It’s something of a British tradition to sup a pint with a dog snoozing at your feet and, certainly when I lived there, it was not uncommon to see a dog down at your local (check out Dogs in Pubs for some great shot of dogs enjoying the good life).
Here in Sydney, I’m struggling to find as many options to drink with dog in tow. However, Harry and I refuse to be discouraged and continue to hunt down more of Sydney’s dog-friendly haunts.
We can report that The Dog in Randwick, despite such a promising name, does not allow dogs inside (although they are permitted in the small courtyard beer garden). The Clovelly Hotel, an ideal pit stop during the Bondi to Coogee coastal cliff walk, does not even allow dogs in the beer garden (they are allowed on the deck out front, but when we visited it was pretty unappealing – more of a functional space for smokers).
I began to fear that we might have to resort to more drastic measures, as seen in this old beer advert.
Fortunately, we have now discovered Chippendale’s Duck Inn Pub and Kitchen.
Just off Cleveland St, at first glance The Duck Inn looks like your average back street boozer. Inside, however, it’s the kind of gastro pub I secretly dream of owning – and not just because they allow dogs.
It’s light, bright and airy with warm-coloured furnishings that create a cosy atmosphere – I especially loved the painted bookshelf backdrop. Soft, squishy sofas, wooden floors and fresh flowers gives the Duck Inn a real home away from home feel. The kind of home that’s cleaner and nicer than your own.
And then there’s the great menu, which left us all salivating over the options. From lighter bites like a charcuterie board to a delicious Sunday roast (Harry can also testify to the quality of the beef) – in short, the Duck Inn was an ideal setting for us all to sit and sagely contemplate our progress together so far.
Since our first pub trip (to The London) life with Harry has improved considerably. Our early problems with howling have thankfully been resolved and he no longer bothers about being left alone. In fact, due to the elaborate food hunt we set up every time we leave him, he gets extremely excited at our departures. He then settles down for a sleep on the sofa, bed or some other forbidden piece of furniture (we know this because we stalk our dog with a video camera when we’re out. Over-anxious? Us??) .
So Harry’s confidence is definitely on the rise and, while still not much of a barker, he will make himself heard when he feels necessary. This is not always when we might think it’s necessary. For example, scenario one: a stranger enters our home and Harry will wag his tail and bring a ball. Scenario two: a nice person at the Duck Inn approaches softly and tries to pat Harry, and he will bark like he’s about to get beaten. Luckily, this lady also owns a rescue dog, so Harry at least had a sympathetic ear. And, even better, we didn’t get barred from one of the few pubs where we are welcome…
If anyone knows of other pubs in or around Sydney where dogs are welcome, please let us know! Until then, we’ll always have Chippendale…
Duck Inn Pub and Kitchen. 74 Rose Street, Chippendale. Tel: 02 9319 4415.