A rom-com movie starring Brad Pitt?
No, not that Mr & Mrs Smith. All Four Paws, is a new lifestyle site for “dapper dogs and their stylish owners”, and lists the UK restaurants, pubs and hotels that allow our four-legged friends past the reservations desk. Co-founder Sarah Williams says the site’s purpose is to take the effort out of finding places to enjoy with your furry companion in tow. As well as identifying dog-friendly venues, the site gives information about essentials such as water bowls.
Hmm, smells like wet dog to me...
You’d be surprised. Big names such as Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and some of Gordon Ramsay and Rick Stein’s (rest in peace, Chalky) restaurants are already listed, having received the stamp of approval from site owner Nicky Burton’s canine restaurant inspector Rigby (a surprisingly svelte spaniel, since you ask).
I thought dogs weren’t allowed in restaurants?
That’s a common misconception. Duncan Reed, legal director at UK law firm TLT, says there’s no laws or regulations to stop restaurants having dogs in for dinner so long as the venue is compliant with food hygiene rules. It is however at the restaurant owner’s discretion, and the vast majority don’t allow it. Restaurants are legally obliged to allow guide dogs and other assistance dogs, though.
Any other resources out there for customers that can’t face leaving their pooch at home?
Yes. The Kennel Club already has an Open for Dogs campaign, aiming to persuade more UK businesses to become dog-friendly. The organisation holds an annual competition to find the businesses that are the most accommodating to our canine companions, in fact.
And are any restaurants actually catering for dogs or is it more of a BYO thing?
A surprising number of chefs have embraced canine gastronomy. NYC chef Kevyn Matthew already runs a human-and-dog friendly menu that includes quinoa sushi. On this side of The Pond London pop-up The Curious Canine Kitchen ran a five-course menu that involves poochie chia pud. Sounds a bit ruff to us...