PetsPyjamas own Rufus and Heidi visit Combe House in Devon…
Our first clue that we were going on a country getaway was when we were dressed in our best LoveMyDog Harris Tweed coats and matching collars and leads – perfect country garb. We were so excited we practically leapt into the car, full of expectation. (Usually we don’t like car journeys but if there is the promise of long walks and grass at the end of it, we’ll oblige.)
We had just one stop at a motorway service station. As usual we weren’t allowed in, although we were assured by our owners that we hadn’t missed a thing! Finally, we arrived in Devon and stopped off for lunch at the Masons Arms in Branscombe just a few miles from our Coombe House Hotel in Honiton, our final destination. Our owners feasted on locally caught mussels that were apparently delicious (we tried to sneakily steal one, unsuccessfully) and we were given some water and titbits.
Final stop: Combe House. It looked very grand with a sweeping driveway and lots of Arab horses dotted across the grounds – the house itself is an Elizabethan mansion and dates back to 1600. Naturally, we felt very at home (we’ve always felt rather regal at heart). Our tweed coats attracted many an admiring glance – from both humans and canines – as we entered and received a welcome worthy of a celebri-pup. It was as though everyone had been waiting for our arrival.
Next, we were whisked up to our room – or should we say deluxe suite. Named the Linen Room, it was designed by interior designer Meriel Hill, who furnished the beautiful sitting room with cream sofas and installed a huge copper bath. Lots space to run and jump (although possibly not on the sofas after muddy country walks).
The hotel manager had rather sweetly left a book of dog walks in our room, which we decided to road test immediately. We trotted down to the village – a leafy and muddy route complete with lots of very splash-able puddles – saying hello to the horses along the way, who, though beautiful, seemed a bit snooty.
We rolled in the mud so enthusiastically that back at the hotel, we were carried up and placed in the copper bath, where we enjoyed a blissful bath in our rhubarb dog shampoo. Heaven. While our owners had dinner downstairs – champagne and chicken reared by the hotel’s owners – we lounged on our blankets and watched TV. After dinner we were invited down to join them in the lounge in front of a roaring fire for coffee and chocolates (although we weren’t allowed the chocolates, obviously). Even though there were a couple of Labradoodles there too, we were all terribly well-behaved.
The next morning after a quick walk round the grounds we were delighted to be invited to breakfast in the big hall. So nice to be included in everything. On the drive home, we decided that we love country weekends – the dressing up, the new food, the lovely people. We certainly loved Coombe House hotel which had been the perfect retreat and will be taking our owners there again soon. Woof! Woof!