Four years ago (how on earth has that time disappeared so quickly?) we excitedly booked our first – of many – visits to Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe. It was a wintery Saturday evening – because that was the only time they had free in about 3 months of searching – and I gathered together a couple of my nearest & dearest, and we enjoyed a pawfect evening petting the kitties.
Warning: If you don’t like cats, this probably isn’t the right post for you – there are a plethora of other interesting afternoon tea posts in this blog though. However, it may be the right post for someone you love. Like all of the bemused guys with their girlfriends…
Recently I visited Lady Dinah’s again with a new friend who is as cat obsessed as I am, and this time we booked in the whole shebang – a proper afternoon tea – that we enjoyed in the afternoon amidst the kitty watching. Replete with prosecco, bottomless tea and lots of cats mooching around the Alice in Wonderland themed space, it’s a purrfect way to unwind.
Slightly incongruous in the salty east end of London and only a stone’s throw from Brick Lane, the cafe attracts so much attention from passersby that people literally stop in the street exclaiming ‘ohhhh, it’s a cat cafe!’.
Luckily unlike many of those passersby, we had booked in for the high tea a fair while in advance (which is the best way to do it – you can try and pop-in just grabbing a entry alongside a slice of cake and a drink) as we didn’t want to run the gauntlet, especially on a busy Saturday afternoon.
The interiors have had quite an update since I last blogged about it, the staff turning the downstairs into a forest and the upstairs into a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, complete with enormous hat.
At this point I’ll also apologise for the photos – it was a grey old day, it’s cosy atmosphere meant that the photos were only ok and the continuous distraction of purring moggies kept drawing my attention away from the conversation, let alone focussing on decent images.
Since I first visited Lady Dinah’s, I’ve visited cat cafes all over the world (should I be admitting that?) and this East London institution still sets the standard. With contented pusses preening, plenty of hidey holes for the cat to stalk off into when they’ve had enough attention (not to mention for their continuous naps) and attentive staff who love explaining the antics of the furry inhabitants, we were spellbound for our entire 90-minute stay.
The high tea itself was really rather good – we nibbled at the vegetarian version with a glass or two of prosecco…
…and I’d go back for the savoury tier alone. The cheese scone was delicious, the savoury muffin was scrumptious (though my date found the cheese a little overpowering for her palate), the scones were generous and the chocolate tart was unctuous.
Our teacups were never empty either – which can’t be said for a few luxury hotel teas we’ve tried lately – and the team at the cafe were at pains to make sure that every guest was content.
And the cats, oh the cats.
Everywhere you look a pair of ears peek out sleepily from nooks, paws flash as they play with cat toys and occasionally the exercise wheel will roll with a cat-treat hungry inhabitant.
What more could you ever want (except possibly to be reincarnated as a four-pawed cutie?)
Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe is run to the highest level of hygiene, with a separate kitchen, multiple litter trays tucked into discrete corners and the attentive team making sure that the cats are happy according to their unique personalities. We were smitten by all the kittens…
*sigh* Tripadvisor: ‘Cats weren’t very interesting, nothing spectacular’
Louder for the ppl at the back: WE AREN’T A CAT CIRCUS.
Please don’t expect ‘spectacular.’ They’re cats. Look at this guy: he’s not getting on a unicycle anytime
They’re cats, guys. They gonna cat. pic.twitter.com/q4AYeYwsT7
— Lady Dinah's Cats (@LadyDinahsCats) February 19, 2018
Have you visited an animal cafe before?
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