wants to go camping and be pestered by the owners of the site the whole time? not us that is for sure!) So we walked down to pay and bought myself an ice cream whilst we were there.

Reception / Shop 

The reception and shop is open in the morning and the afternoon for a few hours each. The shop stocks some camping essential food items, logs, ice creams and ofcourse marshmallows for toasting on your campfire.

Facilities 










Toilets - individual cabins, each with a toilet, basin, heater and a bin. Each one has soap, paper hand towels and a mirror. Water a good temp (it's set to 35c on the dial - a note in one the cabins said not to change it)

Showers - showers are a good temperature and good water pressure and temperature controllable also (There's a note in the showers explaining how this works) 3 showers - one of which is "open air" basically it's a roofless cubicle but it's quite nice to shower outside with no roof especially on a hot day - it was even almost enjoyable on a not so warm evening once you get over the initial shock of coldness. Though remove clothing before turning on tap or you will just have wet clothing.

Both the toilets and shower cubicles were cleaned and products refreshed / bins emptied regularly .

Washing up area - several sinks with VERY hot water, communal fridge and freezer and bins

Water points - several cold water basins/taps around site

Price 

The site charge per person and not per pitch (as they allow lots of people to camp on each pitch), it cost 10 pounds per night per person and we had to pay half upfront and half on arrival.
We think this is good value for money and a better way of charging for those who dont camp in the pre-set way - some campsites charge a certain amount per night and state it's inclusive of 2 adults and a medium tent and it gets complicated when you are 1 adult, 1 dog, 1 large tent and 1 car. This way it's much simpler as you are charged per person regardless of what sort of tent you are bringing and so much better value over all for single campers.

High Paws (Good Points!) 


  1. Allows groups 
  2. Good price
  3. Close to main A road and public transport links 
  4. Easy to find and well signposted 
  5. Allows/encourages campfire and BBQ 
  6. Communal fridge and freezer 
  7. Good clean facilities 
  8. Lots of nature 


















Bad Doggy (Bad points!) 

  1. A27 can be heard from campsite as it is right outside gate 
  2. Ground is hard so bring spare tent pegs and a good mallet 
  3. Main supermarkets and takeaways are quite a distance away so either need bring supplies for whole stay or go out in car to get food (There's a garage just up road on A27 which stocks your basics) 
  4. Can get busy/noisy especially on weekends 
  5. No EHU (not an issue for us as we never use but for some this would be a problem!) 
  6. Site's own dogs running loose (Again no issue for us but could be an issue if your own dog is more nervous/reactive or if you have small children. Although they predominantly stayed away from the tents they did occasionally come over and do #pooclub by our tent. 
  7. Couldn't get our tie out stake in the hard ground and there was no mention of if dogs are suppose be on lead or not (The website states we do for reference!) 
Things we would of liked

  • Recycling bins 
  • To be able to see the farm animals - our favourite camping spots integrate the farm and campsite together 
  • There are no doggy rules signposted on site or on site rules on leaflet, the only place dogs are mentioned is on the website. Would be helpful if dogs need be on lead if this was mentioned on the site itself. 
  • Pitch bounderies - it's a little hard to work out where one pitch ends and one begins and we ended up with a minivan parked touching our ropes on one night (Not helped by fact they did this at 3am) 
We recommend you go to housedean farm for a visit unless you dont like nature or are a very light sleeper as there is always a degree of background noise from A27 and the wildlife never shut up . We liked hearing the birds and chirping bugs though as it feels like real camping when you are side by side with nature and living next to a busy railway we are use to traffic noise at all hours so the road didn't bother us. We seen a fox cub, birds or prey and more breeds of birds than we could name, crickets and grasshoppers (I'm not sure of the difference!) beetles, spiders and squillians of ants (and have the bites to prove it!) Plus a few horses through a gap in the hedge. 

Note to self - Group doggy holiday at Housedean farm? 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Boathouse Dawlish Warren

We heard that the Boathouse in Dawlish Warren had a new menu and so we decided to pop down one afternoon (we only live 5 mins from here!) the website says that main meals are 2 for 1 on weekdays but this turned out not to be entirely true (some are, not all of them!) we ordered burgers and nachos.

Nachos 

The nachos were suppose to come with cheese sauce and cheese grated on top however they were just tortillas with cheese and salsa on and so were really dry and  not that nice really - and you know not at all what the menu said they were going to be!

Burgers

Hooman girl being a vegtablist she had the "Hippy Burger" which is a vegetable patty with Jack cheese topped with salad in a Brioche bun and served with chips. It was pretty good and the meal was a good size for the price of it. Hooman girl was relatively happy with her choice.
Hooman boy had the "Hickory Burger" but this again wasn't quite how it was described on the menu. It was missing some vital components. Firstly it was served in a seeded burger bun NOT a Brioche bun and was without the onion rosti.
Even so it was an alright burger but obviously would of been improved with its intended ingredients and when we go out to lunch we like the food served to be what we actually ordered really!
We spoke to the manager hooman after, well he came over to clear the table and so we took the opportunity to inform him of the issues with the meal. He apologised (but looked confused!) and offered us free dessert (we didn't want free dessert though!). It was the 1st week they had the menu available and so possible the chef didn't know it perfectly yet and maybe they didn't have all the necessary bits available. So we will let them off for now and revisit later in the year to see if they have improved their selection!

We followed up the visit to the pub with a visit to Dawlish Warren beach which has 2 dog friendly area's ; one is just to the right of the pub and the other you have to walk across a bit of the nature reserve (also dog friendly!)  to access. Dawlish Warren a really lovely area and well worth a visit! And if you are in the area then keep your eyes peeled for mahself :)

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The new look Victoria Inn Salcombe TQ8 8BU

We made a return trip to The Victoria Inn at Salcombe a couple of weeks ago to check out their new look establishment following the big refurbishment recently and since we had enjoyed our previous visits so much we were all very very excited!

We arrived around 12 midday and luckily found a parking space in the car park opposite the pub and headed inside. We were lucky as there wasn't many people in at the time so we got to choose where to sit (we chose the window seat) we were given menu's (They even do a doggy menu now! It has piggy luggs and Bonio's and rawhide chews on. My own self thinks dem shud add snozzages and hams to the doggy menu!). Any ways, my hoomans did looking (at the hooman menu!) and chose dems noms (or more chose lots of noms as they didn't wish to decide on one option!) Hooman boy had the pulled pork roll and hooman girl had the bubble and sqweek (without the egg!) they also had the Camembert to share and then they had Marmite chips because they were curious about them! 

Hooman boy was as usual not very committal in his review "it was alright" is about as good as it gets with him, so I grilled him for some more descriptive words and hooman girl is my fussy hooman (not only is she vegetarian but she's also fussy about textures and tastes and how "clean" food is) so she told me much more about the foods. 


Here goes... 


Pulled Pork 

The meat was nice and cooked well. It came with apple sauce which was good as hooman boy found the meat a bit dry and in need of something to make it less so. The apple sauce did that. But maybe it should be cooked in more of a sauce and have some of it left on the meat to make it more moist on serving. 






Bubble and Sqweek

OK now hooman girl changed the meal so maybe it's better in its original format but like I say she's fussy. The bubble and sqweek comes in a cider cream sauce with a pouched egg on top. Hooman girl didn't want the egg so asked for it without but that meant her whole meal was one flavour (she doesn't like one flavour meals as she gets bored easily) Mostly the bubble and sqweek tasted like potato; think it needed more greenery. It was nice though and like I said probably better with the egg on top. 







Camembert  

The camembert was a winner, both hoomans eatted it and there was none of it left at the end. It was flavoured with rosemary and came with a nice bread roll thing for dipping. I have no negatives to report about this one. It was 5/5 paws soopa! 





Marmite Chips 


Now this was an odd item that hooman girl had seen on the menu and wanted to try so she had them as a sort of dessert (yes she is odd!) They were literally a portion of chips in a bowl with a marmite sauce sqweezed over the top like you would kethup. Neither hooman actually likes Marmite so not sure why we got them but we all tried some. I dont like Marmite either. I did sniff it, then I did lick it. Then I said . Yuck! Hooman boy tried them and said Yuck. Hooman girl liked them and wants more. Odd right? 

 Ontie Liz the landlady came over to say Hi, give me some fusses and some Ham from the kitchen (dont tell chef!) but she was soopa soopa busy serving customers and answering phones and talking to the chef and the other staff and helping customers find things and all those other important things. The Victoria Inn is always busy when we go there, no matter what time of day it is. We've been weekends and week days and it's always been buzzing in there. If you dont want to be disappointed I recommend as always that you call ahead and book a table. 


They still have a fabaroony garden with chickens and other birds and a kiddy play park, and a patio area and a grassed area (but it was being closed when we visited!) They also now have an upstairs area with HUGE patio doors so loads more seating. 

So I am glad to say we definitely still recommend a visit to the Victoria Inn Salcombe. Hoomans definitely recommend the Camembert and I definitely recommend the ham!
Iz such a rebel!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Salt Bar Hayle

Whilst we were in Hayle for a week recently we decided to check out "Salt". We had been told it was dog friendly and checked out the menu online already. We planned to visit twice; once for lunch and once for dinner. First we headed for an evening dinner, the hooman working at Salt suggested we sit in the corner (I dont think he was being mean but salt is quite small and I am a larger breed of dog!) So we sat where he had pointed and ordered our food.  Whilst we waited another customer came over and fussed me and chatted to my girl; he was saying how he wanted a greyhound too so that was soopa and I hope he does get one coz he gives PAWSOME fusses! Soon dinner arrived. Hooman boy had "monkfish scampi" and hooman girl had
"Mushroom and Hullumi burger" The food was really really good, tasted GREYT and good value - not cheap, Salt isn't your average pub but not expensive either and the food was well worth the price.

We went back for lunch 2 days later and the hoomans ordered the "club sandwich"  and a "Mediterranean vegetable melt" again the food was extremely nommy and everyone was really nice and friendly.


5 / 5 paws for SALT! 


Tolroy Manor (John Fowler) Hayle TR27 6HG

We stayed at Tolroy manor for a week in March 2014 for hooman boys burfday (hes old now!) The site was quite easy to find (with the sat nav!) but the entrance sneaks up on you a bit and we had to spin the car around and come back (there is a sign at the entrance so it is easy to spot for those observant enough!). We parked up and I sent my hooman slave in to announce our arrival, her went to reception and the receptionist told her where the bungalow was and gave her a map and a key and a pass for the club. We set about finding the "bungalow" and unpacking the car and settled in for the evening and I set about compiling my report of the site!

Accommodation! 

Small and cold.
We stayed in Tudor Court. Our "bungalow" sleeps 4 - 6 hoomans but is really small; the main bedroom only just fits a double bed in it and although has a chest of drawers in the room you cant actually open them as the bed is in the way. The second bedroom has 2 single beds in - one of those was blocking the wardrobe/cupboard and the other was in front of an external door so that this could not be opened. The windows/doors are single glazed and so it is really cold in the bungalow 99% of the time and you can hear people walking past chatting. Also the beds are very hard so the hoomans had sore backs by the end of the week. There is a microwave, fridge/freezer, kettle and cooker which were all working well and the shower was very nice temperature/pressure wise.
Bedding isn't included in the price of the booking so you can either pay extra or take your own (we took sleeping bags) and dogs "aren't allowed on furniture" (I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's called FURniture!) so take your bed or blankie with you on holiday!


Entertainment!  

The site has a main club/bar/amusements type area (no dogs in here though!) the amusements are very basic and obviously aimed at very small children, a few of the machines weren't working that well. There's a soft play area in the reception (again obviously aimed at pre-school children!) The "Stripey coats" were a little too attentive and kept talking to the hoomans when they didn't really want to be bothered (it was VERY quiet in the bar!).
The swimming pool was broken (Storm damage - and we all know what that is like here in Dawlish!) so we didn't get to investigate that. There is a shop on site although it did see to have odd opening times it stocked all the "essential" items like tea and coffee and milk.

The site is located in a good central location for visiting other places for adventures. Just a few miles from a HOOOOOGE beach at Hayle Towans and close to Penzance, Praa sands, St Ives, the Lizard and Lands end and not far from Falmouth , Newquay and Redruth so there is alot you can do in the area or near by!

Places to visit in Hayle!  


  • Mr B's Ice Cream 
  • Salt Bar
  • Hayle Towans Beach 
  • Philps Pasties 
We give Tolroy manor 3/5 paws - The accommodation in Tudor Court needs updating and the entertainment team could do with not pestering guests so much even if they are bored because there's only a pawful of people in the bar. but the site has plenty to do - especially for families with children and it is in a good central location. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Harbour House Cafe - Kingsbridge TQ7

Harbour House Cafe
1st Floor, Harbour House, The Promenade
Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 1JD
Tel: 01548 855666

Today we paid a visit to the Harbour House Cafe in Kingsbridge which is inside of the Harbour House Gallery for Art and Yoga

It's a really nice building with a nice art gallery on the bottom floor and the cafe on the 2nd floor and lots of other rooms that has "classes" for hoomans like yoga, meditation, shiatsu, kung fu, tai chi and pilates. (I had a look in some of the rooms on  my way out!) 

A weekly schedule for the "house"


So we headed on in and had to go up some stairs to get to the cafe, these were quite steep and I didn't like them (and liked them even less on way out!) but apparently you can enter via the garden instead - I didn't see any lifts for hoomans with pawly legs! As soon as we entered the cafe som hoomans did saying heywo to mahself and admired my coat. There was 2 little Iggys (Italian Greyhounds) sat in a corner with their hoomans haffing lunch so we headed over to say hi to them first thing before finding a seat and choosing our own lunch - There was plenty of space today as they weren't very busy. 

My girl chose Vegetable bake with a walnut crumble topping and a raspberry crush drink and my boy chose falafel with humus and pitta and a coffee (Did I mention it was a vegetarian cafe?)  The service was quite quick and the food was good. The vegetable bake was soopa tasty and had lots different vegetables in and you could taste them all individually (There was parsnip and carrots and potatoes and tomatoes and sweet potato plus more too) it came with a roll - well half a roll technically - which was very nice too and a salad. The falafel was a little dry but still very tasty and it did come with dips and things so that helped lots. 
After lunch the hoomans did some looking at the photography canvas' that were on the walls and mostly did noting down the names of the places featured in them for future research and then they decided on some cake. 

"We encourage our visitors to eat well but we also see no wrong in the occasional indulgence of a carrot cake or chocolate torte!"

We had the coffee cake and the lemon drizzle cake to share - I got to try both and they were very nommy indeed! 



Then we headed out - Once I had checked out the room at the top the stairs - It was a soopa visit. We finished up our trip with a walk around the town (very steep hill), a trip to the pet shop and a walk by the harbour. 

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Brighton All Shapes and Sizes Dog Meet

When we went camping back in May we visited my friend Casey and his hooman Pete and they told me about their doggy social group which meets oncea month in Brighton and since we wear quite near on what happened to be the day their November meet fell on I decided to pay them a visit and see what all the fuss is about!

Here's some hightlights!























You can find out more info on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AllShapeSizesBrightonDogMeet