Welcome to the next instalment of our pet friendly travel feature with the lovely Kate Lawler and her two dogs, Baxter and Kevin. Over the next few issues we will be taking Kate, Baxter and Kevin on a tour of different pet friendly hotels and areas across the UK. This issue we travel to Manchester!
I’m on a mission to find the best Dog Friendly accommodation in Great Britain.
So far my travels have taken me to Brighton and Essex. The next stop is Manchester. I love this city, for many reasons. It has great restaurants, wonderful night life, but most of all the people are lovely. The journey with my boyfriend and two beloved pet pooches, Baxter and Kevin began in Birmingham.
We had a stress-free 90 minute journey and arrived in Manchester around 2pm on Saturday afternoon. We decided to head straight to Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, a suburban area of Manchester before heading onto The Malmaison Hotel where we were to enjoy our pet friendly stay.
Chorlton is about 4 miles from the city centre and takes around 11 minutes by car to get to from Manchester Piccadilly Train Station. After spending 4 hours there I’m completely in love with Chorlton.
We ate in The Horse & Jockey Inn, a dog-friendly pub that serves the most delicious roast pork, stuffing and apple sauce baked french bread with home-made french fries! I wanted another… The pub staff welcomed Baxter and Kevin with open arms, gave the doggies lots of fuss, and treats! They even served ‘Dog Beer’ behind the bar which I found hilarious. The dogs drank all of it! We then went for a walk in the meadows where we met my friend Amy and the dog she rescued 4 months ago.
His name is Lebowski. Baxter, Kevin and Bowski ran and played for a good hour on the meadows then Amy walked us all to a new Pet Boutique that had opened not far from The Horse & Jockey Inn. The boutique was called Betty & Butch and opened in November 2011. It was fabulous. I bought Kevin a new really good quality coat for just £14.99, he looked so smart when I tried it on him. After shopping for dog coats, sprays and treats we walked to The Parlour, another dog-friendly pub. It was gorgeous inside. Apparently they serve award-winning Sunday Lunches but unfortunately we couldn’t go back on the Sunday as we had to get back to Birmingham. We enjoyed a nice glass of wine and met lots of people in the pub with their dogs too.
We arrived at The Malmaison Hotel, about 6:30pm and for those who have never been, I can only describe it as a luxury boutique gem! The moment we arrived, the staff were happy and helpful. In our room, we had a living area section, as well as the bedroom area and a gorgeous modern bathroom. Out in the living area, next to the L-Shaped Sofa, were two doggy beds, bowls and treats for Baxter and Kevin. We dined downstairs around 8pm in the ‘Smoak Bar & Grill’ which is the hotels superb restaurant. The service was 10 out of 10.
The staff were extremely well mannered and well informed. The food was better than some five star restaurants I’ve eaten in. We had a really enjoyable meal, the restaurant was very busy with a really cool vibe and situated next to it was a bar with people enjoying drinks before and after their meals. We headed straight to bed after dinner and had the most amazing night sleep. The bed was HUGE and really comfortable. Having black-out curtains meant we slept for almost 9 hours (a long time for Adam my boyfriend and I).
The next morning we were up, showered and out of the hotel by 11am, not before a delicious and mouth-watering breakfast though. A wide range of choices at Breakfast is what makes a hotel stay super enjoyable for me and The Malmaison makes sure that every area is covered. If you’re trying to be healthy, you’ve fresh fruits, yoghurts, cereals and juices to choose from. For those who like to indulge on carbs (like myself) there are croissants, muffins and danish pastries aplenty! I chose Porridge from the menu with honey and I ate every mouthful. We shared a croissant, a blueberry muffin and Adam my partner had an omelette too. Inevitably we both got food envy when the couple next to us were handed a full english breakfast and eggs benedict! I know for next time to order something a little more hearty.
Everything about The Malmaison I love and so I’d give it a 9 out of 10. The only reason I didn’t give it 10 out of 10 is because we were put on the 3rd floor, and whenever we wanted to take Baxter and Kevin out for ‘pee pees & poo poo’s’ we had to go down in a lift and then once we were outside, it was city centre as you would imagine i.e. concrete pavements and roads, traffic and lack of parks. Having nowhere to let the boys off their leads or go do their business (Baxter will only go on grass!) was a bit of a hindrance. Maybe if the Malmaison had a small patio or garden area within the hotel grounds it would have been nice for the doggies to go out and have a sniff, a wee, and a walk around with the leads on.
Other than that our stay was wonderful and the doggies had an amazing time too. I was shocked to discover that a city centre boutique hotel like The Malmaison was pet friendly. I doubt a lot of people knew this either but if you’re planning on going to Manchester and you can’t bare to be apart from your four legged friend, then head to The Malmaison and they can enjoy the trip too!
See you next time…..
Article by Kate Lawler for K9 Magazine
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Other articles of interest:
Pet Friendly Brighton with Kate Lawler
Pet Friendly Hertfordshire with Kate Lawler