Pet Inspectors: Rufus & Heidi’s Roadtrip to France!

This week the PetsPyjamas very own Pet Inspectors Rufus & Heidi report on their fabulous trip to France with Eurotunnel! Read all about their woof-tastic adventure below…

Heidi and I like nothing better than a road trip, so we were super excited when our travel bags were whisked into the car for a wonderful adventure to France. We had been invited to stay with our dear friend, Alix Miller, at her super luxury Chalet in the mountains – Chalet Pearl in Champagny. The human’s told us that the plan was to go on a Summer hiking holiday where there would be superb walks for us canines in the mountains, plus a stop off on the way at PetsPyjamas fabulous pet-friendly hotel – Abbaye de la Bussiere in Dijon. It sounded like a great trip and we were so excited to be included – waggy tails all round!


As well as our owners (Denise and Rory), Alix’s great friends Tracey and Iona had also been invited along to stay! They are both teachers but promised not be too strict with us. We set off from Fulham on Monday morning and in no time at all arrived at Dover for our crossing on Eurotunnel. Heidi and I sat in the back of the car with the girls, snuggled up on their laps during the drive. Thankfully they are both dog lovers so they don’t seem to mind!

Heidi and I are old hands at travelling on Eurotunnel – its brilliant! Rory and Denise took us to Eurotunnel’s doggie play area – a designated area for dogs with hoops and tunnels to burrow into. It was so much fun and we made friends with other pups who were also crossing the channel. The crossing itself is super quick – you drive into the carriage, the human’s stay in the car and in just 35 minutes you are in France! It’s all very easy and in no time at all, we were on the French motorway.  Also, we love French motorway service stations! Why I hear you ask? Because us dogs are allowed in, unlike their British counterparts, plus we were paid lots of attention while we were there. As a special treat, we stopped off at PetsPyjamas’ fabulous dog-friendly hotel Abbaye De la Bussiere at La Bussiere-sur-Ouche, just a short drive from Dijon.  The hotel makes a great stopping off point as it is just 4 and a half hours drive from Calais. And check out the beautiful rooms!

Abbaye de la Bussière

Abbaye de la Bussière

As we got out of the car we were greeted by English owner, Clive Cummings, who gave us a lovely welcome before showing us around his gorgeous hotel. Clive comes from a family of hoteliers so that explains why everything about the hotel is just right. The former Abbey dates back to the 12c Century and is set in gorgeous landscaped gardens with a beautiful lake. The hotel itself is totally charming and very luxurious – quite ecclesiastical in feel with lots of vaulted arches, turrets and cloisters. After racing up narrow staircases and corridors we got to our room which was absolutely beautiful – furnished with antiques and lovely fabrics with shutters, opening out to a lovely view of the lake. Heidi and I definitely approve.

Abbaye de la Bussière


Almost immediately it’s time for dinner, and naturally, we are included. As its such lovely weather, we decide to eat outside on the terrace. The great thing about this hotel is that dogs are allowed in both restaurants too.  The main restaurant is Michelin starred so the humans enjoy a fabulous three-course meal including delicious local lamb and a fab dessert with the hotels homegrown honey, while we contented ourselves with a few delicious titbits and a few pieces from the breadboard. After a lovely night’s sleep (everyone is super tired after our drive), we have breakfast on the terrace again and afterwards a lovely walk around the lake and the gardens. We are not surprised to find there are quite a few other dogs staying here – and why wouldn’t they? This place is seriously dog-friendly.  The humans are already planning a return trip next year (we hope we are included).


Abbaye de la Bussière

After saying our goodbyes we set off lunch in Dijon at L’Epicerie & Cie – a lovely funky restaurant in the Place Emile Zola. There was now another 3 hours and 50 minutes of rather boring motorway driving. Rory and Denise listened to an audio tape book in the front whilst everyone in the back had a lovely snooze. After a quick stop off at Annecy en route, we arrived at Champery just in time for supper. The chalet was beautifully decorated with fabulous views and we were allowed the run of the place. We spent the next few days hiking in Vallon de Champagny le Haut with lunch at the wonderful Refuge du Laissonay, and another at the top of the Champagny cable car called Col de force ending at 1160m. Heidi and I had no trouble hiking up the mountains and it certainly makes a change from Hurlingham Park!

After a wonderful few days in Champagny, we said our goodbyes and headed back, this time staying in Troyes as a stopping off point – a gorgeous medieval town with cobbled streets, Gothic churches and charming half-timbered houses. While we were there incredibly we bumped into two PetsPyjamas customers and their charming dog, who was also on a road trip around France. That evening we had dinner at Le Chat Noir in Troyes, a fabulous and super stylish restaurant which was super stylish and best of all, incredibly dog-friendly. Another swift trip back on Eurotunnel with plans afoot already for yet another, a long road trip to France this summer. We can’t wait!

Holidays are so much more fun when your four-legged friend comes too! Call the dedicated pet Travel Concierge at PetsPyjamas to discuss your trip to Abbaye De La Bussiere and you’ll receive a complimentary pet travel kit worth £20 when booking with us! Call now on 0203 642 3162 to secure your break.