After another spell in lockdown Rufus and Kiki, aka the Pet Inspectors, were especially excited to have been invited to the newly opened Eastbury Cottage in Sherborne and were groomed and wearing their best Reg & Bob collars and leads ready for a weekend of fun and frolics, long country walks, visits to the beach and plenty of pampering.
The Eastbury Hotel has just won the PetsPyjamas Best in Show Award for offering an outstanding doggie welcome and facilities, and they were excited to visit the newly renovated Eastbury Cottage next door to see what all the fuss was about.
And although Rufus who is 13 and has a dodgy leg now has to be transported in a buggy for most of his walks this hasn’t stopped his enthusiasm for travel and he still enjoys telling Kiki off, who is still a young pup, when she gets a bit too lively!
Eastbury Cottage is a five-star, luxury three bedroomed cottage in the delightful market town of Sherborne. Having only recently opened its doors, we were honoured to be two of the cottage’s first canine visitors. On arrival, Kiki and I got a wonderful woofy welcome from Gemma at the reception of the Eastbury Hotel, its sister hotel, who gave us our key to the cottage which was just next door. The Cottage had a Christmas wreath on the door, and there was a large Christmas tree festooned with twinkly lights and baubles in the hall, creating a wonderful first impression. We raced into the dining room where two lovely beds were waiting for us with treats, toys, a welcoming letter, and a book of local walks! We then dashed into the kitchen which was fully fitted with a welcome pack of cereals, bread, milk, wine and biscuits and a lovely window looking out to the garden.
We raced around to see the rest of the cottage which included a lovely sitting room furnished with antiques, squashy sofa, wood-burning stove plus TV with Netflix. Upstairs there are three very stylish double bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and best of all a pretty enclosed garden. Kiki and I who are used to our postage stamp garden in Fulham were thrilled to be able to have a run around the gorgeous garden which is stocked full of plants and flowers and has a newly installed hot tub for the humans.
What We Did
Those of you who have followed our tales before will know that Kiki and I absolutely love beaches! We had been told that Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock was one of the nicest beaches in Dorset and what’s more, it also has one of the most dog-friendly cafes on the beach – the Hive Cafe. Burton Bradstock itself is a quaint village with picturesque chocolate box thatched cottages and the beach itself a one mile stretch of shingle beach which forms part of the famous Chesil Beach. Before we headed for the beach the humans had delicious fish and chips at the Hive Cafe which also has a shop with gorgeous local foodie gifts and even a doggie corner of treats and goodies. After lunch, we had a run along the beach and a splash in the sea. Apparently, there is a really nice walk from Hive beach to Chesil beach but we can save that for next time.
It was starting to get dark as we got back to the cottage and after our tea, Denise took us for a stroll around the town. We love our nighttime strolls and Sherborne was looking especially lovely lit up with decorations for Christmas.
We decided to explore the town of Sherborne. Even on a Monday, it was bustling and the hotel had told us to look out for shops and restaurants which have a Woof sign in the window which shows they are dog-friendly. To our delight, almost every shop seemed to have one. As our humans love their coffee we stopped off at the dog-friendly Three Wishes Cafe where we got a lovely welcome and then on to the dog-friendly Winstone’s book shop. After a walk around the town and a visit to the Abbey, we then headed off to Sherborne Castle and gardens and then back to the cottage. We were all invited to lunch by Denise’s childhood friend and her husband in Holwell, a 15-minute drive away. After lunch, we all went for a walk down a lovely country lane in Holwell.
Time to pack up and despite our busy schedule had not managed to try out all the lovely walks in the Eastbury cottage walking guide. There are nine walks ranging from 3.5 miles to 7 miles. Next time we would like to try “Our Favourite Walk” which leads directly from the cottage and the appropriately named “In the Doghouse at Purse Candle.” After a stop off at the Hauser and Wirth farm shop and gallery in Bruton, we headed home – although the humans have promised us we can come back again very soon.
What We Ate
One of the very best things about the Eastbury Cottage I (although there are many) is that we were allowed to dine with the humans at the Eastbury hotel’s Seasons restaurant which is a 2AA rosette restaurant with Matthew Street, a former Master Chef finalist at the helm. There is even a special dog-friendly corner of the restaurant which is called Monty’s corner after the owner Peter de Savary’s dog, where dog beds are provided too
The first night the humans opted for a fabulous Christmas dinner of gravlax and beetroot, turkey with all the trimmings followed by mince pies fresh out of the oven. The next day they had a delicious Dorset cooked breakfast with black pudding and Kiki and I were given a sausage each too! In the evening the humans were going to try the food at the dog-friendly Cross Keys pub which they had been told was excellent but as it was such a bitterly cold evening we all decided we would rather pop next door again to the Eastbury where the humans enjoyed Burrata & Aubergine Agnolotti with more mince pies!.
The following morning we had our delicious sausage breakfast again and Denise told Mat that her scrambled eggs were the best she had ever tasted! Kiki and I really did appreciate being included at mealtimes and made such a fuss of by the restaurant manager, Sam.
We all agreed that our trip to Eastbury Cottage had been a huge success and had really cheered us all up after lockdown. We can’t wait to return to the cottage for more wonderful walks, country air, fabulous food and fun!