cafes for dogs, dog friendly cafes, London, the dog blog

Sugar Pot – Kennington

Since starting this blog I’ve come across quite a few fellow social media users that are dedicated to finding cool places that you can go to with your pooch. One of my favourites is an Instagram account called dog_friendly_london  If you haven’t taken a look at their feed then you should go and take a peek … Yeah, big shout out to my fellow dog friendly establishment seekers posse, keeping it real … (oh I’m sorry, I’m not sure what came over me there. I went a little, ‘late night pirate radio shout out massive’. I do apologise and hope it will never happen to me again!).

Anyway … one establishment that they visited on their recent ‘South London Week’ caught my eye as I idly wondered where to take Grenson on my planned adventure into the big city. That establishment was The Sugar Pot in Kennington.

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A small family run coffee shop. Only recently opened. Walking distance from Waterloo. Perfect…Unfortunately that last bit turned out to be a matter of opinion. Me looking at the map before setting off was of the opinion that it was a short walk, me after doing the ‘short’ walk was no longer of that opinion.

Luckily once we arrived it was very much worth it. The Sugar Pot is a lovely little place complete with a La Marzocco machine brewing up organic locally roasted coffee, and a board full of delicious sounding toasties.

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Grenson was also impressed when the very kind lady who took our order also produced a bowl of water for him, which he literally lapped up (and when I say literally I actually do for once mean literally!).

I opted for the cheese toastie with serrano ham.

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Oh yes. The spot was very squarely hit.

This little beaut of a coffee shop has only been open for  matter of months but if this quality is anything to go by (and the high volume of customers) then it is very much here to stay.

It has a very welcoming atmosphere and I for one could have stayed there all afternoon. Looking down at Grenson (who is not used to these warmer days yet) it was clear that he’d have been happy to stay there for a good while longer too.

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But I had plans. One of the other major plus points to the Sugar Pot for any dog owners is the fact that it is directly opposite Kennington Park  So not only did Grenson get a day out ‘up west’ with all it’s myriad exotic smells to investigate (and probably taste too unfortunately) he also got to have a run around in an inner city park!

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After all of this excitement, walking, and running (and bearing in mind the ‘short’ walk back to Waterloo) I felt an inaugural trip on the London underground was needed.

He didn’t totally hate it … but next time we’ll maybe try the bus.

All in all, he thought it was a great adventure. Thanks for the recommendation dog_friendly_london and keep up the good work. Shout out to the dog friendly posse whoop! … (oh I’m sorry there I go again, I do apologise).

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Word.

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

 

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dog friendly pubs, dog friendly restaurants, London, pubs for dogs, the dog blog

Model Market – Lewisham

Model Market is the biggest thing to happen to Lewisham since … well … since ever really!

Now in its third year, the novelty of having such a fantastic event on our doorstep has still not worn off for En Brogue and I. And this year we get to introduce Grenson to the market vibe. For praise be, it’s dog friendly! Whoop!

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It’s run by the guys at Street Feast so if you’ve been to their Dalston Yard, Dinerama or Hawker House sites, then you’ll know what to expect from Model Market – tasty beers, super tasty cocktails and super super tasty food from the various street food vendors filling the stalls around the market. All of this is served up in an atmosphere of pure cool (I know. There is that word again! – see YDBMF post for in-joke details).

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What makes Model Market a particular favourite of mine is the fact that it is situated in an old abandoned 1950s market. I love that you can still see the old signs for electronics stalls or hairdressers alongside the modern signs advertising the street food on offer. It’s nice to be able to see a bit of the venue’s history, rather than having it all ripped out and the whole place sanitised. It also makes you feel very much like this is an organic event that has sprung up from the weeds to transform this previously abandoned and unloved site.

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I’m also pretty partial to the fact that it is just down the road from my house!

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The temporary nature of the whole experience is also enhanced by the fact that it doesn’t hang around for long. It’s open Fridays and Saturdays, 5pm to 1am (£3 after 7pm but free beforehand) for the few short months of the British summer time. It washes in like the tide, blooms for the summer and then is extinguished in time for winter (I’m throwing in mixed metaphors now for fun – see YDBMF post for in-joke details).

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The only problem with a visit to Model Market is that you may well find it very difficult to decide which one of the amazing aromas to follow to find your dinner. The choice can be overwhelming! You may find that you have to keep going back for more. After all, it’s only fair that you spread the love. Last night, after much deliberation (and libation) En Brogue and I opted for some burger action from Mother Flipper .

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Holy Moly! By rights you should really have a shower after eating the candy bacon, it’s so damned deliciously filthy!

As for Grenson, what did he think of his first visit to Model Market? Well lets just say that during his time there he had approximately 15,678 attractive young ladies (and men for that matter) come over to him and give him a cuddle! One of his favourite nights ever I think.

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We’ll be back again soon.

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

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You Don’t Bring Me Flowers – Hither Green

You Don’t Bring Me Flowers is THE original Hither Green coffee shop.

When Hannah (En Brogue) and I first moved to Hither Green back in the summer of 1860 (or the mid noughties) there was literally nothing here. And when I say ‘literally’ I obviously don’t literally mean literally, there were of course houses, shops and a few pubs, but there was nothing at all that was cool, (not even tepid!). No Arlo and Moe. No Archibalds. The Lord Northbrook was just a twinkle in the landlord’s eye, and The Station was still the type of pub that you had to drink in whilst constantly moving around, otherwise there was a real fear that you’d end up sticking to the carpet.

Yet one shop shone out like a beacon, blazing a trail and lighting the way (yes, I’m aware that my metaphors are getting confused, and that they may well actually be similes anyway…bothered), calling out to all these fine establishments and bringing them over to the wilderness of SE13. And that shop was You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, or YDBMF for those in a rush.

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This small little retro beauty was the place that we took every one of our friends who came to visit. Yes, we’d moved to Hither Green (a place that it seemed that no one in the whole of London had ever heard of), but it was still a nice place, and YDBMF was the proof.

Luckily for us it turned out that our one and only cool shop happened to be the most ‘on-trend’ little retro coffee shop that you’re ever likely to find, and all before little retro coffee shops where anywhere near a trend let alone ‘on’ it.

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I mean! Study the picture above for a second. They’re playing Lou Reed on a vintage record player that’s sitting on top of the coolest blue vintage fridge. Look at the tables and chairs! They’re selling cool dead rock star tea towels. They’ve got some kind of green flowery thing hanging on the wall too, which I’ve no idea what it is but I bet it’s cool. And look at the flowers.

YDBMF isn’t just satisfied with being a brilliant coffee shop, it’s also a brilliant flower shop too.

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En Brogue has, on rare occasions, received a bunch of flowers from here, and every time she claims they are the nicest she’s ever had. (Note to self: I must treat her more often if I want to gain good husband points).

What I mainly go there for though, is the coffee. The retro theme extends to the coffee machine. A big, manual pump beast of a 1960s Gaggia. It always seems like the girls making the coffee are having to wrestle with this machine, and at points are having to put life and limb on the line to get it to give up its caffeine nectar. But I can assure them that the sacrifice is worth it.

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A lovely smooth coffee is produced that I generally like to accompany with a ham and chutney sandwich. Delicious.

Grenson certainly seemed to think so as he could barely resist it himself!

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If you’re not in a sandwich mood then fear not. There are plenty of delicious sweet things on offer too.

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So if you are one of those people who still haven’t heard of Hither Green (frankly what have you been doing? It’s in the ‘Shard Corridor’ darling, it’s well trendy now), then may I suggest a short train journey and a visit to the coolest little coffee / flower shop you’re ever likely to find.

N.B. Yes I’m aware that during the course of this post I have used the word ‘cool’ far too often. I am also aware that there is probably a much cooler word, that the cool kids use nowadays, and that saying cool isn’t actually that cool anymore. Well quite frankly I don’t care. This place is just too damned cool.

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We love it, and I’m sure you would too.

Cool.

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

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The Gladstone – Borough

I have a confession to make. Our visit to the Gladstone in Borough actually happened a pleasant lunchtime in the distant past. There was no hint of Summer back then, not even a whiff of Spring. So why wait this long to write the post I hear you cry out in confusion? Well basically I forgot something. Something very important. Upon leaving I forgot to take this picture…

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… I know! Stupid, eh! How can you write about the Gladstone and miss out this fantastic painting on the side of the building? Without that giant piece of art most people would innocently walk on by and ignore this great little pub hidden down the back alleys of Borough.

In my defense I completely blame the pub and its tempting lunchtime deals. I had entered with the aim of a nice quiet lunchtime pint. Just the one to ease the soul after a walk around nearby Borough Market. My eye was then caught by the lunch deal of pie, mash, peas and gravy, plus a pint of real ale (wine, Becks or soft drinks for you none ale drinkers) for £9.95. Well, I wasn’t going to resist an offer like that, was I?

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So with a full belly and 100% more ale in me than I had planned, is it any wonder that I forgot to take photos when leaving?

This fantastic deal isn’t the only reason to visit this pub. It’s simply great. A real musical legend in the area – check out their live listings. You have a high chance of stumbling across an amazing new live act here, and catching them when they are basically giving you a private performance in your living room. That’s what it feels like, as the main bar is so small and cosy. An evening in here with a pieminister pie in your belly, a few pints of ale and top quality music, all delivered in a small candle lit atmosphere…heaven.

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Due to this bijoux character, you may find it a bit difficult during a busy evening if you bring along a big dog, (or even a little dog like Grenson when he’s in his ‘I’m going to stand as far away from you as possible and in the exact spot that ensures that everyone is going to stand on me’ attitude). However, there is an upstairs seating area and a roof terrace for the Summer months, there are chairs outside too, so I’m sure you could make it work. I’m also duty bound to point out that there is a pub cat! We didn’t see it on our visit but if your dog lives up to stereotype then be warned.

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Personally I prefer to visit during the day when, if you’re lucky, you can get the place to yourself and really appreciate the laid back style of this bar. Just be careful not to get a little too comfortable. The other downside to my extra pint, other than forgetfulness, was a full bladder. This is a difficult thing to deal with when it’s just you and your pooch. Grenson was also still at the stage where he would eat EVERYTHING he found on the floor (now it’s just 80%). This would not be a good thing in a men’s urinal. Luckily, as I was about to bite the bullet the  very kind barmaid saw me struggling to the gents and offered to hold him for me (the dog! stop making up your own jokes you filthy minded people at the back!).

I fully expected Grenson to be blissfully enjoying the company of his new female admirer when I returned. But to my surprise he was straining at his lead and crying for me, thinking that I’d left him. Bless him. He does love me after all!

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Well … he did then anyway, nowadays he’ll stay with anyone so long as they have treats.

So there you have it. Better late than never. The Gladstone. Fantastic live music, real ale, lunch deals, pies, art, cool decor and the possibility of bouts of forgetfulness.

Love it.

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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