We’re a nation of dog lovers. And in Knightsbridge, there are plenty of venues and green spaces that accommodate your furry friends…
Words: Edwina Langley
Dog-friendly places to go in Knightsbridge
It’s an age-old question: where can dog owners go in London where their pups will be welcome? The capital is, for the most part, a canine-friendly city. You can take your pooch on the tube, the bus, the overground; around numerous parks and gardens; into certain cafés, pubs and shops… Put simply, London accommodates dogs. But what about Knightsbridge?
Located near one of London’s most famous Royal Parks means there is plenty of green space for your dog to explore. Not only that, but because the district boasts an array of dog-friendly establishments, owners can also enjoy a fun day out knowing Rover won’t have to leave your side.
Fancy an overnight stay, but don’t want to leave the dog behind? With a fine selection of dog-friendly hotels to choose from in Knightsbridge, you won’t have to.
First up, there’s The Berkeley. For a £100 fee – which covers an anti-allergenic deep clean following your visit – your pooch can stay with you in your room or suite. Certain rules apply: dogs over 7kg will need the general manager’s permission to stay, for instance, and pups are not permitted in the main food and drink rooms.
Just up the road you’ll find The Lanesborough. Not only does it allow small to medium dogs in both rooms and suites, but if provided enough notice, its butler team might even be able to arrange for your dog to be walked. Fancy a drink, but not without your pooch? Not a problem! Dogs are permitted in the Library Bar, the Withdrawing Room and the Garden Room.
Across the road, the five-star Mandarin Oriental also accommodates man’s best friend. Dogs under 35kg are welcome to stay with you in your room, although a cleaning bill of £100 applies, and as per the other hotels, dogs are not allowed into dining areas.
Finally, The Egerton House Hotel prides itself on going above and beyond for its four-legged guests. Not only is there a dedicated pet concierge, which includes walking, sitting and grooming services (on request), an embroidered pet towel and turn-down treats, The Egerton even serves a Doggy Afternoon Tea featuring chicken and beef meatloaf, homemade dog biscuits and a carrot cupcake.
On the subject of food, sometimes life calls for a drink and a plate of hearty pub grub. If that’s what you are in need of, Knightsbridge has plenty of choices for you and your furry friend. The Bunch of Grapes was built in 1644, so you could say it’s likely to have seen a few pups in its time. There, you will find all the usual tipples together with a tantalising menu of classics: flat iron steak, fish and chips, roasted half chicken… need we go on?
Nearby, there is the Paxton’s Head. Initially a gin palace, this Victorian institution offers everything you could want from a quintessential British pub: an extensive drinks menu, BT Sport and Sky Sports, a pool table and traditional dishes (sticky toffee pudding, anyone?). And yes, it is also pet-friendly.
Out on a walk and fancy a coffee? Knightsbridge boasts a number of cafés, so it’s little surprise that there are places you can stop off with your pooch. Starbucks and Caffè Nero on Brompton Road both permit dogs, for example, while if you fancy somewhere with more of a foodie focus, head to Paul. This French bakery chain is open from 7:30am until 6pm, Monday through to Sunday. So, whether it’s an early morning stroll or late afternoon one, rest assured you’ll have somewhere warm to go after walkies.
It’s stating the obvious, but one of the best things you can do with dogs in Knightsbridge is to go for a walk round Hyde Park. While there are some areas where dogs are not allowed (the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, for example) or which require you to keep them on leads (the edge of the Serpentine Lake), for the most part, your pooch can run free – which is just as well as there is a lot of ground to cover: 350 acres to be precise. With much to see as you stroll – The Huntress Fountain, Speakers’ Corner and The Rose Garden, to name a few of its famous sites – it’ll be hard surmising who enjoys it more, you or the pup?
Of course, Knightsbridge is famously known as a shopping hotspot and wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy some retail therapy alongside your pooch? Harvey Nichols allows well-behaved dogs that can be carried by their owners, but not in hospitality areas. And there is one place in Knightsbridge where pooches can merrily stroll in and out, and that is the Apple Store on Brompton Road. There, your pup could help you pick out your next iPhone, or iPad, or even iMac. Pawfect!
Edwina Langley is a freelance journalist who writes for the Evening Standard