Sunday, 30 March 2014

London, March 2014

Earlier this month I flew to London for work and play. One day work, 2 days not working and 1 day sitting around airports and train stations.


The main focus of this trip, besides work, was Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium!

On Friday 21st myself and bro were booked in from 1.30pm to have lunch and coo at the cats. Andrew got sick. Sick in that he couldn't actually get out of bed so I was left to go solo.

I arrived early, wandering through Brick Lane and Shoreditch (all my best photos are on my camera, will upload those this week) on the way.

On entry to Lady Dinah's you go in the door to the counter with the food and t&c, the usual, then you go into another door into this room that looks sterile and given a list of rules. It was quite terrifying to be honest; as if we were actually going into some deep nuclear bunker. Rules were: Wash your hands, don't lift the cats, don't feed the cats.

You go through another door into the cafe itself and there are an assortment of tables and chairs and I see my first TWO CATS! I nearly stood on one, it was a curled up black cat on top of a box right as you walk in.

On the window ledge was a ginger and white cat trying to open the window.

I kind of felt sorry for it, it was a beautiful day and the air smelt fresh (for London anyway) and the cats can't actually go out but they have everything a cat could ask for. Beds everywhere, fresh water, food and toys all over the place and people who want to pet them.

Of course the customers were all female, armed with cameras and everything else.

There was a basement, where the stairs are by the window. A black kitten was wrapped up and could be seen from the street. Two of them were from the same family.

Downstairs was a wide space with a huge structure cleverly made out of shelves for cats to play on:

There were little holes cut out for the cats to come out from when they felt like making an effort. Behind this monument was where the cats got peace and quite from people and slept.

For some reason I had expected to go in and be surrounded by cats but I completely forgot that CATS SLEEP ALL THE TIME. Della does.

I ordered a coffee from the upstairs kitchen so no cat hairs appeared, it was cheap and the menu was relatively quite cheap. I also managed to spend £30 on random crap like badges and postcards. There is an 'entry' fee of £5 per person.

After I'd finished my coffee I went upstairs to leave and watched two kittens playing for a bit before leaving.

Would I go again?

No, but it was a cute experience. The cats are all rescue and are well looked after. Despite that one cat trying to work out how to open the window, not all cats are allowed out. I mean look at America, they walk their cats on LEADS (or try to). I do not understand why the Americans a) Don't let cats out and b) WASH THEM!! Bartlam, could you shed some light on this?

Anyway yeah, I've been now I don't need to go back.

I think I was expecting too much, look at the Japanese cat cafes, they are amazing. I honestly dont' see how Lady Dinah's is going to make enough money to last long term, yes there is a small entry fee, yes it's fully booked for a couple of months but unless you're going to stay in it for longer than half an hour you're going to spend very little. Other than the fee and £30 on rubbish (only 4 post cards and a bus pass were unique to Lady Dinah's) I spent under £3 on a luke warm flat white.







Tuesday, 4 March 2014

What's in your bag?

Ok, I'm nosy. I love the idea of having a peek through people's handbags.

There are some sites and blogs but they're not consistent and I'm not interested in the contents of a man's bag. They carry uninteresting items, rarely anything cute or quirky. Practical and boring.

So ladies, what's in your bag?

Here is my green, pleather, bag from Accessorize that I got before Christmas. It's not a Mulberry or Hermes or Aspinals but will do in the meantime:

Here's what's in mine:

  • 2 mags - 1 celeb (monthlies don't fit) and 1 TV guide
  • Purse
  • Vibrating alarm clock
  • Medical: Wet wipes/tissues/inhaler/hand sanitizer
  • L'Occitane violet hand cream - my favourite!
  • 3 lipsticks, different brands, all purple - mirror and blemish stick
  • Primark fake ray bans
  • Al Pacino specs case - battered but still closes
  • iPad and iPhone
  • Pencil case and pens that won't fit in case.
  • 1/2 packet of strawberry Chewits (Vegetarian friendly)
  • 'Nemesis' by Philip Roth - for book group
  • USB stick
  • Pass holder - bus pass, oyster and future train tickets
  • Tiny notebook and A5 pad
  • Mustard umbrella
  • Loose change hanging round the bottom of my bag (mostly 5ps)
  • Plastic heart ring - 50p from Charity shop
  • Diary - total essential
  • Packet of Heinz Ketchup
  • Belfast City centre map - to post to penpal in Taiwan
  • Air Mail stamps and Post Office receipt
  • Key (leopard print)
  • 'Parcel' pants zipper case full of different pills and plasters
  • Herbal 'calm' mouth spray.

As of now I can tell you that the alarm clock and magazines are out.

What's in your bag? What do you have to carry with you every day?

Bartlam - you too!




Lady Dinah's


It has arrived. Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium has opened it's doors to the public.

Cat café has landed!

Set in the hipster land of Shoreditch, East London, Lady Dinah's is the first cat café in the UK and with us UKians loving our pets it was bound to be a success.

The doors opened on Saturday 1st March with booking required in advance. It costs £5 before you even eat or drink anything, I suppose to cover the cost of cat welfare or whatever. All the cats are rescues too. Thumbs up.

The bookings come in 2 hour slots, three times a day: Brunch, Lunch and Dinner. Cats get tired, you know how much a cat sleeps so the have a little siesta in the afternoon before the dinner service starts.

I'd heard about the possibility of a Cat Cafe and the owner crowd sourced funding to make it happen. The minute I heard it was actually opening I jumped online and booked a lunchtime session for myself and my bro on Friday 21st March.

I went back an hour later to try and book an evening meal but no chance, March is fully booked. April is ok but, man, this place is going to be hard to get into.

Review posted after my visit with, hopefully, lots of cute kitten photos.