I was recently commissioned to write a piece about Autism and travel-the brief was to come up with a list of Autism friendly places. While looking through my phone’s picture gallery, I came across a couple of unused pictures; one of my favourite places is Lady Dinah’s cat cafe. Wether you’re #ActuallyAutistic or not, here are five reasons to visit the cat cafe.
1. It’s a cafe. With cats. A lot of cats.
When talking about this place, a few people pulled a face; after all, you’re eating at a place that allows cats to roam? Well, the cats are actually kept very separate from where the food is prepared. (Enough So there are reminders about keeping particular doors shut.)
The food is also delicious; depending on your booking type, there’s a variety on offer. You can read more about this in my photo diary, here.
2. Petting time.
You’re allowed to spend time playing with the cats after, as well as if you’re waiting for different courses to arrive. Be it watching the cats in their hideaways, which is kind of like Alice In Wonderland, dragging toys on the ground, or playing in the Lady Dinah’s wheel, there’s a lot to get involved with. (And to photograph, too!)
The cats are really taken care of; a lot of consideration has been taken into account, including the rule that you must not pick them up. Their coats are lovely, they are well fed, and generally seem quite happy. 😀
3. You get to play with cats.
During my first visit, I was also lucky enough to give a treat to Wookie. (And he’s probably my favourite cat from Lady Dinah’s.)
4. The staff are wonderful.
I cannot say this enough; the staff are wonderful. And I would love their job, really.
Firstly, the food is served really quickly.
I also like the friendly atmosphere that’s cultivated; there’s always a smile, a quiet encouraging word, a query to see if they can help. They are also willing to get on their hands and knees to play with the cats.
The last time I went, one of the cats was on the back of a lady, use to a daily walk around; she also gently directed us to what the cats liked best, with suggestions about what to play with.
5. It’s a friendly place.
During my two visits, I have never been made to feel out of place; I felt quite welcome, really.
Sometimes when I go into shops, I find it overwhelming; there’s the blaring music, the overly efficient shop assistants who try to force conversation, etc. (I won’t go on about it.) But I love the fact that the cafe is friendly, it’s quiet, and is actually quite peaceful; eye contact has never been forced, either. *Bonus!*