WHAT’S THE SCOOP? If you’re in need of a gorgeous getaway in the rolling hills of Hampshire, look no further than The Hawk Inn. This super country inn, owned by the Upham Pub Company, is located in the peaceful village of Amport and prides itself on its contemporary rooms and modern British menu.
Aside from its chocolate box cottages, Amport’s biggest attraction is the world-renowned Hawk Conservancy Trust – from which the pub takes its name – but it is also close to Andover and just 20 minutes from Stonehenge, in the neighbouring county of Wiltshire.
ARE MUDDY PAWS WELCOME? Most definitely. Ernie received lots of fuss from the staff when we checked in and had a stylish bed, blanket and towel waiting for him in our room, all of which was embroidered with pub name. He was also provided with two stainless steel bowls and a small jar of treats, which were very welcome.
Dogs are welcome to stay in the rooms for £20 per night and the bar area is also very pet-friendly. Handily, poo bins outside are clearly marked, too. For more information about Upham Pubs’ pet policy, click here.
AND WHEN I’M DOG TIRED? Book one of the nine stylish bedrooms, which come in three grades – standard, family and superior. We stayed in Room Seven, which boasted a comfy kingsize bed as well as a separate lounge area with a selection of books. Directly above the bar, it had great views of the beer garden and surrounding countryside. We could hear horses, ducks and sheep out in the fields, which was lovely!
The room was decorated in neutral shades with floral accents and had lots of lovely touches such as antique furniture, cosy blankets, quirky light fittings and a snuggly hot water bottle. The modern bathroom was also impressive, with fluffy white towels and Algotherm toiletries.
We were provided with complimentary tea, biscuits and coffee during our stay, with fresh milk available from a communal fridge in the hallway. A handy clipboard also contained all the information we needed to know about the pub and local area.
HOW ARE THE SCOOBY SNACKS? Delicious. The Hawk is renowned for its food and the pub is rightly proud of its menu, which features British classics with a modern twist. Wherever possible, meals are made using locally sourced ingredients and served in the wood-panelled restaurant, which has a Scandi feel to it. You can also enjoy meals in the bar area, where you can sink into a leather sofa and enjoy a selection of newspapers.
We were lucky enough to stay on a Sunday so could enjoy The Hawk’s delicious roast dinners (£15.95). We also sampled the spinach, mushroom and lentil stew with sweet potato (£13.50) and the desserts, including sticky toffee pudding (£6.50), were to die for.
At breakfast, we enjoyed warm pastries and coffee before deciding what to order from the menu. I liked the fact it was a little bit different – as well as a Full English, for example, you could enjoy more unconventional options such as pancakes and posh bacon sarnies.
Plus, should you be brave enough to dine outside, there were umbrellas and sunscreen by the front door to help you deal with the unpredictable British weather. A nice touch!
ANY FOUR-LEGGED FRIENDS TO PLAY WITH? No, but you’re sure to encounter plenty of other thirsty pups in the pub. Seek them out at the doggy bar where you’ll also find a great selection of chompable sticks for your pup to enjoy.
WHERE’S GOOD FOR WALKIES? There are plenty of footpaths and bridleways in the area surrounding Amport. The village green itself is great for a quick stroll and the neighbouring village of Monxton has plenty to explore, too. For a few walk suggestions, check out this local guide produced by the Amport & Monxton Community Charity. Hard copies are also available to buy at The Hawk.
Alternatively, head for Salisbury Plain, which is a 25-minute drive away. Here, there are a whole host of walks you can do with your dog. I’d recommend parking at Carter Barracks in Bulford and heading out through the woods. You may encounter cows grazing so will need to keep your lead handy but can otherwise walk for miles.
WHAT ERNIE LOVED: Watching the newborn lambs play in the nearby field, having his own bed, treats and bowls, the fuss the from locals and staff
WHAT I LOVED: The Hawk’s friendly team, the views over the surrounding countryside, seeing Ernie get spoilt
GET ON THE DOG AND BONE: A night’s B&B at The Hawk Inn starts from £79. For more information, call 01264 710371 or visit hawkinnamport.co.uk.