With a short drive ahead of us we thought it would be a good idea to arrive early and give Alfie a little leg stretch with the hope to take the edge off him slightly – He gets so excited when we travel! Upon arrival we were greeted by a warm friendly team, Alfie made friends with one of the waitresses then settled down to snooze in one of their cosy seating areas, so we took advantage of this and grabbed ourselves a drink and joined him. Ryan the landlord kindly gave Alf one of their new beers designed especially for dogs! Such a lucky boy! I just love the concept of it, perfect for those spoilt pooches! Of course it isn’t actually a beer, it is non sparkling and contains no alcohol it is a drink made from a mixture of beef and chicken with malt barley extracts, mineral oils, and vitamin B. It really is tailored for those owners who want to share all the experiences with their dog.
It will come as no surprise when I tell you that I love travelling with Alfie, I would probably go as far as say that if Alf can’t join me then I would rather not go. So to find somewhere that really embraces being dog friendly is amazing, as I have found many places only tolerate you bringing your canine friends. Something that really stood out from the moment we stepped through the door was just how important their canine guests are to them, as long as you keep your dog under control you have no restrictions, whether you want to dine in their restaurant or have a drink in their spacious private garden. All their needs will be catered for, it’s the simple things like offering a water bowl whilst you eat your meal or the tasty treats behind the bar that make both you and your dog feel welcome, it also makes the whole experience much more relaxing as you are not worrying about keeping your dog tucked away under your table.
After we had enjoyed our drink at the bar we were kindly shown to our room for the night, it was a cosy yet elegant room, decorated in cool calming tones of pale green, creams, greys with a subtle hint of gold for that extra bit of luxury. Honestly the bed was the biggest I had ever seen, with sumptuous Feather & Black pillows and bedding, Alf was first to dive on and make himself comfortable. I loved the whole feel of the room, I felt at home within minutes, the little touches such as the tea tray and a shower selection do make all the difference. You also don’t have to worry about your precious pooches, as there is a luxurious dog bed and bowls set out – It saves you having to bring your own, definitely a perk as when it comes to packing for Alfie, I can never seem to pack light.
We just couldn’t resist indulging in a traditional afternoon tea at the Bourne Valley Inn, it really was an experience, tea and cake in the countryside, what more could you want? With a selection of delicious homemade cakes and sandwiches you can pick and choose your three courses tailoring it to suit your own tastes. Its common knowledge that I have a serious sweet tooth, I was so excited to get my hands on the cake, James and I decided on a selection of sandwiches, carrot cake then of course their warm home-baked scones served warm with jam and clotted cream. It was the perfect treat before we headed off to explore the Hampshire countryside.
We didn’t have to go far to find somewhere suitable to walk Alfie, being deep in the heart of the Hampshire countryside you were surrounded by miles of luscious green fields and forest trails. Our favourite was the walk right on our doorstep, at the bottom of the garden there is a little stream you just cross the stream and there is a footpath through the local estate. Of course, Alfie loved it! All the new sights and smells to explore, he just loves new adventures! There was also lots of wildlife for him to enjoy, i.e. run round like a lunatic tracking down the pheasants that are roaming around. If you fancy adventuring further afield you have the whole of the North Wessex Downs to discover, with spectacular landscape, with open downland, ancient woodland and chalk streams – Perfect for walking off your afternoon tea!