So you've read the title and you can be forgiven for assuming that we're off to sunnier climes, escaping this unseasonably dismal British weather and spending a week lying by a swimming pool. Husband, baby and I topping up our tans, being waited on hand and foot and putting on a stone over the course of the week owing to the free food and gin.
Er, no. Traditional all inclusive holidays were great in my early twenties when I didn't know any different. My late twenties to early thirties were a time for travelling the world and now, rapidly approaching my mid-30's... it's time to stay put. With the exception of work trips abroad, husband and I have decided to spend the next few years exploring the UK. There are a number of reasons for this, not least the fact that we think it's about time we took some "all inclusive" family holidays.
So, what is an all inclusive holiday Plutonium Sox style? Well, it's one where we're all included... adults, baby and dogs. Soxa is sadly old beyond her years. She's only ten years old, but it's been a hard life living with us and she's really starting to age. She had a stroke a few months back which was a bit of a wake-up call and now we want to enjoy the dogs while they're still with us.
Aside from that, UK holidays with dogs are moving on. It's not that long ago that if we wanted to take the dogs on holiday, we were confined to a tent or a camper van. Things have moved forward steadily, we managed to get a holiday cottage that we could take the dogs to a couple of years ago and we even took them on a canal boat.
The one thing we've never managed to do though, is to stay in a really nice hotel with the dogs. I know dogs can be a bit smelly. They get a bit mucky sometimes and hotels don't want them messing up the furniture. But surely a hotel could dedicate a few rooms to "pet people"? People like us that want to stay somewhere beautiful, be pampered for a few days, eat nice food, drink quality wine but not have to dump our dogs somewhere to allow us to do it.
Well, finally, hotels do seem to be noticing that there is a gap in the market to cater for people like us. Take the Wentbridge House Hotel for example. They've recently written a blog post about their new dog friendly rooms. Now that's more like it. A four star hotel set in a stunning area, surrounded by countryside walks. I defy any dog lover to go there and enjoy a stroll without feeling just a little bit guilty that pooch is sat in a cage at the local kennels.
Dogs don't want much and, as dog lovers, neither do we. But we would like to be able to order room-service Plutonium Sox style at the end of a tiring walk- two large glasses of red wine, an apple juice and two bowls of fresh water. Bliss.