Travel: Dog’s life isn’t too bad at Tewkesbury Park Hotel
Dogs to me are part of the family, as are our children. And while it’s nice to get a break from pets and kids, it is such a pleasure to take a break where both are welcome.
I am long past having to take children away with me, but I rarely take a break in the UK, except in cities, where I cannot take my pooch – Jack.
He is a delightful little chap and has been a great friend and companion to me over the years.
However, several times where I have chosen a place that is ‘dog-friendly’ I have been bitterly and sadly disappointed on arrival. Repeated warnings of ‘don’t do this’ or ‘don’t do that’ or dire warnings of what might happen if you disobey the rules make you want to run away with your hound.
I have no problem if eateries or accommodation are not dog-friendly at all, I just need to know. Just like I have no problem if places do not welcome children. You just need to know the rules.
So it was so delightful to turn up at Tewkesbury Park, on the edge of the historic town, and be positively welcomed with open arms as regards Jack.
Tewkesbury Park, set in 165 acres of parkland and with an enviable position overlooking the famous site of the AD1471 Battle of Tewkesbury, completed an extensive three-year renovation at a cost of £10 million in the winter of 2018, covering rooms and suites, a new restaurant – Mint and communal areas and leisure facilities were also completely refurbished.
Cleverly utilizing the property’s historic features, by employing the original structures and grand fireplaces, the décor is regal, yet contemporary, without being too pretentious. You really feel at home everywhere.
All suites take their namesakes from key characters who fought in the AD1471 Battle of Tewkesbury, when the Yorkists defeated their rivals, the Lancastrians, and there’s a ground floor of dog-friendly bedrooms with doors leading out on to a grassed area for emergency exits! In addition there’s a palatial wooden dog bed complete with memory foam mattress (Jack was told he wouldn’t be getting one at home!), a towel and an equally palatial Michelin-starred wooden stand housing food and water bowls plus a bag of tasty and health dog food. There is also a fact sheet of local dog-friendly cafés, restaurnts and pubs in Tewkesbury.
Oh, and for humans there’s a Hypnos bed and 40” inch Smart TV and quality goodies in the bathroom.
If you want to take your meals with your dog, the restaurant is out of bounds . . . but there is a designated eating area in the stylish Piano Lounge where tables are laid up as if in the restaurant ,and while you chat and take in the delicious food, the hound has another wooden bed to recline on complete with aforesaid memory mattress.
Tewkesbury Park even has a Sunday brunch offering. Humans can help themselves to food from the Mint restaurant while the pooch can have sausages a-plenty and there’s also a Kilner jar stuffed full of treats and snacks to keep them entertained and out of mischief.
The team has recognised that where the owner goes, so does their best friend! And besides brunch, the hotel has a Canine Retreat Experience, priced at £230.
In Mint, the food is sublime. The menu has an Asian flavour and is so fabulously fresh, thanks to head chef, Anuj Thakur, and his very talented team.
Mint is all about relaxed, informal feasting, tucking into plates brimming with top-notch ingredients from top-notch suppliers, who are as local as possible. There’s a selection of light and clean cuisine alongside more substantial hearty dishes.
The menu changes with the seasons to make the most of produce that’s readily available, and that hasn’t been shipped half way around the world. And they will even prepare a tasty dish for the dog while you eat.
You can also get spa treatments and I enjoyed a very thorough full body massage while my partner enjoyed a swim in the on-site leisure club which also has a sauna, steam room and gym.
There is also an 18-hole par 72 parkland golf course, academy course, practice range, putting green, pro shop and squash and tennis courts. Not for me I’m afraid but the greens looked immaculate!
A visit to the abbey is a must, dog-friendly too, excellent information on hand from friendly welcomers and a fascinating place.
The town is well worth a stroll around and there is a regular supply of foodie events throughout the year from: Tewkesbury Farmers & Craft Market at Tewkesbury Abbey, second Saturday of the month; High Street Fine Food & Arts Markets – twice a year; Tewkesbury Food & Drink Festival and Tewkesbury Summer Beer Festival every year, respectively.
There are many historic houses and gardens in the surrounding Cotswold countryside to enjoy as well as some fabulous walks with the hound. They include magnificent Sudeley Castle & Gardens and the Rococo Garden in Painswick.
Tewkesbury Park is easily accessible, only five minutes from M5 junction nine.
How easy is that to get to for a relaxing break with your four-legged friend?