A DOG-FRIENDLY holiday cottage in North Yorkshire has won an award from former TV star Theo Paphitis - just five months after opening its doors to the public.

Owner Rachel Spencer met with the entrepreneur on Friday and was presented with her certificate at the annual SBS (Small Business Sunday) winners’ event at the ICC in Birmingham.

Rachel, 48, entered the awards by posting on Instagram about her mission to make the cottage the most dog-friendly in Yorkshire. 

She said: "We make it all about the dogs, with a welcome pack for each canine guest with treats, a nautical bandana, and poo bags to keep the village clean. They also get a ‘dog robe’ dressing gown to wear after a run on the beach and there are beds, bowls and a biscuit jar so they have everything they need for their holiday."

Dog lover Theo, 64, who has a Cocker Spaniel named Gladys, chose her to join his community of over 4,000 winners.  

Rachel said: “To have this recognition from Theo is a huge boost and it puts dog-friendly Robin Hood’s Bay and Yorkshire on the map.

York Press: Gertie the Jack Russell unwinds and enjoys his treats at Sunnyside CottageGertie the Jack Russell unwinds and enjoys his treats at Sunnyside Cottage (Image: Provided)

"When I opened the doors at Sunnyside Cottage, I was determined to make it stand out as a truly dog welcoming place to stay.

"We wanted to create at atmosphere where both people and dogs could relax and have a nice time, without worrying about if paws are allowed on the furniture.


"Theo is a dog lover so I talked about this in my application and I was over the moon to win and took along a goody bag for his dog Gladys as a thank you and an invitation to stay!   

"Although I wouldn’t fancy his chances driving his Mercedes Maybach up and down the hill.”

York Press: Rachel Spencer and Theo Paphitis at the ICC Business Awards in BirminghamRachel Spencer and Theo Paphitis at the ICC Business Awards in Birmingham (Image: Provided)

Small Business Sunday began in Theo’s kitchen back in 2010 when he had the idea to give small businesses a boost by retweeting their social media pages to his followers.  

Each week Theo urges people to share the passion behind their businesses and chooses six winners, three from Twitter and three from Instagram. The SBS community now has over 4,000 members.   

Theo added: “We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK.   

“My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS retweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings.   

“The website will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish Rachel and Sunnyside Cottage every success.”

To find out more or book a stay of your own, click here for more information.