I love cats. I’ve grown up with them as pets and it breaks my heart that in a rented flat with no garden we can’t have a kitty of our own. Clearly, a lot of people in London feel this way – cue the rise of the cat cafe!
There are a few of these cafes in London, but the original is Lady Dinah’s Emporium in Shoreditch which is cutely named after Alice’s cat from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. The idea being, you can come to the cafe and enjoy some tea and cake whilst being entertained by and petting the cats. I was sold!
We booked to go last month – you have to book so don’t try just turning up. It’s obviously popular with tourists as it’s a bit of a novelty and they have strict rules about time slots (90 minutes) and capacities. Also, children under 12 arn’t allowed.
We went in the afternoon and paid in advance for their afternoon tea experience in the downstairs cosy cat room. It’s dark and all decorated kind of quirky and Alice in Wonderland-esque which really added to the experience. You don’t have to have the High Tea option and if you choose not to it only costs £6.50 entry to the cafe which goes towards the welfare of the cats, and then drinks and food are chargeable on top. However, I would highly recommend the High Tea especially for a special occasion. It costs £35 pp and it’s absolutely gorgeous!!! Freshly and home baked cakes, scones, luxurious sandwiches and fruit teas – the best part?? It’s all bottomless during your time slot! You can ask for refills of any of it. Although there is so much of it in the first place I challenge you to refill the food platter!!
The experience itself was wonderful. The cats were so lovely to watch and the best thing was that you can tell they are so well looked after , if a little spoilt! They are happy and pampered and there is even a lady there who is the ‘cat keeper’ who comes round to chat to you (should you wish) about the cats, where they came from and how they care for them. There are 13 cats and it’s really lovely to hear how most of them were really sick or mistreated when they came to the cafe and to see how happy they are now.
The one thing which was a bit of a shame, although totally understandable – they are animals with their own agendas after all – but the cats are very .. Let’s say nochalent!! I had visions of them being like my own cats, desperate for human attention, rubbing up against my legs and jumping into my lap, but these cats have so much attention on tap they are a lot less bothered! They were mostly sleeping but I did get to stroke this cutie.
Overall, it’s an amazing experience for any cat lover! If definately recommend it – unless you are allergic to cats of course!
Have you been to a cat cafe??
If you want to know more about Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium click here.