Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Ship Inn – Custom House Quay Weymouth

The Ship Inn – Custom House Quay Weymouth

We had been looking for somewhere to eat whilst staying in Weymouth as part of our dog friendly two week adventure around the country. We happened upon the Ship mentioned on another dog friendly website and enquired with them if they were infact dog friendly; they informed us they were but advised we book a table if we wished a dog to join them for dinner. It was several months before we were actually due to be in the area but a quick message via facebook to them the evening before our visit secured us a booking for 7pm for 2 people and 1 greyhound (The message was infact sent via the greyhounds own facebook page and so the table was reserved in the name of “Cat the Greyhound”. 

We parked up in the local pay and display (Free after 6pm so no need to either pay or display!) and walked up the road to “The Ship”; upon arrival we were greeted by one of the staff who instantly recognised his guest as “Cat the Greyhound” (I dont suppose he gets a lot of table reservations for a dog) and we were shown to our table – complete with reserved sign and a bowl of water ready and waiting for their guest!

Drinks and menu's were provided for the human guests and orders placed at the table. We ordered the mezze board, the ham hock terrine, hand crumbed mushrooms and a side of skin on fries (2 starters, a sharing board and a side order!) We didn't have to wait too long for the food to be ready and as requested it was all served together. The mezze board consisted of 3 falafel bites, a pitta bread, 2 slices of garlic flat bread, 2 faccacia bread sticks, a salsa, a houmous, a tzatziki and some olives in olive oil and as the name suggests it was served on a board (A board that kinda looked like a piece of driftwood!). The “Hand crumbed mushrooms” were amazing; slices of mushroom in a breadcrumb served with a garlic dip. Really nice, so much better than any “Garlic mushroom” starter we have ever eaten before. The ham hock terrine was very nice too, served in a jar with some foccacia bread sticks on the side. There wasn't a crumb left at the end. Very nice meal, would definitely recommend to any one in the area and especially to fellow hounds and their humans as we were made very welcome by all the staff and the other customers. And we will 100% be paying the ship another visit next time we are in the area.

The Ship is right next to the water so lovely views over the harbour of the boats coming and going, a short walk from the main town and beach (Beach has a dog friendly section all year round nearest end to the fair and sea life tower!) so a greyt place for a visit for lunch or dinner whilst enjoying a day out in the area. Parking is near by but all pay and display (except after 6pm when the car parks are free!) The Ship also supports charity by doing fundraising and has collection boxes dotted around so that gets them an extra point in our books.


We cant say anything negative about the Ship following our visit so dont let any negative reviews you have seen put you off of a visit, get down and see for yourselves. We did and are very happy we visited. 5 out of 5.  

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Hunters moon Sherbourne Dorset

We went to Hunters Moon whilst we were camping in the local area for WoofstockUk and needed somewhere to eat on the Sunday evening, we found Hunters Moon on the internet and sent them a message to confirm that they were in fact dog friendly, the landlord confirmed they were and booked us a table for the whole evening, we arrived to have dinner around 7pm. We were able to choose a table ourselves as they weren't busy at that time. We sat down and ordered and I settled down on my blanket next to the table. Food was served promptly and was very nice food. Hooman boy had the pie of the day with chips (although it turned out to be a different flavour than what the lady at the bar said it was!) and hooman girl had the vegetarian option (was some kind of spinach and mushroom thing in a pastry) which came with vegetables! 

Hunters moon is on the main road running through the area and so is a good place to stop off at on  the way to or from days out as well as a good place for food and drink if you are in the area already. Hunters moon also has accommodation on site if people need a place to stay overnight, large car park and outside seating too idea for the summer or a warm evening. 



Toomer farm campsite

We stayed at Toomer farm on the "campsite" when we visited the local area for woofstockuk, we had some trouble organising staying there as we couldn't get an answer on the phone and when we emailed we got some confusing replies about horses and couldn't get a clear answer on how much it would cost to stay here , etc. Anyway we spoke to someone the week before our stay to ask if we could come a day early and they said yes but didn't take any details on who we were or anything and seemed eager to get off the phone. We arrived as intended on the Friday afternoon ready for Woofstock the next day and after some searching found someone to point us to where we could camp ( they pointed out a window to a small field next to the stables and surrounded by other fields with horses (and broken down cars, bits of rubbish and the like) in! We went ahead and set up the tent and the lady at the site told us that they would find us later for payment. We didn't see her (or anyone else again until the evening of the Sunday (we left Monday morning) when we went to the main house/ B&B to find them so we could pay the bill. The bill was pretty average really (can't remember exactly now buy think was £45.50 or something similar.)

The facilities weren't very good, they had a toilet block with a shower, a sink and 2 toilets in each one (one for male and one for female!) but the water in the sink was cold, the shower only had a curtain (no lockable door) and the main toilet block door in men's didn't shut (the ladies was just sticky to open and close but did close if you pulled it hard!) The toilet block did at least have heating which was a small bonus!

The camping field is adjacent to a field with an old caravan and a rather large horse and the giant horse was determined to escape and spent a lot of his time banging against the gate that was only secured with a rope (until he removed the rope with his mouth!) and stamping his hoofs on the floor and making lots of angry horse noises! He was a bit scary and we was worried he would get out and hurt us (Hooman girl did go talk to him before she saw his behaviours and he tried headbutt her away so we left him to it!)

It is a pretty good area for visiting in Somerset or Dorset (it's right on the border between the two counties) and it had an impressive agility field for the horses to use so if you are a horse you may enjoy a visit! We won't be going back though!

WoofstockUK

The day finally arrived for woofstock UK in Marnhull (that's in Dorset!).


Our friend Harry Spaniel had been telling us all about it for months and months and we had been getting really excited. Harry told us there would be stalls, a dog show, food and music ... What more could a dog ask for?
We decided we'd go camp at a local farm for the weekend of woofstockuk (more about that in another post!) so that we could spend the whole day at the event field, we arrived right at the start too whilst they we're still finishing with setting up. It was a little tricky finding the field and we missed the entrance (Twice!) once we found the gate we parked up next to Drum and Chewy (them the farms horsies!) and wandered over to the stalls.
Drum and Chewy looking very happy
with the goings on in their field

Harry with his mum and the 2 judges at Woofstockuk











We had a chat to some the stall holders, played some tombolla and did a spot of shopping whilst we awaited the dog show! I scored a new blanket bed, some kibbles, some natures diet,TWO new leads, and some dried liver and wabbit luggs. The hoomans had some coffee and cakes and tried some chilli and chutneys from one the stalls; then we registered to enter the dog show. I entered two classes ; best pedigree and best veteran, but the judges didn't think I was good enough to get a ribbon (They were quite nice hoomans though i suppose).

We watched a bit more dog show and the hoomans ate some lunch, hooman girl had a jacket potato with cheese and hooman boy had a hot dog (a snozzage thing not one the contestants from the show!) and then us looked around and talked to fwends some more! Once the dog show was finished there was some kind of funny agility that giant anipals did (though i think there was hoomans inside suits pretending to be anipals really!)



After that the music part of the day started so we wandered over to the other part the field to sit and listen to it! There was more food and some cider and other drinks to be had in to the evening and there was about 5 or 6 music acts performing lots of different types of music and songs and a very odd hooman talking and playing harmonica (apparently he was on " the voice" on TV or something!)



 We had a pawsome time, made some new friends and met some old friends, ate some nice food, bought lots of cool stuff , and listened to some pretty pawsome music too. It was a tad cold though especially by 11pm when we headed back to our campsite. Can't wait for next years WoofstockUK


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!