The Carpenters Arms, Great Wilbraham

The Carpenters Arms, Great Wilbraham

What’s The Carpenters Arms like?

This historic pub, approximately 15 minutes away from central Cambridge, recently received a very modern makeover. While the 250-year-old frontage remains relatively unchanged, the back now has bifold doors stretching the width of the building, allowing light to pour in to the colourful, contemporary restaurant. The Carpenters Arms is part of the Chestnut Collection.

How dog-friendly is The Carpenters Arms?

It’s excellent. Dogs are made to feel very welcome at the pub and are allowed everywhere, including the funky main restaurant. There’s a lovely garden for dogs to explore and if a Muddy Paws package is booked – which includes dinner, bed and breakfast for the humans – pets will be treated to their own branded bed, as well as some Denzel’s treats. These can also be purchased from behind the bar as part of the special Doggy Menu. There is an additional charge of £25 per dog per night.

Bedroom at The Carpenters Arms, Great Wilbraham

Tell me more about The Carpenters Arms

There are four rooms available on the first-floor of the pub, all of which are named after carpentry joints. Three of them are classed as ‘Good’, and are dog-friendly. We stayed in Dovetail, at the top of the main staircase, which was decorated in soothing shades of blue with pops of colour in the patterned blinds and feature headboard. The room had everything we needed for a short stay, such as a flatscreen TV, complimentary tea, coffee and water and excellent WiFi.

The kingsize bed was incredibly comfortable and the stylish shower room was also a treat, with its matte blue tiles, lush Bramley toiletries, large mirror and fluffy white towels. But while everything was super stylish, there were a few little things that let the room down. There was only one bedside lamp, for example, and the blind in the bathroom was broken so could not be opened. We also struggled to find the TV remote – which a member of staff eventually located under the bed. Fortunately, it didn’t affect how much we enjoyed our stay!

Wild mushroom risotto at The Carpenters Arms, Great Wilbraham

What’s the food like at The Carpenters Arms?

Really good, if a little pricey. We stayed over on a Sunday night and while traditional roast dinners were on the menu, there were plenty of other options to choose from, such as burgers and battered haddock. I opted for the wild mushroom risotto, pictured above, which was delicious, and I can definitely recommend the nutty chocolate brownie for dessert. The homemade chips looked particularly good, too. At the time of our visit, two courses were available for £28 and three courses cost £35.

The beautiful main restaurant has an open kitchen and comes complete with bright banquette seating and quirky decor, such as trees (yes, you read that right!), patterned wallpaper and a giant Pulp Fiction film poster. Guests can also choose to dine in the cosy bar area with its enormous original fireplace and the vibrant pink snug, which was once the pub kitchen but is now where breakfast is served. The morning meal is well worth dragging yourself out of bed for too, with everything from bacon rolls to boiled eggs on the menu.

Are there resident dogs at The Carpenters Arms?

No, but we encountered several local pooches who had popped in for a pint and another dog who was staying over.

Wilbraham Common

Where are the best dog walks near The Carpenters Arms?

The village of Great Wilbraham is a lovely place to enjoy a stroll with your four-legged friend. It’s not huge, but there are a few little loops you can do from The Carpenters Arms that are perfect for morning and late night ablutions. Wilbraham Common, pictured above, is just a few minutes’ walk from the pub, and the large open space is ideal for a bit of off-lead action.

Details of a ‘Wellington Boot Wander’ – a 5.5-mile circular walk from Great Wilbraham to Fulbourn – can also be found in every room. The recommended route takes in the Fulbourn Fen nature reserve, which is an ancient grassland bursting with wildlife. As the name of the route suggests though, you might want to take your wellies with you.

Restaurant at The Carpenters Arms, Great Wilbraham

What Ernie and Stan loved about The Carpenters Arms

The fuss from staff, meeting the other visiting dogs

What I loved about The Carpenters Arms

The colourful restaurant, the great food, the quiet village location

How to book The Carpenters Arms

Rooms start from £109 per night, including breakfast. There are numerous deals and packages available throughout the year, however, so it’s well worth keeping an eye on The Carpenters Arms website. Dog owners should also check out the Chestnut Collection’s dedicated pet-friendly site, Chestmutts. This contains information about all of the group’s pubs and hotels and is packed full of ideas for dog-friendly things to see and do nearby.

Garden at The Carpenters Arms, Great Wilbraham

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