Rover Reporter Murphy in Dog-Friendly Liverpool
I’ve always believed that I’m a VIP – that’s a Very Important Pup – but my trip to a Very Posh Hotel in Liverpool confirmed it. I knew something was up when Mum made me go to the groomers so I looked my very best. It’s not easy being fabulous all the time when you are an Old English Sheepdog – there’s so much fur to coiffure! But it had only been three weeks since my last session at the fur-dressers and I SWEAR I didn’t roll in the black gooey stuff on the beach the day before. An Irish Wolfhound shook it onto me…
It all became clear, though, when we stepped out of the car in the city centre and I saw where we were about to spend the night – the Hope Street Hotel which is (according to Mum) simply stunning. It’s in the Georgian quarter of the city, slap bang between the two cathedrals, and as soon as we were through the doors, it was obvious that we were in an incredibly classy place indeed, as THREE receptionists dashed over to stroke my freshly-washed fur and guide us to our room for the night.
I was extremely excited as, to make it to MY room I had to get in a magic box that transported me to a different place (almost like a TARDIS). Mum said it was the ‘lift’ and that it had taken us from the ground floor to the second floor…but whatever it was it was covered in mirrors and I could check out my fur properly standing on my back legs.
Mum and Dad were delighted with the gigantic room with its pale wooden furniture, the beautiful bathroom and the vast bed, where our thoughtful hosts had left chocolates for them (not me). I was made up to see the huge plush dog cushion that was easily big enough, even for me.
But, if I’m honest, I was far more interested in the dog bowl on the table with a little gift inside tagged ‘Murphy’. I could smell the treats inside and when Mum realised I’d cottoned on she opened it for me and gave me a couple.
Dad said there was a table booked for tea in the bar at the side of the hotel restaurant and my tail started to droop. There was no way I would be allowed to accompany them to such a high-class eaterie….
But, amazingly, after I had had my own tea from the complimentary dog bowl, Mum put my lead on and said I could join them as long as I didn’t put my face over their food.
The restaurant is called The London Carriage Works (even though it’s in Liverpool, not London) and Mum and Dad were very excited as it appears in the latest Michelin Guide. The friendly waitresses showed us to our table with squashy leather sofas and arranged to have my equally squashy cushion brought downstairs from the room for me to lie on.
Mum had told me that we might see a few WAGs but there were no other mutts, just me. But, she explained, WAGS aren’t waggers – they’re footballers’ wives and they love to dine there!
I didn’t have any food while we were in the restaurant but Mum and Dad chose two courses each from the Prixe Fixe menu for £17.50.
For their starters, Dad went for Duo of Menai Mackerel with both a grilled fillet and paté, while Mum chose Kidderton Ash Goats Cheese and Beetroot Mille Feuille. They both said they were sublime. I was very jealous of the cheese – it’s my favourite food in the world.
For their mains, Mum plumped for Fresh Ravioli of Roasted Butternut Squash and Dad immediately chose the Roasted Wirral Pork Loin with Locally Smoked Pancetta.
Again, they adored the dishes, which they said were all sourced within 25 miles of the city. I don’t know why this matters but it seemed to please them.
I really HAD been on my best behaviour – the fact that a never-ending selection of customers came to stroke me and say hello helped – but I was relieved when Mum decided it was time for a walk. They took me for a stroll along Hope Street, first to Paddy’s Wigwam – that’s the Catholic cathedral – then onto the Anglican one five minutes away. Liverpool is SUCH a pretty city…even to a mutt.
Before bed, we popped into the Caledonia pub on the corner of Catharine Street. The fabulously laidback bar has its own dog, a little Dachshund, so we played together while Mum and Dad sipped a pint of Guinness each.
My comfy cushion proved just as good as anticipated and I had a super sleep back at the hotel. Mum and Dad said they had a fabulous night too – only disturbed by my snoring. Cheek!
It was back to the squashy sofas again for breakfast – this really is the best treatment I’ve had in any hotel – and I lay by the window while Dad ate his full English brekkie and Mum worked her way along the huge continental option. I even managed to beg a round of toast or two (my second favourite food).
We went for a morning walk to the cathedrals again and, this time, stopped en route to admire A Case History – John King’s sculpture of lots of luggage. I consider myself a canine connoisseur of public art, as I pass my verdict on Antony Gormley’s Another Place on the beach in Crosby most mornings. I passed my verdict on this one too. Well, I think Dad said ‘passed’…
Hope Street Hotel, 40 Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9DA; www.hopestreethotel.co.uk
Standard rooms are from £89 per double per night; charge for a dog is £15 per stay. Dogs are allowed only in the sofa side of the restaurant but the full dining menu is available throughout. The prix fixe menu is £17.50 for two courses and £22.50 for three.