The Blazing Donkey, Ham

Blazing Donkey exterior

What’s The Blazing Donkey like?

This independent country house hotel is a popular wedding venue, just a few miles from the East Kent coast. Parts of the main building – with its vaulted ceiling and flagstone floors – date back to the 1700s but many of the hotel rooms are located in the converted stable block nearby.

How dog-friendly is The Blazing Donkey?

Very. Visiting dogs will have their own bed, bowls and treats waiting for them in the room. There’s a “muddy paws” station in the courtyard – handy if your dog gets dirty on a country walk – and unusually, pets are allowed everywhere in the main hotel building, including the restaurant.

Normally, there is a £10 per night charge for dogs but when owners book a break with dinner, pets stay for free. Lots of fuss from the friendly staff is also included in the price.

Bedroom at the Blazing Donkey

Tell me more about The Blazing Donkey

A handful of the 22 rooms are located in the main hotel building but the majority of guests stay in the recently-refurbished stable block nearby. Ours was Room 7, a sunny family room with views over the surrounding countryside.

The room had a real seasidey vibe, thanks to the blue and grey colour scheme and nautical decorations. It also had an enormous king-size bed and an extra single, as well as a sofa and large flatscreen TV. The stylish bathroom, with rainforest shower, was also lovely. The water pressure wasn’t the best but it did the job.

Beamed restaurant at the Blazing Donkey

What’s the food like at The Blazing Donkey?

Delicious. Expect hearty gastropub fayre with everything from tagliatelle to steak on the menu. We also overheard some other diners raving about the lamb. Make sure you save room for the cheeseboard, though – it all comes from Kentish suppliers.

In the morning, you’ll find lots of lovely breakfast options to choose from. Guests can order anything from a simple sausage sandwich to a Full English. All the crumpets and pancakes are made to the chef’s own recipe, too.

Dogs are welcome to join their owners in the relaxed main restaurant but we opted for a cosy table in the bar, sandwiched between two fires. We did enjoy breakfast in the restaurant though, and staff were more than happy to cook Ernie a sausage.

Ernie by the wood burner at the Blazing Donkey

Are there resident dogs at The Blazing Donkey?

No, but the owners are big dog lovers and if you’re lucky, there may be other visiting pets to play with.

Where are the best dog walks near The Blazing Donkey?

The hotel is just a stone’s throw from the East Kent coast, where you’ll find the dog-friendly towns of Dover and Deal. The shingle beach at Sandwich Bay is a great place for dogs to let off some steam. Deal has some lovely independent shops too, and a nice long promenade with a pier – but pets must generally stay on lead.

There’s also a lovely five-mile walk you can do from Sandwich itself. The circular route starts and finishes at the quay and takes in the Royal St George’s Golf Course, which is on The Open Championship rotation. For more information about the route, click here.

The famous signpost for Ham and Sandwich in Kent

What Ernie loved about The Blazing Donkey

The treats and fuss from staff, having not one but two fires to lay in front of, the sausage for breakfast

What I loved about The Blazing Donkey

The laid-back atmosphere, the fantastic food, being able to say we were staying in Ham, Sandwich (see sign above)

How to book The Blazing Donkey

Overnight stays start from £79 per night, including breakfast. For more information or to book, call 01304 617362 or visit The Blazing Donkey website.


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