I was a very lucky girl last Christmas to receive an awesome gift from my sister and her husband, a visit to Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium! Now, if you don’t know me then you may wonder why this is especially awesome….if you do know me then you will totally understand. For all those not in the know, my name is Gillian and I am a crazy cat lady through and through. This magical feline Narnia is situated just off Brick Lane on Bethnal green Road and in passing looks like any other London cafe. However, once through the magic door at the back of the cafe you become surrounded in stuff cat dreams are made of!
You can go in and out of the cafe as you please without need for a reservation but this is purely to grab a takeaway coffee and a piece of cake or pastry. If you want to see the cats up close and personal you will need to make a reservation (which you can do online and over the phone) or drop in on the off chance they have some free walk in spaces available but during busy times these are hard to come by.
You have a little brief and a quick hand wash before being seen through to the cat living quarters. We had an evening slot around 6pm and decided to go to china town after for dinner so instead of a delicious sounding bagel we opted for a coffee and cake. There were so many yummy choices available it was hard to narrow it down to just one. In the end after much deliberation between the red velvet layer cake and a chocolate salted caramel brownie I picked out the red velvet cake and a hot chocolate, best of both worlds!
The hot chocolate came with a very appropriate and equally as cute cat stencil on top. It came complete with marshmallows for sprinkling on top if you wish. The red velvet cake was out of this world! We all ordered something different so we could try each others. My sister got a good old English scone with jam and cream, my brother in law got the salted caramel brownie (so I still got to give that a little taste test which was a bonus).
After we sat and had a little catch up over our delightful deserts it was cat time. There are cats perched all over the place on cat beds and inside boxes and houses. There is also a downstairs to the cafe, you can relax on the comfy leather sofas, watch the cats running in the big wheel or find them curled up on cushions. There is a really relaxed vibe and it is the ideal place to go and read a book while enjoying a hot coffee hidden below the busy London streets. There are numerous toys and brushes scattered around for you to interact with the little feline friends. My favourites of all the cute cat themed furniture were the mini cat sized chaise longue sofas; these were mostly occupied by the cafe big boys Donnie and Wookie. Donnie is my favourite with his tubby ginger and white tummy and cute as a button face, Wookie or should I say King Wookie is my sister’s favourite with his shaggy long fur and nonchalant attitude.
Wookie flat out refused to move for anyone or anything, he wanted to chill out and there was no budging him. This just made him all the more adorable. Donnie showed off his tricks by jumping on the waitress back and just being generally cute playing up to his audience of adoring fans. Wookie meanwhile was still passed out on his sofa! At the end of our visit there was only us and a couple of other visitors there so the manager of the cafe approached us and overheard that we liked Wookie and did we want to feed him. In true Wookie style he wouldn’t come down off his throne to eat, we had to take the food to him and with our hands put the little nibbles up to his mouth so he could dine happily in peace undisturbed. Right at the end of our visit we were really touched to be given cards that enabled us to a free entry back into the cafe for up to a year later. As I am just about the biggest cat person around we will 100% be returning again soon before the card expires to join in the fun and meet the new cats at the cafe. Thank you Lady Dinah’s for giving us such a wonderful experience and I am looking forward to the return visit.