The Magdalen Chapter
The Magdalen Chapter has been billed as a “contemporary wonderland”, which is one way to do justice to this grown-ups playground, housed in the former West of England Eye Hospital. The temptation to make jokes about the location (a stay should see you though the year, the decor is easy on the eye and so on) is almost overwhelming. But we’ll resist.
Eat: This wonderful hotel feels bit like a contemporary country house hotel relocated to the middle of a city. It’s odd, but it works well. You can eat in the bar with your dog (it has its own extensive menu and there are also plenty of options from the main restaurant menu available), where the dog will be likely to get some special treats. The lounge bar and library are beautiful, well crafted and carefully considered spaces and lead out to a wonderfully peaceful terrace, perfect for those summer nights. If you take the plunge and opt to leave Fido in the bedroom while you eat in the main restaurant, you’ll enjoy the best of head chef Ben Bulger under the even more expert eye of that most British of celebrity chefs, Simon Hopkinson. Hopkinson and Bulger combine to bring out the best from the array of the West of England’s best seasonal ingredients, with menus that are as simple as they are delicious.
Sleep: Of the 59 bedrooms, there is a good selection available to dog owners in each category and dogs are allowed throughout the hotel, other than the main restaurant or the swimming pool (understandably). That the hotel is so dog friendly is excellent, but that they don't charge extra for dogs is doubly impressive.
Walk: Should you have come away without your dog’s lead (tut, tut) the hotel has spares on offer, as well as maps of the best walks in the local area. It also provides a dog bed and bowl in the room. Within Exeter, the Riverside Valley Park is worth a stroll and leads down to the coast. Nearby there are the splendid 275 acres of Dartmoor National Park, encompassing one of the National Trust's jewels, Castle Drogo, which rises high above the Teign Gorge and marks the start of one of Dartmoor's most famous walks through the Teign Valley. You are also not far from the glorious Devon coast, which offers everything from sandy beaches to towering cliffs and deserted coves to busy ports.
South West England
SX 92319 92317
Q: Can I leave my dog alone in the bedroom?
Q: Where else are dogs allowed?
A: Everywhere, except the main dining room and pool area
Q: Can my dog come with me when I go to eat?
A: Yes, in the bar or library
Q: Are there any extra charges for dogs?
A: No, but you'll get plenty of treats, a bed and bowl in your room