After a few years in existence and a fully booked schedule with a three month waiting list, I finally got tickets to Lady Dinah’s Cat cafe. On New Years Eve I took a chance and waited in hope for cancellations and there were ZILCH so I waited for VIP tickets to turn into normal walk in tickets and an hour and a half later – success!
Whilst waiting we inspected the menu and were impressed with the selection of fine cakes including Red Velvet, Chocolate and Mandarin, Banana cupcakes and even some vegan friendly choices. Being near Bricklane they even sold beigals with special fillings exclusive to the cafe.
The cover charge is £6 which covers the welfare of the cats and anything you choose to eat is added on top. So you could indeed spend £6 and play with cats for an hour and a half. There are rules to protect the welfare and safety of the cats which included:
- Do not pick cats up and carry them around
- Do not wake them when they are asleep
- Do not feed them human food
- Turn off flash when taking photos
Apart from that you are welcome to walk around the two floors and play with the cats. There were a variety of toys, handmade and just household objects that each cat preferred. Queen of the roost, Mew enjoyed taking rides by siting on Bubble wrap or fabric and being dragged around the floor. However due to her being rescued from an unpleasant home she is very nervous about humans touching her head. So as long as you let her smell your hand you are welcome to give her a back massage and pat her bum.
A real surprise was seeing a cat tail sticking out of a cat house close to the ceiling and then see a ginormous cat plodding around sheepishly looking for snacks, Wookie had been predominantly asleep through my session and showed face when he was peckish. He was definitely one of the shier cats but a cute (but large) tabby.
Alice one of the black cats took turns going to ever table and jumping up for treats, she didn’t stop till she ate them all. After she played with her favourite string toy, which when not moving – causes her to panic and meow. This was the sweetest thing seeing and hearing a cat cry because she believes it is dead. My cats normally get bored and walk off. Alice demanded attention.
The crowd were a mix of couples, families with kids and mostly females enjoying the company of cats lounging around or sleeping nearby creating a relaxed atmosphere to be in. The staff were more than happy to tell you the cat’s names and toy preferences and how to handle them so long as they were sleeping. The merchandise was quite personalised with postcards with the resident cats faces including Wookie, Donnie and Petra. Cat sweaters in the window perfect for Christmas and some mementos like badges, stencils so you can have cat faces on your coffee ! Unlike Japanese cafes than can have up to 80 cats in venues this cafe had a modest 11, which did as they pleased and looked satisfied with the humans bidding to their needs. Cats tend to sleep alot so I do recommend coming in the mornings and late evenings for more activity.
Book in advance on the website: http://ladydinahs.com/
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