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We aren’t ‘kitten’ you when we say we’re ‘cat-atonic’ about the cat cafes we’ve visited already in the likes of Thailand and Japan, so we thought now would be the ‘purrfect’ time to check them out in London, our home city. Whilst cat cafes in London are very few and far between, possibly because of the controversy surrounding cat cafes in some sectors, there are several kitty cafes to choose from in the capital each with rigorous rules and procedures for interacting with the cats.
So ‘paws’ for thought right ‘miaow’ (sorry, this is the last one, promise!) with our lowdown on London’s cat cafes:
London cat cafes
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, Shoreditch
London’s very first cat cafe (opened in 2014), Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium offers a cavalcade of cats in a cavernous Wonderland two storey setting, overlooking Bethnal Green Road in east London. Named after Alice’s small red kitten in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is home to a menagerie of rescue cats and offers a selection of hot drinks and snacks such as toasted sandwiches as well as a full afternoon high tea service.
Like any reputable animal cafe, this cat cafe in Shoreditch (and close to Bethnal Green) has its own house rules including no picking up the cats (stroking is fine) and no young children, which is very different from the cat cafes we’ve visited in Asia and probably a good thing.
It is recommended that you book in advance, especially as we write this as they are undertaking covid19 precautions to ensure social distancing is complied to. The basic admission fee is £15 excluding food or drinks, and your time in the cat cafe lasts for a maximum of 90 minutes. If you’re on a budget and already in the area anyway, you’ll often get a free glimpse of a kitty or two in the front window (a LOT goes on Bethnal Green Road so the cats are probably curious).
Afterwards, head to nearby Brick Lane to grab a bagel or explore Bethnal Green Road itself, a wonderful part of London and one of the city’s most diverse neighbours, with incredible food and a vibrant arts scene.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium opening hours and address
OPENING HOURS: Open daily 12pm to 7pm (except Wednesdays – closed as the cats need a rest too)
ADDRESS: 152-154 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 6DG (closest station – Shoreditch Overground station).
Whiskers & Cream, Holloway
North London is now home to a new (ish) cat cafe, Whiskers & Cream, with several resident kitties including brothers Jack and Jasper, Molly Rose the tortoise-shell and rescue cats Archibold and Winnie.
Located on Holloway Road itself, this London cat cafe offers afternoon tea (including vegan and vegetarian versions) and lighter sweet treats like pastries and cakes. All visits at Whiskers & Cream are timed to be 90 minutes maximum and include one drink, with the basic package costing £11 per adult (additional food and drink can also be purchased). If your time with the cats goes too quick, you can extend your stay by another 30 mins for £3.50.
However, if you want to indulge and enjoy prosecco with the pussies (although they generally prefer milk), afternoon high tea with unlimited prosecco is available for £46 per person – this really is a little slice of heaven tucked away in Holloway.
Rather fittingly, Whiskers & Cream’s Holloway location is close to the reputed route of Dick Whittington and his trusty cat when they returned to London via Upper Holloway. Near to the cafe, you can see various associations to Dick Whittington including a topiary of his cat in nearby Whittington Park, a small mural plus the Whittington Stone, a monumental stone and statue of a cat from 1812, at the foot of Highgate Hill in Archway.
Whiskers & Cream opening hours and address
OPENING HOURS: Open daily (Wednesdays) 10am to 5pm (5.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays
ADDRESS: 593 Holloway Rd, Archway, London N19 4DJ (Closest station – Upper Holloway Rail Station).
Catlantis, Marylebone (coming soon – apparently)
Supposedly London’s next new cat cafe, Catlantis (love that name) was set to open in 2019 / 2020 but after a fanfare of press and activity, no moggys have materialised yet so watch this space – Catlantis’s opening plans (last mooted in mid 2019) was to have several rescue cats from a nearby cat shelter and open up in a central London location, but things seem to have gone quiet so maybe the local council has intervened?
London Cat Village
Please note London Cat Village in Shoreditch is now closed
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