I have been meaning to visit Lady Dinah’s for some time now and this week I finally made it.
The following “Who, What, When, Where and Why” will explain the brilliant experience we had.
What: In short this is a café with cats roaming around as you eat. You can interact with the cats and they seem really relaxed in the situation with plenty of places to play and sleep. It is important that they are respected and emphasis is on them feeling comfortable. You are encouraged not to grab them or wake them up. This was very hard when they were looking adorable and all curled up asleep and you want to stroke them but there are plenty of cats, 11 in total, to keep you entertained.
To read more about the history of cat café’s this Wikipedia page is worth a read:
The following sentence sums up the concept well and explains the popularity in Japan also…
“The popularity of cat cafés in Japan is attributed to many apartments forbidding pets, and to cats providing relaxing companionship in what may otherwise be a stressful and lonesome urban life.”
When: Open all year and you can book up to 50 days in advance. Walk-ins are only available if people do not show up so it’s not a risk worth taking if from outside London like us.
My husband and I booked a couple of months ago and as we had the week off work we were very open on dates and time. We searched for this week and the only 2 slots were 11 or 11:15 on Tuesday. This place is popular!
You book in for a 2 hour slot and are warned that if you do not turn up or cancel within 48 hours before the visit you will be charged. There is a £5 fee to enter
We booked the 11:15 slot and were really looking forward to it.
Where: 152-154 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London, E26DG
Why: I am clearly biased as I am self-confessed “crazy cat lady” but it’s really good fun and a unique way to enjoy lunch. The food was nice. I had a platter called “The Kitten” which was a selection of veggies, pitta bread, hummus, olives and grapes and my husband had a ham and cheese bagel. We were both happy with the food.
The cats seemed happy and we got to interact with the majority of them, whether it was a stroke or a little play. The most sociable one was Carbonelle …
It’s really relaxed and 2 hours is a nice amount of time.
They also have a small gift shop. It was our first wedding anniversary in the week and my husband’s sister and brother-in-law gave us some money (paper) with a note saying to spend in the gift shop. Easily done with the cool stuff for sale. Here are my buys:
You can shop from the gift shop online too… http://ladydinahs.com/shop/
In summary I felt the cats were well looked after and content and it was a nice and different way to spend the afternoon.