by Anna Webb | 22nd December 2021
We caught up with Anna Webb recently to chat about how to optimise the festive holiday with your pooch. She shared some tips on places and spaces to visit between Christmas and New Year.
Spending quality time with your dog is something I’m passionate about. You might be working from home with your dog all day, but that often doesn’t leave time for going out together, not just for a walk, but for an experience - a day out with your best friend.
This Christmas why not use the downtime to work through your training and enrich your dog’s horizons.
1. Dog Friendly Afternoon Tea at the Egerton Hotel
Going for afternoon tea with your pooch takes you both into a world of luxury for some escapism with delicious nibbles for you and treats tailored for dogs. The Egerton in Knightsbridge has taken the biscuit for some time with its dog friendly tea, which comes complete with a doggy menu for delicious savoury options like chicken meat loaf. Apart from enjoying a delightful new environment, it’s a chance to put your pooches table manners and meet and greets to the test.
2. A break at one of Hiltons Dog Friendly Hotels
Why not go for a night’s stay away together and enjoy the festive atmosphere with your dog. Lockdown’s have limited any opportunity to train dogs for stays in hotels. I like to train my dogs for all eventualities, which includes hotel etiquette. But through lockdowns there’s been little chance to put this to the test. A night’s stay could be fun for a change of scenery and a big adventure for your pooch. The Hilton Group is one of the latest chains to welcome pets. Offering special dog and cat beds, bowls, and a welcome pack including a guide to pet friendly eateries and fun excursions nearby. Rewarding good behaviour, there’s even Hilton loyalty points for dogs and their pet parents to earn too!
3. Explore Historic Greenwich, South London
Going to new places for outdoor walks really taps into confidence building for your dog, heightens their sniffing potential, and gives them a new vista, memories and time with you! Plus, it means training is heightened in real life situations recalling away from distractions in a new environment. Coined the ‘new London’, the Greenwich Peninsula is one stop along from Canary Wharf. With nearly a two mile stretch alongside the Thames, there’s bars and café’s with outdoor seating, food markets, art installations, not least the O2 to take in with your pooch albeit from the outside only! . Embracing the ‘hound pound’ and catering for the many canine residents on the Peninsula, it’s a dog friendly hub. Head back into old Greenwich, either for a run in Greenwich Park, or a bite to eat in one of several dog friendly pubs nearby like the Greenwich Tavern, the Vanburgh or The Plume of Feathers.
4. Check out Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East London
Queen Elizabeth Park, with various dog friendly walks and trails, designed for on and off lead training. Known for hosting a variety of dog centric events, including the world premiere of a Dog ballet, the park welcomes ‘dog-friendly”. Capture moments on camera, not least besides the iconic Olympic Rings. And take in some pub etiquette training at one of the dog welcoming bars like the Smith & Whistle Bar & Terrace, The Last Drop or Hector & Noble.
5. Take a stroll around Soho in Central London
A stroll through Soho with your dog, being less busy over the holidays, a daytime meander around some of London’s most historic streets. Practice your walking to heel and pub etiquette. There’s the famous Dog and Duck on Dean Street. An ancient boozer once known for hosting dog fighting back in the 1800’s when this wrongly was a legal sport. Today its beyond welcoming to dogs and their people. There’s the original Brewdog bar and restaurant on Poland Street where your pooch can enjoy a sip of its signature dog friendly non-alcoholic beer. There’s Soho Square, and a stroll along Berwick Street with the Duck & Rice pub and Chinese restaurant who welcome pooches, there’s dog friendly beverages and snacks to choose from. Or rock up to Bar Italia on Frith Street where dogs are welcome inside and out!
6. Take your dog to Church
The festive season is traditionally a time for reflection, you may be surprised to know that many of London’s iconic churches are dog friendly. It’s a chance to take in some stunning, landmark architecture. It’s a chance to practice calm time with your pooch, in an acoustic environment. St John the Baptist in Shepherd’s Bush dates back to 1868. Every year on October 4th for the Feast of St Francis, St John’s hosts the only pet blessing service for all animals. Other dog friendly churches include St Matthews on Ealing Common, Christ Church at Highbury and St John’s in Hampstead. Check before, but well-behaved dogs are permitted to attend services. Some churches will welcome dogs in just for a tranquil and meaningful experience. There’s a dedicated website to discover about dogs in churches.
Anna Webb – Broadcaster, Author, has studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT). She lives in London and is owned by Prudence a Miniature Bull Terrier, Mr Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier and Gremlin her rescued street cat. www.annawebb.co.uk