Rigby's Review - Guest starred by Monty
Scampering, splashing and socialising
As we pulled into the car park of Another Place, our first glimpse of the hotel was blurred by soft, fine drizzle turning the world soft focus through the wet windscreen. It may have dampened Monty’s coat to a frizz, but it couldn’t dampen canine spirits as he leapt from the car, eager to explore.
Having recently undergone a major extension and refurbishment, Another Place is slap bang on the banks of Ullswater, a location that may well be doggy nirvana. It was just a hop, skip and a jump (on Monty’s part) to the reception area, set in the original hallway of the old house. Breathing in the smell of new carpets and fresh linens after the recent extensive renovation, we were keen to explore. Accompanied by the friendly reception staff, we set off on a brief and enthusiastic tour of the hotel, including the main restaurant, which boasted a relaxed vibe and contemporary furnishings throughout, with huge leather banquettes perfect for a long brunch. We passed through the stylish library area into The Living Space, a family-friendly casual dining area reminiscent of an all too tempting coffee shop, with huge squashy sofas, large picture windows and plenty of newspapers to flick through.
The majority of the dog-friendly rooms are housed in the new wing, which with its separate entrance is perfect for quick outside access for humans and hounds. A double flight of stairs led to our lakeside-room. Spacious and welcoming, with velvet armchairs, faux fur sheepskin throws and a jar of Tunnock’s chocolate tea cakes (remember those?) in the fridge, chairs were angled towards the huge window (complete with Juliette balcony), which overlooked the lake, and with magazines piled on the coffee table we were tempted to linger. The room felt fresh, clean and relaxing, with bold splashes of colour lifting the otherwise-neutral colour scheme. Monty did a whistle-stop tour, pausing to check out the bowl thoughtfully provided by the management before looking pointedly at the jar of teacakes! With the rain easing, we set out to explore the grounds. Perfect for water-loving woofers, the hotel is just yards from the lake and makes the most of its location, with a variety of water sports on offer – for humans that is. What it offers for dogs is a muddy, splashy slice of heaven. Monty dashed in and out, sending plumes of water from scampering paws – thank goodness we’d brought plenty of towels with us! We then set off to explore the rest of the hotel’s 18 acres of grounds, thankful of our wellies to explore the wet fields in.
With a table booked for us in the main restaurant, a dog-free zone, Monty (aka soggy doggy) settled down for a snooze, daydreaming of puddles no doubt! The atmosphere was laid back and the staff friendly, chatty and enthusiastic, making us feel very much at home. After having our fill, we collected Mr. Wet Whiskers and headed to the small formal garden with gravel paths, ideal for late-night pooch comfort breaks, before going upstairs to wind down with herbal tea from the extensive in-room selection, and an early night for all.
The following morning, we listened anxiously before drawing back the curtains. Was it? Could it be? Yes! It had stopped raining! We headed downstairs to start the day. While the stunning new infinity pool and hot tub were beckoning, keen to make the most of the sun’s brief guest appearance we decided to get going. The extensive buffet breakfast is served in the main restaurant, but we were more than welcome to collect our meal and take it along to The Living Space to enjoy with Monty. Soon, he was lounging contentedly at our feet (occasionally getting up to greet fellow canine guests), while the restaurant manager fussed him and offered more coffee. With the buffet a mix of the traditional (bacon and eggs) and the novel (individual waffle makers with ready-made measures of batter), we were enticed to spread out the newspapers and literally make a meal of it. In fact, we’d probably be there still if Monty hadn’t leapt up and dragged us to the door, keen to head back waterside.
We packed up our bags, loaded our still-damp waterproofs and left everything in the care of the attentive hotel staff while we drove the short distance to Glendridding to board the ferry across to Howtown. Dogs are welcome on the ferry, and Monty was delighted to feel the wind in his ears and greet the other ‘old sea dogs’ on board – of which there were many, from a tiny Jack Russell cross to a lurcher. Once at Howtown, we took the path along the edge of the lake to walk the seven miles back to Glenridding. We strode (well, walked!) up and down the varied terrain, stopping off to admire the view and also making two stops for tea (well, it was a holiday), arriving back at the car around two and a half hours later. Monty scampered alongside off-lead most of the way, just leashing up when the local Lakeland sheep were in view.
Finally, tired, happy, wet, muddy, mostly rain-free and full of cake, we returned to the hotel to collect our bags and squeeze in another cup of tea before hitting the trail home.
Another Place is the ideal venue for the adventure-loving hound who craves a bit of contemporary comfort post-scampering. With a relaxed, contemporary vibe, it’s a place to chill, kick back and embrace nature – whatever the weather.
By Monty (Rigby’s discerning Springer Spaniel paw-friend) and Sara