The Alma Inn, Harwich

Pub sign for The Alma Inn, Harwich

What’s The Alma Inn like?

The Alma Inn is arguably one of the best pubs in Britain. It has been at the heart of the Harwich community since the 1850s and serves great food and an even greater selection of ale and cider. Plus, all the staff and regulars at this port town pub LOVE dogs.

How dog-friendly is The Alma Inn?

It’s brilliant. Dogs are allowed everywhere downstairs, including the dining room. Treats are also on sale behind the bar, with all proceeds going to a local animal charity.

When you check-in, you’re also given an out-of-hours code for the back entrance in case your four-legged friend needs to pop out for a late night pee. There is an extra charge of £10 per night for dogs to stay in the rooms.

Rustic bedroom at the Alma Inn, Harwich, with wooden beams

Tell me more about The Alma Inn

There are five beautifully-appointed rooms above the pub, all named after historic Harwich characters. There’s also a suite that sleeps four. We stayed in room one – Chamber’s Chambers – which had a mix of period and contemporary features plus a partial sea view.

We loved the comfy bed, not to mention the old-fashioned safe, cool filament lamps and Nespresso machine. The complimentary biscuits and bottled water were very much appreciated and the humorous tongue-in-cheek guide to the room raised a few smiles, too.

The room also had a flatscreen TV, retro radio and free WiFi – and we were spoilt for choice when it came to reading material, thanks to the cunningly-stored antique books above the bed. Even the stylish bathroom was a treat with fluffy white towels, a punchy rainforest shower and luxurious Tyneham toiletries. A huge driftwood mirror gave a nod to Harwich’s maritime history, too.

Ernie by the dessert menu at the Alma Inn, Harwich

What’s the food like at The Alma Inn?

Awesome. The Alma is renowned for its fresh, locally-caught seafood – especially the lobster. Steak is also a speciality and you can choose the exact cut and weight you would like to order from a regularly updated chalkboard in the bar. There are plenty of other dishes, of course, and many come with an Iberian twist.

Breakfast is an equally delicious and laid-back affair, whether you go for the veggie or non-veggie option. In my opinion, it’s worth going meat-free for the halloumi and bean fritter alone. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served seven days a week.

Are there resident dogs at The Alma Inn?

No, but the likelihood of meeting other dogs in the bar is very high!

Ernie explores Dovercourt Beach, with the iconic wooden lighthouse behind him

Where are the best dog walks near The Alma Inn?

Start by exploring Old Harwich, right on your doorstep. Steeped in history, it has lots of listed buildings to check out and a cute little pier, where you can catch the Harwich Harbour Ferry to Felixstowe. Also look out for plaques celebrating the town’s links to former Harwich MP, Samuel Pepys and the Mayflower – the first ship to transport Pilgrims to America in 1620. 

If it’s off-lead action you’re after, head to Dovercourt Bay. It is a short walk from the Old Town and has a fantastic sandy beach. Dogs are only allowed on the beach out of season but even if you visit during the summer months, you can still enjoy a stroll along the prom. Watch out for the ferries, giant container ships and cruise liners sailing silently in and out of Harwich International Port.

Bathroom at the Alma Inn, Harwich

What Ernie loved about The Alma Inn

All the fuss from the staff and locals, sneaking bits of sausage at breakfast

What I loved about The Alma Inn

The relaxed vibe, the amazing veggie breakfast, the stylish rooms

How to book The Alma Inn

Rooms start from £75 per night, including breakfast. Look out for the fantastic special offers – you can sometimes enjoy a night’s stay with breakfast and a £50 bar tab for just £100. For more information or to book, visit The Alma Inn website or call 01255 318681.

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