All Four Paws brings together the UK’s best pet-friendly places into one handy website. The Resident sits meets the founders who hate to go anywhere without their four-legged friends…
Words: Dominique Regalado
All Fours Paws, founded by Tooting resident Sarah Williams and Fulham-based Nicky Burton, is a website dedicated to finding new adventures for you and your pooch – from gourmet dining to luxury destinations.
‘I’d always had trouble with my dog, Rigby, taking him away. He was well travelled, but it was always really hard to find places that were truly pet-friendly,’ says Burton. ‘Because more and more people are having pets, we felt there was a real gap in the market.’
The two could not imagine leaving their furry friends behind when they went on holiday. Many hotels and restaurants don’t make it transparently known that they are accessible for hounds as well as humans, or don’t give away much about what to expect when you get there.
‘It’s about accessibility for people and being able to bridge that gap of not knowing where to go, while also mentioning that high-quality standard,’ adds Williams. ‘At a restaurant, for example, as a baseline you’d expect them to have bowls for the dogs and most probably have treats. It’s a nice little added extra.’
‘As a dog owner, you want a safe environment for them to enjoy themselves,’ says Williams. ‘That’s the pet-friendly element.’
It’s about accessibility for people and being able to bridge that gap of not knowing where to go, while also mentioning that high-quality standard
Venues that offer doggy menus and do dog-based events in pet-friendly spaces do really well from a pet owner’s perspective. Each venue on the All Four Paws website promises a balance of style and practicality. With each recommendation, you’ll find a style that suits your taste and is sensible for your pet, whether large or small.
‘A lot of hotels are offering doggy sitting and doggy walking, so there’s a bar being raised for taking your dog with you,’ says Burton. ‘Then, there’s a Rigby review and accreditation so everyone knows exactly what they’re going to get when they go with their dog.’
When researching travelling with your pet, many of the tiny details are often overlooked, such as whether you get a dog bed, should you bring your own bowls, can you eat with them in the hotel? This is the gap that All Four Paws fills.
‘A lot of dog owners will know that, but just being reassured that yes, you can sit in the bar and you can have breakfast there,’ says Williams. ‘You don’t have to leave your dog if you don’t want to.’
All Four Paws also provides an Also in the Neighbourhood section, describing other places you can visit with your pet around your chosen venue. The emphasis is put on hotels, in which you’ll most likely need to know where you can walk your pet and where you can go with them. So many people decide not to go out of town because of their pets, so it is about that flexibility and mobility more than anything.
Locally, Rigby and Burton love to visit Battersea Park and Pear Tree Café, which is recommended on the website, and Petersham Nurseries also comes highly-recommended for dog owners. On the hotel side, they love visiting the Ampersand and the Milestone for their afternoon tea and excellent pet concierge services. It truly is a dog’s life.