When London’s first cat cafe opened in London on 1st March, NJ got her paws on a reservation and visited the land of the sleeping felines.
Who the bloody nora dreamt up a cafe full of cats? Step forward: Lauren Pears, the lady who launched her crowd-funding campaign last January in the hope of raising enough money to open up London’s first cat cafe. Less than two months later the wheels were put in motion and last month it opened its cat flap to the world.
With major hype on their side it’s currently harder to get tickets for than Glastonbury (maybe): the first 24 hours had to get in over 7,000 bookings. But hurrah, I managed to drag a friend along to the Shoreditch site one Tuesday night.
We were greeted on the door by whiskered noses pressed up against windows, a £5 entry free and some house rules:
1 – Do not feed the cats (understandably)
2 – Wash your hands before entering
3 – Do not pick up the cats or wake them while they are sleeping
Rule three broke my cat-loving heart so I crossed my toes and hoped they would pounce on me as I entered.
And we were in.
To the land of the sleeping cats…
So as not to disturb them (for fear of death) we took a wander round: the cafe has a quaint English feel and is peppered with vintage furnishings and china crockery. Downstairs is obviously the ‘hang out’ zone with sofas for lounging and climbing frames etc for the less lethargic of the cats.
Following a few furry friends that had woken, we dumped our bags and crawled along the floor, watching the little ones pounce on the few chosen humans they fancied the look of (I was even lucky enough to get a cuddle at one point!). It soon becomes very clear that the cats really do rule the roost in this venue, and rightly so.
As an avid cat fan, I have to say I was a little bit underwhelmed with the venue itself (and the lack of food on offer! Note: If you have an evening booking then make sure you eat before), not helped by the fact there was no music meaning you were acutely aware of lulls in conversation as people stared at cats, longing them to come over and play. Having said that, if you’re a fan of furry felines it’s a great experience to try once, although sadly I fear the novelty may wear off. I hope not and wish the team and their furry friends success for the future.
And just in case you didn’t get the idea before here’s a few more pic’s of the cats:
To learn more and fight for a booking, view the site here.
> Client Friendly: Not right for talking shop
> Affordability: Budget-happy £
> Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street
> Dress code: Any clothes goes
> Best for: Lazy days
Words by – NJ
[Some imagery courtesy of Lady Dinah’s Facebook]