A Tail-Wagging Adventure: Lunch with Ursula Aitchison at The Lygon Arms

It’s not every day you embark on a journey that combines scenic train rides, delicious cuisine, and the cheerful company of furry friends. Yet, on a sun-dappled afternoon, Kiki, the intrepid pet inspector, and I did just that. Our destination? The gorgeous Cotswolds village of Broadway, where we were set to meet the celebrated photographer and pet influencer, Ursula Daphne Aitchison, and her golden boys Hugo and Huxley for a delightful lunch at the Grill by James Martin at the dog-friendly Lygon Arms.

All Aboard with Kiki

Our adventure began with a hustle, packing treats and water for Kiki, ensuring our train ride to Moreton -in -Marsh would be as comfortable as possible. The British countryside whizzed by our window, a patchwork of green that seemed endless. Kiki, ever the inquisitive traveller, watched intently, her nose occasionally pressed up against the glass – loving every minute of her exciting petaway day.

Travelling with pets on trains is always an adventure in itself. It’s about striking the right balance between the excitement of new smells and sights and the calm required to be a courteous passenger. Kiki, with her well-travelled poise, managed to charm both passengers and staff alike, proving that with a little preparation, your four-legged companions can indeed be the perfect travel buddies.

Meeting Ursula and the Boys

Upon arriving at the station at Moreton-in-Marsh, a picturesque market town lined with honey-coloured shops and houses we stopped for coffee before boarding the bus – a rollicking 25-minute journey across the country – which dropped us right in the middle of the gorgeous village of Broadway, one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds

We were greeted by Ursula and her charismatic duo, Hugo and Huxley. The bond between Ursula and her boys is palpable; they’re more than just pets, they’re muses, companions, and, in many ways, the heartbeat of her creative work. Her photographs, brimming with joy and an undeniable connection between humans and dogs, speak volumes of her love and understanding of our canine friends.

Kiki, ever sociable, wasted no time making friends with Hugo and Huxley. There’s something heartwarming about watching dogs meet; the initial sniff, the circling, and then the inevitable playful romp. It’s a language of love and curiosity that transcends all barriers.

A Culinary Experience at The Lygon Arms

Our lunch at the Grill by James Martin was nothing short of spectacular. The Lygon Arms, with its rich history and warm, inviting ambience, was the perfect setting for our gathering. What sets this place apart is not just its exquisite menu but its welcoming attitude towards pets. It’s a sanctuary where fine dining meets dog-friendly hospitality, making it a favoured spot for pet owners.

As we settled into the rustic elegance of the Grill, the dogs, now fast friends, lounged at our feet, occasionally treated to bits of dog-friendly fare. The menu, curated by Chef James Martin, was a delightful journey through British cuisine with a modern twist. Each dish, beautifully presented and bursting with flavours, was a testament to the chef’s dedication to quality and innovation.

And what’s more there is even a James Martin dog menu including dishes such as Chicken, potatoes and gravy as well as beef steak and sausages – perfect for gourmet canines. Ursula chose the Salt and Pepper Squid followed by Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpea Dahl while I had the Whipped goat’s curd & hazelnut followed by a sirloin steak with the most delicious blue cheese sauce.

The conversation flowed as effortlessly as the wine, topics meandering from travel to photography, and, of course, our shared love for dogs. Ursula shared stories behind her latest projects and how much Hugo and Huxley enjoyed country life in the Cotswolds. There’s a unique bond that forms between people who love dogs, a mutual understanding and respect that adds depth to every conversation.

A Memory to Cherish

As our lunch drew to a close, and the afternoon light began to wane, we took the dogs outside to the garden for a play. We had all had such a lovely time – with plenty of laughter and swapping tales about our favourite dog-friendly destinations and hotels that we had visited recently.

Saying goodbye was bittersweet, but as we parted ways, with Kiki leading our little procession back to the train, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the beauty of the British countryside, the warmth of new friendships, and the joy that dogs bring into our lives.

Our journey back was reflective, with Kiki, tired from her day’s adventures, sleeping soundly at my feet. This trip was a reminder of the simple pleasures in life – good food, great company, and the love of dogs. It was a reminder that sometimes, the best adventures are those that bring us closer, not just to new places, but to each other and our pets.

For those looking to embark on their own dog-friendly adventures, I would definitely recommend a trip to The Lygon Arms, where pets are not just tolerated but celebrated. It’s these experiences that not only strengthen the bond with our pets but also enrich our lives in ways we could never have imagined.

Considering a pet-friendly getaway? Discover more at PetsPyjamas, where we’re dedicated to making every journey with your furry friend as comfortable and enjoyable as ours with Kiki. From scenic train rides to sumptuous dining, your next adventure is just a click away.