Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium
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Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

by Anna Nuttall

If you like cake and tea, but also like cats. Then you will love Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, the only cat café in London.

Growing up I was always a dog person, still am to a certain degree. I didn’t like cats as a kid, I think it was due to the fact that my mum doesn’t like cats and project her fear through me. So when I was younger I was scared of cats.  Because of that, I always surrounded myself with dogs. Nothing wrong what that, but I do remember that at school there were two groups – one who prefer cats over dogs and the one who genuinely believe that a dog is a man a best friend. Well, I think you know which group I was in.

As I got older, I outgrew my fear of cats and it wasn’t until my sister got a cat herself that I came a cat fan. Also at that time, I was renting a room where the owner has a cat herself, that was another factor of me turning into a cat fan.

It wasn’t until Youtube came around and I started to watch a bunch of cat videos that well – I turned into a crazy cat lover. That what the internet is about isn’t it? Cat videos.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is – I like cats. To the point where I now like to daydream about having a home filled with cats. Don’t think my husband would be too happy with it.

When I heard a month ago that there is a cat café in London, well you can have imagined my reaction. Now cat café is a new concept and it’s something that is big in Japan. It slowly getting more popular outside of Japan. I’m sure you are asking what is a cat café?

Well, the name is on the tin – it a café with cats in! No, you didn’t misread that. You can be eating cake and sipping on tea while be surrounded by cats.

Let me introduce you to Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium as it the only cat café in London. Based in Bethnal Green, near the famous Brick Lane.

Now before you get too excited. Yes, it a cat café – but you can’t just turn up and go in like a regular café. You need to book online and look for a space available.

It took me a month to get a space in as the café is incredibly popular and busy. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium does let you walk in – but more often than not they will turn you away. So please do be aware of that.

I went to Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium last week, and I was so excited to visit this cat café. When you walk in, you have to wait to be let into the main café. As I said, it all done through booking and they have a schedule which they keep to.

Anyway, once someone comes to greet you, they will ask you to wash your hands – as they are very protective of their cats. Then you are let into the café.

The café décor has a Mad Hatter theme; it did make think of Alice in Wonderland. This is where you will see the cats. You are lead to your table (which appropriately has a cat theme) where you can order foods and drinks.

You are free to get up on your table and to see the cats. The cats were everywhere – some was sleeping (which you are not allowed to touch, there are house rules – I will get onto that in a bit!), some was running around, and some was wondering what’s going on with all these people.

Now I got the feeling the cats were not only confused with the numbers of people – but also fed up with the amount of attention it got. As long as they not sleeping or eating you are free to pet them, but more often than not it I got the feeling they wanted to be left alone.

Which isn’t a bad thing, it just something you need to remember – they are a live real animal and like us human – cats can get into a bad mood.

I should also say the cats are all very friendly and seem to get on with people. From all the reviews I have read they haven’t been anything negative about the cats.

At the café, I had a delicious red velvet cake slice and a cup of tea. You are told not to feed the cat the food but when I was there, the cats couldn’t care less about what I was eating.

Depending what options, you picked when you booked, whether its afternoon tea or just the simple option of entry, cake and cats, you are only allowed 1 hour and 30 mins inside the café. Like I said the café is incredibly popular.

I myself went mad for the cats (as you can see from the photos!) and thoroughly enjoyed visiting. My husband, on the other hand, wasn’t so thrilled – he neither a dog or a cat person! I still working on him to change his mind. I just took the wrong person.

The staffs were all really friendly and helpful; they will remind you of their house rules.

Yes, as I said earlier there are house rules and you will be told them when you booked online and when they greet you. If you break any of them, they have the right to refuse you or to send you out.

The house rules are:

  • No children under 12 and no groups comprised of more children than adults.
  • No large groups of more than 6 guests.
  • Do not stroke sleeping cats or attempt to wake them up with noises or movement.
  • Do not feed the cats.
  • Do not pick up, confine or restrain the cats.
  • No Flash Photography.

If you like cats and looking for a place to have a slice of cake. Then I highly recommend Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. I would go back in a heartbeat and I’m already looking for the next available space. You cannot go wrong with a cat café and Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium did a superb job.

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