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Wednesday, 17 November 2021

The Best Dog Friendly Restaurants And Cafes In London

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Anyone who follows me will know that I love all dogs with a passion and have wanted one of my own for my entire life. I don’t actually think I’ve ever come across a dog that I don’t genuinely like. Big, small or in-between they’ve all got their own personalities to love. Matt’s just the same too - we share a huge love of dogs and we get so excited when we go to places and there are lots of dogs in fact I can imagine a time in my future when I will have a house full of dogs and Matt and I will spend all day cuddling them. I thought today was the perfect chance to talk to you about the best dog friendly restaurants and cafes in London, the places you can go to eat and actually take your dog in London. 

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Just over a year ago the opportunity arose for me to finally have my own dog. We would be settled in our new home that I was at the time in the process of purchasing. Typically though, due to someone giving back word, a dog became available earlier than initially indicated. At that point we lived in rented accommodation where pets weren’t allowed and for so many reasons our house move had been delayed. I was distraught, my chance to finally have my own dog had vanished as fast as it came but then I remembered that, having made a trip to New York and seeing the cutest dogs, my Mum (who has never wanted a dog) suddenly declared that she may consider having one! We had a family confab and within minutes, to my utter delight, Mum said she would take the dog, the last in the litter that had been bought but then been rejected by the people who had initially bought her. How could we turn her down? It was meant to be! And the rest as they say is history, we now have a gorgeous family dog called Maple.

So fast forward 15 months or so and wow, we have learned a lot. I’ve learned that I was right all along, I was born to love dogs:) Mum’s learnt that she may not consider herself a ‘dog person’ but she loves our golden hound just like she loves us and she has a new baby only this time she’s a fur baby! She’s brought so much happiness to our family in different ways, it’s hard to really put in to words but in one way or another we have all benefitted. In a way too I’m glad things worked out as they have because I’ve seen the commitment required to have dog full time. Maple spends time living across my Mum’s household and mine (and is perfectly fine with that - she is very adaptable and is at home where ever we are) but right now, at this point in my life and with all the travel I do I think my time to have a dog full time will come later down the line.

As a family who enjoy eating out, one of the things we concerned ourselves with was how can we continue to eat out when we have a dog. Will she be socially acceptable in places we like to eat? Will she behave when we are out? It was a really big deal so I knew I needed to write a blog post with the best dog friendly restaurants and cafes in London. 

Well I can honestly say it hasn’t worked out the way we imagined it would at all and London is a great place to start to discuss all the different places to eat when you have a dog. I mean, we’re only 15 months in to our dog parentage/sisterhood and goodness, we have found the most wonderful places to eat that are dog friendly and I’m sure the list is endless.

One thing I would like to make clear before I talk about the places we’ve experienced is there is a world of difference between being an eatery being dog friendly and dog tolerant. Some places will claim to be dog friendly but when you turn up it’s obvious that they don’t really like dogs but only allow them to bring the money in. I have to say though, these places have been few and far between and most places are properly dog friendly taking time out to welcome the dog, bring bowls of water and treats and some even have them ready and waiting when you arrive. That’s really all it takes. Of course it’s a 2-way street and it’s absolutely right that eateries should expect owners to look after their dogs and ensure they behave appropriately while in their establishments.


To ensure we always meet our end of the bargain, here are the practical things we have learned to do before taking our dog to any eatery, our top tips before taking your dog to a restaurant: 

- Make sure that your dog is well exercised before hand and toileted - this makes for a very pleasant experience as the dog usually sleeps or is at least relaxed while you eat and also there are no accidents! 
We take Maple for a long walk before any meal. 

- Make sure the dog is past the giddy and easily distracted age before you try and take him or her to an eatery.

- To avoid disappointment always make sure the place you’re booking is dog friendly (some have restrictions due to lease agreements even though they would like to welcome dogs) and also I’ve always found it worth messaging/ringing to let the eatery know we will have a dog with us as sometimes there are only certain parts of the building you are visiting that dogs can be sat. 

Here are some of the best dog friendly restaurants and cafes we have found in London so far:

BEST DOG FRIENDLY CAFES IN LONDON:

Oree Boulangerie - South Kensington / Notting Hill - If you're looking for a yummy sandwich, traditional baguette, bread run or cakes then look no further than Oree for a casual spot, they allow well behaved doggies inside. 

Post Room Cafe - Bedford Corner Chiswick - A lovely breakfast/brunch style cafe selling delicious juices, smoothies, pastries cakes and more with a lovely community atmosphere and truly dog friendly. Family run, they do the best matcha and amazing baked goods too. 

Ta'mini on Fulham Road - The most wonderful Lebanese family run bakery. The family who own this cafe / {and take out} are the hardest workers ever and the most welcoming and friendly people. Their food is traditional Lebanese with freshly baked breads, filled wraps, mezzi, mini bites, shakshuka and more. I can’t even begin to explain how delicious their food is, it has to be tried to be truly appreciated.

Megans on The Kings Road Chelsea or Megans Battersea - The most down to earth, friendly breakfast and brunch place - great for taking the dog for chilled Sunday vibes after a Saturday night out and they do an epic bottomless brunch. They also do dinner too, so it's good to know you can eat here at all hours with your fluffy friend. They'll often bring doggie treats and bowls out at Megan's too which is so lovely. 

Hallys at Parsons Green - A great little place with an extensive breakfast, brunch and lunch menu. I find the Parsons Green and Chelsea areas particularly good for dog friendly spots, it seems almost everywhere allows dogs.  

Sloane Square Deli in Sloane Street Belgravia - This is beautifully upmarket yet a perfectly friendly daytime deli that I have visited and is dog friendly. The menu is full of good salads, the most delicious black beans, tahini, flatbreads and more and the location is amazing. The staff were so kind to Maple and even brought her sparkling water as apparently dogs love it!

Granger And Co - Pavillion Road / Notting Hill / Kings Cross - I'm a sucker for Granger and Co, I've never tried to take our pup inside but you can definitely sit outside Granger + Co with your gorgeous one. I love Aussie eateries and I swear Granger do the best ricotta pancakes on the planet... I spend ALL my money here.

Pear Tree Cafe - Battersea Park - Granted, a lot of this place is outside but they do also have some inside eating areas. This spot is SO dog friendly {actually, a lot of Battersea Powerstation is!} and we LOVE the avocado on toast here or the pizzas on an evening. A gorgeous spot after a long walk around the park. 

Farmacy - Westbourne Grove - Nottinghill - Again, I spend an unhealthy amount of time at Farmacy but Nottinghill is another great location for dog friendly spots. Farmacy is my favourite vegetarian spot in London {and the world}, the most amazing waffles, pancakes and of course, for dinner - get the bean burger and nachos. It's got the most gorgeous vibe, amazing healthy food and totally dog friendly inside. You'll usually spot a Chowchow or two under the tables as you dine - now that's my kinda spot.

Aaragon House Parsons Green - A gorgeous listed building on Parsons Green with a gorgeous courtyard and super, super dog friendly owners. Lovely varied menu comprising nibbles, small and large plates and sandwiches. This place is also a hotel with some dog friendly rooms too, plus they do a normal roast and a vegan roast. Well worth it if you're looking for someone SW to stay as dog friendly hotels are quite hard to find! 

Cafe Kitsune - Belgravia - I love how gorgeous Cafe Kitsune is for gorgeous little sandwiches, amazing coffees and divine cakes. If you're looking for a sandwich / pastry pit stop, you'll be pleased to know they're super doggy friendly and even brought Maple doggie treats out which she absolutely loved. 

Bluebird - Chelsea - This is part cafe / restaurant, I believe you can sit outside with your dog on the gorgeous terrace {great for nibbles or drinks} and then the little cafe is dog friendly. I love the restaurant upstairs but I believe it's only the cafe section and the terrace which is dog friendly, nonetheless, I always have a great time at Bluebird and it's good your pup can join you for drinks! 

BEST DOG FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS IN LONDON:

Hunters Moon on Fulham Road South Kensington - Just a lovely traditional type pub atmosphere serving lovely drinks, epic food and with the most passionate and lovely staff. This is a luxurious but laid back pub and I would say the best roast dinner in London. Nothing is too much trouble to this team and there is always a great atmosphere and doggies are so welcome their water is even served in beautiful copper pans.

Villa Di Greggiano on Chiswick High Street - This Italian is upmarket with the most pretty terraced area and delicious food - perfect for a special treat and our doggy was made so welcome and given so much attention from the staff and customers alike. If you're looking for truffle pasta and a divine date night, your doggy can join you here. 

Talad Eatery on the King's Road, Chelsea- This is a small Thai restaurant and take away situated in the Furniture and Arts building on the King’s Road and serves coffees, pastries artisanal Kombucha, seasonal dishes and seasonal salads and curries for lunch and dinner. I cannot begin to explain the love that is put in to the food here. We often get dinner from here as it's just like being back in Thailand. The finest and freshest ingredients are used to create traditional Thai dishes and they change with the seasons. From the blue sticky sweet rice and mango to their delicious crunchy chicken wraps and curries I love this place both as a restaurant and take away and being dog friendly means that it is never a problem to sit indoors and take in the atmosphere. 

Chucs Cafes and Restaurants - South Kensington, Belgravia, Mayfair - I was so thrilled to find out that luxury Italian restaurant Chucs is dog friendly, we often head here for dinner, drinks or brunch and it's amazing that your gorgeous pooch is allowed to sit inside with you too. The decor is divine, the cocktails are divine and don't get me started on the food. The most amazing Caico e Pepe and incredible pizzas. This is a spot we usually head to for birthdays as it's a lovely luxe spot and doggies can join which seems rare as it's generally more pubs that allow furry friends so it's nice to find somewhere luxurious that allows doggies. 

Daphnes - Draycott Avenue - Knightsbridge - Speaking of upmarket Italian restaurants, we are always on the look out for lovely special places to celebrate birthdays and well, life - it's nice to mix up the dog friendly pubs and cafes with luxurious restaurants and Daphne's conservatory is dog friendly, this definitely hits the spot! 

Bondi Green - Paddington - Bondi Green is one of my favourite places for a roast, now they're not technically dog friendly inside {not due to them but I believe landlords} however we did sit with Maple outside and she was treated like the queen she is, if you just check and ask first I'm sure they'll allow you an outside table with your pup. They do amazing roasts and brunch! 

Ziggy Green - Regent Street - Similar to the above, we adore Ziggy Green for brunch or the Ziggy Nights {think amazing tacos, watermelon margaritas and halloumi fries - the most fun night}, again, we couldn't sit inside with her but we were able to sit outside with her which was fine under the heaters on a Summers evening. 

Eat Beirut on the New King’s Road - If Ta’mini is my favourite Lebanese cafe, without a doubt Eat Beiruit is my favourite Lebanese restaurant. They have welcomed my family and our dog so many times here and the freshly cooked, delicious traditional Lebanese meals together with the fantastic service have made for a very pleasant experience every single time. When my family visit, they always ask to head over to Eat Beirut for authentic Lebanese food and amazing love to our dog. 

Greenberry - Hampstead - We find Hampstead to be very dog friendly and love Greenberry for yummy, healthy food. 

Gaucho, Various but we enjoy Gaucho Richmond - I’ve been eating at Gaucho restaurants since they first opened and I was delighted to discover the one in Richmond is dog friendly both inside and out. Situated looking over the river with an amazing terrace, great atmosphere and delicious food is a brilliant experience. If you're looking for a great steak or more of a fancy atmosphere, it's good to know that you can take your dog to Gaucho. 

The Spaniards inn Hampstead Heath - A lovely homely pub which serves the most epic Sunday roasts and is super dog friendly. Perfect after a long walk / run on the Heath with your doggie! 

Polpo Chelsea / Soho - I absolutely adore Polpo in Chelsea, yummy Venetian sharing style dishes, amazing aperols and dog friendly both inside and out. It's such a beautiful spot for lunch or a laidback dinner and I love that you can take your pooch. 


BEST DOGGY DAYCARE WITH EATERIES ATTACHED IN LONDON: 

Did you know that if, like me, you love doggies to the moon and back there are places that THEY can take you to eat and drink where you will be surrounded by their canine friends and in addition to doggie food they also do food for pet parents and carers! These are the ones I’ve been to with our doggy so far and they are amazing:

Love My Human on the King’s Road - The doggie delights here are sensational - there is a whole cabinet of cakes for doggies, they get their own special menu, doggie beds and bowls of water. Lots of doggies come here for their breakfast and the food and drink for hoomans is equally as good. Daycare facilities are attached should you wish to book your doggy in for a longer stay. The staff here are so passionate about doggies and equally lovely to hoomans!

King’s Road Day Care - A newly opened doggie daycare centre which doubles up as a cafe. We stopped here for some warm drinks with our doggy and we were introduced to the owners Chow called King Louis. The owners are so friendly and are looking to extend their menu to food very soon. 


There's also one in Nottinghill on Westbourne grove, whilst I haven't had the chance to take Maple yet, it's good to know! 

So that’s it so far, as you can see, in the short time we’ve had Maple we have tried so many new places that we have loved and that our doggie has loved too and I can’t wait to continue this very special foodie journey.

Lots of love, Em x

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