Moving pets to the UK is fraught with questions about vaccinations and documentation for importing pets into the country, pet travel, pet passports, landlords of London apartments that accept pets, finding a new vet in London, and so on and so forth. One thing you won’t have to worry about if you’re moving to London with a dog, luckily, is constantly having to leave him or her home every time you want to go out.
I’ve written before about how dog-friendly London is, and this extends to many of its cafes, restaurants, and pubs. While it’s illegal in the UK for dogs to be in areas of food preparation, there’s no legislation banning them from being present where food is served; thus, it becomes a matter of the individual owner’s choice whether or not to allow pets into their establishments. Today I’ll explore a few of these venues located in the areas populated by many expats that London Relocation assists with moving pets to the UK.
Moving Pets to West London
There’s a slew of fantastic pubs just in the vicinity of London Relocation’s office. Notting Hill and its surrounding West London neighborhoods have long been a mecca for North American expats, and they’ve proven ideal for those moving pets to the UK, too! With vast green space like Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, and Holland Park, it’s a dog-walker’s dream and a dog-diner’s as well! One of several pubs that allows dogs (and also happens to be one of my favorites) is The Churchill Arms. There’s no missing this one as you travel along Kensington Church Street between High Street Kensington and Notting Hill Gate—from top to bottom, the building is in bloom with countless flower boxes. Just as decked out on the inside with vintage and kitschy paraphernalia, this classic and cozy pub never ceases to fill up each night with the young and the old, the human and the animal. On the same street is the more contemporary and sleek Kensington Wine Rooms, where you can also bring your dog to join you for some wine-tasting and tapas-snacking.
If you and your canine are keen for more swank like this, heading northwestward into the Bayswater neighborhood will take you to The Commander Porterhouse and Oyster Bar. Blending classic British cuisine and ales with an upscale and updated flavor, this restaurant also has a wine lounge and outdoor seating so your pup enjoys some fresh air. Also enjoying some nice outdoor space under the leafy prettiness of Holland Park Avenue (as well as providing a dog and dog-owner designated space inside) is The Mitre. Like The Commander, it’s sort of an upscale yet relaxed traditional-pub-meets-modern-restaurant hybrid with an open and pleasant atmosphere and good food and drink to go around. This by no means exhausts the list of dog-friendly West London locales if you’re moving pets to the UK—just a taste of many to explore after your London relocation!
MOVING PETS TO NORTH/NORTHWEST LONDON
Northwest London is another area perfect for dog-owners moving pets to the UK. Like its western counterpart, it attracts many expats with its lovely residences, quaint shops and cafes, and abundant green spaces like Regents Park, Primrose Hill, and Hampstead Heath. The rolling natural landscape makes for an urban paradise. If it’s pastries you’re salivating after as if you’ve just heard Pavlov’s bell ring, the Primrose Bakery is a “sweet” little place to stroll into with your doggy. Keeping its baking old-fashioned and its ingredients fresh, this bakery has served local celebrities and supplies food to high-end clients like Selfridges and Liberty department stores. And depending on which side of the Heath you find yourself walking your furry friend, Hampstead offers plenty of pub options for resting your weary feet and paws. The Freemasons Arms is in the vein of The Mitre and The Commander in drawing a relatively posh crowd, but this doesn’t make it any less dog-friendly in its outdoor seating and bar area (dogs aren’t allowed in the restaurant, however). If you’re hankering for something more casual, a charming historic locale just outside the Heath is The Spaniards Inn, which boasts a large beer garden in back that’ll give your pet room to stretch its four legs.
YES, DOGS ALLOWED!
Again, this is just the tip of a St. Bernard’s wet nose when it comes to bar and dining options. Your dog is allowed to step out with you to many-a public venue Londonwide—at the very least, if a dog isn’t allowed inside a pub, cafe, or restaurant, the outdoor beer gardens and sidewalk seating at many such establishments usually make for exceptions to their indoor rules. Rural English pubs are usually more liberal in this respect as well. I’ll continually blog about specific dog-friendly places, but this list is a great way to get started if you’re moving pets to UK and want them to enjoy the international experience, too!