Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, London

3 March 2015

 Part 2 of our recent London adventure, and the primary reason for our trip, was that we finally managed to visit Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe. This month they’re celebrating their first birthday and pretty much any time last year that I’d tried to get tickets they were always fully booked as they only go a couple of months in advance. Our love for cats has always been a bonding point for us, and both Dave and I moan several times a week about not having one of our own yet so when I saw some spaces available for just a few days after his birthday, I quickly snapped them up. 

I’m going to be honest here and say upfront that I probably won’t be talking about the food that much in this review because, well, cats.

After a morning of exploring the city, we had a quick stroll around the Brick Lane area on our way to the cafe. We had wanted to check out Old Spitalfields market but as it was a Monday and getting quite late in the afternoon there wasn't much going on by the time we arrived so in the end we were a little early for our booking. They're pretty strict on timings but there's a small seating area in the entrance and some posters with information about all of the cats that you can read while you wait.

We were then taken through to wash our hands and be ‘briefed’ on the rules of the cafe. I’d done a lot of reading online before we left so I already had a pretty good idea of what to expect and what we could/couldn’t do such as picking up the cats or giving them any of our food.

The actual cafe is split across two floors, and our table was on the lower floor. There are so many places for the cats to climb on, so many things for them to play with and places for them to sleep, they’ve done an amazing job of making not just an experience for visitors but a lovely home for the cats. When we arrived the cats were pretty spread out, and a few of them came over to see who we are but quickly moved on. Some of the staff spoke to us and to the cats, and showed us where we could find toys and treats to give to them.

Still quite full from the mornings adventures we decided to skip a lot of the food menu and had a cream tea for two. This gave us a pot of loose leaf tea (we chose earl grey) and two scones with clotted cream and jam to share.

In a typical feline fashion, the arrival of cream and milk meant suddenly we were now very interesting to the cats. We were being very careful not to let them have any 'people food' but luckily there was plenty of hand sanitizer around so we were able to quickly clean our hands and feed them some small cat treats to distract them (cats eating out of your hand has to be one of the cutest things) before they got bored and all wandered off to sleep.

The scones were a little bit on the dry side, but overall the food was pretty enjoyable. They didn't blow me away but they were definitely nice and really reasonably priced given the location (I think it was around £8 but I forgot to make a proper note of it. This isn't including the entrance fee which is charged per guest on every visit and goes towards care of the cats).

After we’d eaten we went to explore the cafe a little further (guests are allowed to walk around and take as many photos as they like, so long as they don’t disturb the cats and only eat at their allocated tables) but by this point every cat was sleeping. Again, this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone since cats probably sleep an average of 28 hours a day. They still look adorable asleep though so it's all good. 

About an hour into our 90 minute and some of the cats did decide to get back up. They don't really get excited by people, but as long as you don't disturb them we were told it was fine to go over to the cats and give them a fuss. Cue half the cafe chasing one kitten around for a quarter of an hour when all she really wanted was to play with her cat friends. Cats must think humans are complete idiots. 

Towards the end of our visit it started to get very very crowded in the upstairs/ground floor of the cafe and we were asked to leave a little early (we're talking 10 minutes). I didn't really mind though, I know a few people have taken issue with things like this lately or with being "told off" by staff but it was very busy and I think it's obvious the team just have the best interest of the cats at heart. They were never horrible to anyone during our visit and they clearly have real bonds with the animals (anyone who talks to cats as often as those guys is okay by me really). 

It's probably not an experience that will be for everyone, and I'd definitely suggest researching it a lot first so that you won't be disappointed (also just use a little bit of common sense, seriously) but if you like tea and cats, they're well worth a visit. They also share new photos of the cats everyday so check them out.


  1. Lovely post :) I've been so intrigued by this place for a long time. I love cats, we always had them as a family and I really miss having one. We had a big ginger tom called Martin and a little black cat called Barney :) Unfortunately as I haven't been around cats for a long time I seem to be a little allergic to them now so I think going to a cat café would probably make me sneeze a lot ...probably worth it though :)
    Apparently there's a cat café opening in Newcastle soon, it's going to be called "Perfect Pussy Parlour" .. I kid you not!
    Chloe x

  2. Awhh, martin and barney sound lovely! I am exactly the same! We've always had cats at home and I've developed a mild allergy since I moved out but I'm only affected if anything comes into contact with my eyes and they have a lot of sanitiser for keeping clean hands so luckily I felt fine after our visit :) just stock up on medicines if you do visit. Not sure how I feel about that name though :') x

  3. OMG. There's a cat in a mini bed! That's the best thing I've seen today. Literally so happy right now.

    I'm primarily a dog person, but I love all animals really, a chance to be surrounded by pretty furries whilst eating cake sounds like a dream. There's a beautiful cafe in Falmouth which has a dog roaming round in pearls greeting you. I loved it so much I posted about it at a time when I only posted recipes. I loved that, so have a feeling I would love this. Sweet as!

    Great review too :)

  4. OMG I NEED TO GO HERE. I love cats and we're always moaning that we don't have our own yet! We do get to look after a neighbours cat when they are on nights/away but it's not the same. I bet it took a lot to not try and steal a cat away in your handbag! x

  5. I can't imagine a time when your blog didn't contain animal photos! That cafe sounds amazing though. Animals definitely make everything better :)

  6. It was SO HARD. I'm exactly the same, always moaning I don't have one. Dave literally makes me stop to say hello to random cats in the street constantly, we must look so insane! haha x

  7. i've heard about these, cool idea but i don't really like cats haha

    xx danielle //


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