If you’re dog tired then what better place to recharge your batteries than somewhere that really knows how to look after dogs?
Trigony House Hotel in Dumfriesshire proudly proclaims itself to be one such establishment, aimed squarely at catering to the every need of man’s best friend.
Roxy the resident golden retriever observes the comings and goings with a proprietorial air. Described by the hotel’s husband and wife team owners Jan and Adam Moore as a gun dog with an aversion to both running and loud, sudden noises, Roxy knows she is onto a cushy number.
Dogs are welcome throughout the hotel and grounds and receive a “gourmet box” of treats on arrival.
A dog-sitting service is available on request, along with free dog beds, towels and bowls. The Moores will even offer them a sausage at breakfast each morning.
The house is surrounded by the rolling hills of Dumfriesshire – great for exploring on four legs or two – and a welcome pack includes a map with all the best walks in the area.
But all this is not to say Trigony isn’t equally luxurious for non-dogs. Being dogless, I can’t vouch for the place’s restorative effects on canines but it certainly recharged my batteries.
Set in more than four acres of woodland just south of Thornhill, Trigony maintains the feel of a country house with blazing log fires and a walled garden, where the owners grow some of their own fruit, herbs and vegetables.
As far as possible the kitchen sources produce locally. Milk and dairy goods come from an organic dairy round the corner. A nearby butcher supplies award-winning black pudding and the best lowland Galloway beef and lamb.
“When we took ownership of Trigony, our aim was to make this the best Scottish hotel we could,” says Adam. “It was totally refurbished just before the war when there were still a fair number of craftsmen about and simple, stylish and tasteful touches enhance the dining room and public rooms. Best of all is the outlook, which through an extensive pattern of windows, peers on to the garden and grounds.”
Directly above, the bedrooms offer great views of the fine countryside of this often overlooked part of Dumfries and Galloway.
The couple describe their “unfussy and classic” appoach to food, “taking our inspiration from British and Mediterranean peasant dishes as well as using classic Indian and South East Asian influences on our menu. The aim is to give new twists on old favourites and provide unspoiled traditional dishes cooked and served up in a relaxing, informal dining room”.
Clearly, their efforts have paid off. Trigony has been awarded Best Country House Hotel, Best Restaurant & Best Breakfast in the South of Scotland at The Scottish Hotel awards, and The Best Dog Friendly Hotel in the UK at the Best Loved Hotel awards.
Further testament to the benefits of staying in this Edwardian country house can be found by looking to one of the former occupants, Frances Shakerley, who was fortunate enough to live here for more than 100 years. She lived to be Scotland’s oldest women, aged 107.
We stayed in the garden suite, on the ground floor, which has its own private access into the hotel. My wife and I brought our baby daughter and the private access proved extremely useful with the inevitable baggage that comes with a seven-month-old girl. No doubt, dog owners would be equally glad of the private garden.
In the red sandstone above the hotel entrance is inscribed, “The Lord bless thy going out and coming in,” and there is no shortage of things to do when going out with the Lord’s blessing. Activities in the surrounding area include horse riding, fishing, off-roading, cycling and falconry, and a visit to the magnificent “pink palace” of nearby Drumlanrig Castle is a must.
The grounds also contain perhaps the most bijou spa treatment room in Scotland. But although it is the size of an average shed, the atmosphere inside is so tranquil it could be anywhere in the world. A wide range of treatments are available using Ishga products, which are made from seaweed harvested from the Hebrides. Jan and Adam plan to open an outdoor wood-fired Swedish hot tub this spring.
And, naturally, special pampering sessions are available for the guests’ four-legged-friends.
A last minute winter break at the Trigony House Hotel and Garden Spa with three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast for two people is available from £380. There is a charge of £9.50 per night for dogs. Tel: 01848 331211, or visit www.trigonyhotel.co.uk