Surfs up for summer hounds of Britain and we’re off to dog-friendly Whitstable on our researches.
Whitstable is where Phileas Dogg Rover Repawter ex-paw-dinaire Ted Steele learnt to ride a wave.
It’s also where Jane’s friend Elisa lives and it’s a very long way from London – bus; train; bus; train; train. Oh hang on – interruption from Jane. Appazzently Whitstable isn’t really a long way from London; it only seems a long way because we always visit on Bank Holiday weekends when the trains are up the spout.
Anyway, when Whitstable is achieved, via the rail replacement bus, it’s a jolly little town with a high street that’s always busy with dogs wandering up and down – a good spot for a bark-off, although Jane wasn’t very impressed when I did a shout out to two Rockweilers on the other side of the street on our most recent jaunt. She reckons I should pick on dogs my own size rather than taking on the big boyz. What can I say? I’m brave. (And, if the big dog takes exception to my tough terrier talk, I can always hide behind Jane when the trouble starts.)
The High Street is dog-friendly – it has to be, given all the canine customers wandering up and down as their owners browse bunting and baskets made from driftwood and vintage shops selling 1950s ephemera. The best shop on the high street though, BAR NONE, is The Offy. The Offy is an OFFY and, behind the counter, a big bowl of biscuits awaits us Whitstable waggers. Jane always pops into the Offy for her bottle of white and Marlboro Lights when we’re in town and I am always well-rewarded for her patronage.
But, while Whitstable high street has its Bonios, there’s one part of the town that a twitchy-nosed terrier like me will always make tracks for and that’s the harbour. It is SMELL-CENTRAL with oysters and cockles and mussels – sadly, I am not allowed any as Jane declares they will upset my delicate constitution. I think I should be the judge of whether my constitution is delicate or not (and of course it isn’t – there’s nothing delicate about me as those rockweilers will tell you) but unfortunately she is in charge of the purse strings. Try as I might to impress her with my eyes pleading and paw up routine, learnt during my spell at the Canine Academy of Drama in 2010, her heart remains hard and there are no cockles to warm mine.
A stroll along the beach normally distracts me – parts of Whitstable beach are dog-friendly all year round and don’t we dogs know it? It’s Muttley-mobbed! To make up for the sea food which I see but am not allowed to eat Jane normally buys me a big bowl of sausages at one of the coffee and hot dog stalls along the front. Hot Dawg!
There’s a pub, on the beach – The Neptune, or The Neppy as surf-pup Ted, a regular there, calls it.
And there are some canine-canny kips – former fisherman’s huts at the side of the sea wall, now converted for holiday-makers. Obviously Jane and I have no need of overnight accommodation, Elisa always being happy to host us, and I have free run of her house, furniture included. High Paw Elisa! But the fisherman’s huts are quirky and cute for pups from out of town without handily-placed friends to put them up.
Of an evening we repair to that rarest of things – a restaurant that allows dogs. Birdies Bistro is a laidback spot for dinner with all my favourites on the menu – seafood, not allowed; Beef Wellington, scraparama! It’s best to book though as it’s small and does get busy. Obviously this doesn’t apply to me. Being the Egon Bone-ay of the dog world, waiting lists are forgotten when I make my entrance.
Then it’s time for a quick snifter in The Duke of Cumberland – a proper pub where dogs are welcome – and back to Elisa’s to watch a Zombie move because that’s how I roll, Rovers. Until next time, Phileas!
NEWSFLASH: I have written a book, all by myself – no help from Jane whatsoever. (Why her name is on the cover and not mine is a BONE OF CONTENTION.) Anyway, it relates the story of my traveller’s tails across the British Isles and is grrrr-huzzah amaze-tennis-balls. Available from Amazon and all good book stores now!
Phileas Phacts: Whitstable
- The Offy, 5 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1AP Tel: 01227 272114
- The Old Neptune, Marine Terrace, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1EJ Tel: 01227 272262; website: www.neppy.co.uk
- Fisherman’s Huts, The Harbour, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1AB Tel: 01227 280280; website: www.whitstablefishermanshuts.com
- Sleeps: from two to five people.
- Price: £75 per night and up.
- Charge for dogs: no.
- Extras for dogs: no.
- Access all areas: dogs are allowed in four of the 12 fisherman’s huts.
- Number of dogs: two maximum.
- Late night pee: two metres to the sea wall.
- Birdies Bistro, 41 Harbour Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1AH Tel: 01227 265337
- Duke of Cumberland, High St, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1AP Tel: 01227 280617; www.thedukeinwhitstable.co.uk