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

Westow House – Crystal Palace

Yes, I am aware that many of you have suggested places for us to visit in and around Crystal Palace. Rest assured we do plan to visit them all. However, I think it would be wrong not to start with Westow House. Wrong because basically this is always the first place I go to when I visit the Crystal Palace triangle (for those that don’t know, there is a road system at the heart of Crystal Palace that creates a triangle full of pubs, bars and restaurants … very trendy). The reason it’s the first place I go to may or may not have a lot to do with being desperate for a drink after walking up that hill from the train station!

However, even putting dehydration and exhaustion to one side would still make passing this most inviting looking pub very difficult.

IMG_7895

Out front is a vibrant and constantly buzzing seating area which draws any passing drinkers in like moths to a particularly attractive flame. On a sunny Sunday afternoon like the one we visited, it would be downright rude to walk on by.

Inside can be just as alluring. We were lucky enough to find a fantastic trio playing a selection of  Django Reinhardt covers.

IMG_7891

Once you add to this a varied choice of craft beers, 8 ale pumps, a selection of rotating beers and a Sunday roast menu that included half a roast chicken, and I think you’ll agree that we were in Sunday heaven.

If all of this wasn’t enough, there are two other aspects to this pub that I really love. The first is that it is such a lovely big building. No matter how busy, (and bearing in mind the craft beers, 8 ale pumps, Django Reinhardt, half a chicken etc, it’s safe to say this place can be popular), you’re almost always guaranteed a space. If not in the buzzing large front garden, or the musical front bar, then you can always try the lovely eating area at the back of the pub, complete with leather chesterfields and chandelier. (And the ubiquitous wobbly lampshade to signify that this is indeed an Antic pub – see the East Dulwich Tavern review for in-joke).

IMG_7893

The final thing (and most important in terms of this blog) that I love is its dog friendliness. It’s always great to go to a place that doesn’t forget our canine friends.

IMG_7892

If a table of help-yourself water bowls and treats wasn’t enough to make this pub a favourite for Grenson, then the fact that it is the local of his new mini schnauzer friend Honey sealed the deal. To follow an afternoon in this great pub with a run around Crystal Palace park together (see our Instagram page @manaboutadogblog if you’re interested in live footage of this momentous occasion) made this one of his favourite days.

And just for a change, (as Grenson wasn’t in a posing mood that day) I’ll leave you with a little piccie of her instead.

IMG_7936

A real beaut I think you’ll agree.

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

Advertisements
Standard
cafes for dogs, dog friendly cafes, Isle of Wight, the dog blog

PO41 – Isle of Wight

Much like Feargal Sharkey and his problem with hearts, a good coffee shop can also be hard to find. Of course, that statement doesn’t hold if you happen to reside in a major city. If that’s the case then you’re likely to trip over a trendy barista led establishment at regular points along your walk to work/the shops/the gym/school … do school kids drink coffee? Is there a minimum age? It wouldn’t be right for a ten year old to have an espresso surely? Or are they only interested in fried chicken until the age of 16?

I digress.

If you don’t happen to be in the big city then, as Feargal almost says, a good coffee can be hard to find. And so it was a very pleasant surprise, whilst wandering around the lovely little town of Yarmouth on the Island (you know me well enough by now, you know my affinity with the Isle of Wight, I think we can start calling it by its more familiar name ‘The Island’) to find a little place called PO41. (See, you can already tell that it’s cool, it’s named after its postcode…like East 17… and you don’t get much more cool than that).

IMG_7775

It also happens to be situated in the old post office, so there is possibly a more profound reason for its name, rather than trying to emulate a ’90s boy band…both work for me to be honest.

The coffee they serve up (and also sell as beans or ground for take away) comes from Union hand roasted coffee, and was delicious. They also have an array of quality teas and I’ve heard that the hot chocolate is pretty special. I noticed a blackboard advertising panini and tasty bakes, but unfortunately food wasn’t on my radar. I’d already been in the deli down the road and all I can say about that is, my oh my, their gala pie! (I’m a poet and I didn’t know it).

But apart from all of this deliciousness, what really makes this place stand out for me is the affiliation that they currently have with the local artist Shaun Cuff, also known as The Constant Doodler. His speciality is doodles that are basically one constant line (hence the name). One of his artworks adorns an entire wall of PO41.

IMG_7777

It’s very cool. Grenson definitely seemed to like it.

IMG_7774

If only he had thumbs. He’d definitely be giving the old thumbs up in the above pic if he had.

And you don’t have to eat in to appreciate the art. He has also done a design for their take away cups. Unfortunately this led to me appearing even more silly than usual. Whilst enjoying my drink on a bench in the square I was following the line on the drawing, amazed at how it had been produced without the need to lift the pen from the page. This involved me, open mouthed, staring at the cup, as I turned it around before my eyes. Before too long some kind lady (also known as a wise ass) came over and informed me gently that ‘it is a paper cup’. I mumbled something about constant doodling and moved on.

IMG_7776

Despite the danger of ridicule it’s still a really great design. See above. Again, Grenson seems to be a big fan.

So there you go. Marketing does work. It does on me at least, especially when it’s really good art. Because after all, as Feargal almost said, good art these days is hard to find!

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

Standard