Thursday, 5 January 2012


We're not going to the park today. After dodging flying Christmas trees on the way to school this morning I'm not inclined to take on anything bigger. I think it's safer to stay indoors. Particularly, as despite boasting many rooms, Clissold House is unable to offer any shelter to dog walkers and their dogs, meaning the that the only option is to take refuge under a tree in the event of sudden and torrential rain.
Now, on New Year's day we went to the Heath for a walk. The day began brightly and we headed off deep into the woods. As the sky darkened and the rain started we got quite lost and ended up trudging in a big circle through the mud. We eventually found the Hampstead Gate exit, which was handy, as it's just a few steps away from the Wells Tavern. Hurrah! Not only do they offer lovely mulled wine, real fires, board games for kids and a great menu of beautifully cooked and presented food but they also welcome dogs. There were about 20 in there at the weekend. Some sleeping under tables, one or two (no names mentioned) sitting on their owners' laps, another couple neatly squashed next to children on sofas. There is NO law in this country to say that dogs are not allowed in restaurants. A couple of weeks ago the whippet walkers of Stoke Newington held a get-together at The Wells. Half a dozen whippets snoozed on the carpet while we tucked into delicious fish-cakes, home-made chips and a couple of bottles of dry Riesling. I realise that this scenario may not be everyone's cup of tea. I never really liked dogs much myself and Brian positively disliked them. It wasn't until we were forced into having them that our feelings changed and as irrational as it is, they really become part of the family. If you can't bear to be in a cafe, pub or restaurant in the company of a dog or two it's easy - there are millions of dog-free establishments. Dog owners just ask that you have a heart and don't insist on having every part of every establishment for yourselves. It's only fair.

1 comment:


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