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

Brick House Bakery – East Dulwich

The in-laws came to visit Capital City recently, looking for a good time. So obviously we took them to look at a load of old graves!

Nunhead Cemetery is a great example of a grand old Victorian London graveyard. It’s full of imposing family crypts and large ornate headstones. Its grandeur is more than slightly faded now, but that is what makes it so interesting. Today it is like a Hollywood set of some Halloween ghoulish video. Nature has crept back over the gravestones dragging them into the earth. Many of them have now become part of the woods and stand motionless in the undergrowth silently keeping watch as you walk on by.

Of course all of this spookiness had no effect on Grenson who simply loved all of the smells on offer (hopefully the odour of moss, nature and the tell-tale signs of other dogs was what he found interesting…and not Victorian bones!). He tootled around in heaven with his nose to the ground, on a mission to wee up every tree available.

Many dog walkers use this site as it’s a lovely walk with a great view of St Pauls (if you stand in exactly the right spot). It’s well worth a visit…but maybe best to go with someone for company… and maybe not at dusk?

After this jovial, bracing look at death in all its glory, we needed a pick me up. So we headed down the road to East Dulwich and a place that we had attempted to visit previously, but on that occasion we’d found no room at the inn. This time it was late afternoon, so post lunchtime rush, and upon arrival a table was easily procured.

The Brick House Sourdough Bakery and Cafe is a big brick building that bakes sourdough bread and is also a cafe…surprisingly enough.

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It’s very cool, (even complete with punters on laptops writing novels whilst nursing a glass of tap water – once those guys arrive at your establishment you know you’ve made it…although I imagine that you can also expect a drop in till receipts and an increased electricity bill…not that I have anything against them…oh no…it’s not a problem that I can’t find a seat just because a load of writers/bloggers/journalists/facebook users want cheap office space!!…sorry, I digress).

What really attracted me though, was the La Marzocco coffee machine and the Square Mile roast on offer. One of life’s great combinations. Add it to a blueberry pie/tart/thingy and we’re in business.

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Absolutely delicious.

Grenson loved the atmos, but he was pretty much loving everything anyway. He had four of his favourite people with him and therefore he was sure at least one of them would share their baked goodies with him if he just sat perfectly still.

 

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Alas, he was very much mistaken. These sweet goodies where too good for sharing. (Don’t worry, we’d brought along some of his own doggy baked goodies, so he didn’t go without for too long).

So there you go. With Halloween just around the corner I can think of no better a day out than a ghoulish cemetery tour followed by a delish coffee stop.

What are you waiting for?!

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P.S. We promise we’ll try to take you on a cheerier walk next time, in-laws.

 

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Heap’s Sausages- Greenwich

Heap’s Sausages is  a shop that specialises in sausages! Handmade, gourmet, sausages! SAUSAGES! I mean, really – why I don’t live in this shop is frankly a mystery.

The fact that I hadn’t been in this shop until recently is nothing short of bizarre!

Heap’s can be found opposite the theatre in Greenwich. It’s just the kind of place that draws in weary travellers on a cold autumn day with succulent aromas of sausage. Just follow your nose. Do not ever walk past this shop without going in! I don’t care if you’re not hungry. I have walked on by in the past and I now regret every instance.

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I suppose my main mistake had been to assume that it wouldn’t be dog friendly. It is only a small shop, consisting of a few lovely ’50s style bench seats and a well stocked deli counter selling a range of sausages. I had imagined they may have been a little suspect of dogs, after all, dogs and sausages are a combination that are hard to keep apart.

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However, as I was wrapped up warm this Autumn day, and with ample outside seating available, I thought I might be able to shout out my order from the door and sit outside with Grenson. But to my surprise they welcomed us both in, and even came up trumps with a large bowl of water.

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This was much needed. We’d spent the morning walking around Greenwich Park. If you’ve never been to Greenwich Park with your pooch then you must do it at your earliest convenience (that equally applies to you even if you don’t have a pooch). It’s such a beautiful wide open space and the views from the top by the observatory are truly special. Grenson absolutely loves it.

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Heap’s is literally only a few metres from the park entrance, so once you’ve worked off a few calories with a lovely long walk, you can quickly indulge in a well deserved massive sausage.

I went for the ‘Mr Heap’s Hot Dog’, a breakfast jumbo sausage with onion chutney served in a brioche hotdog bun.

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Boom! Just look at that! You have to love a sausage that is too big to fit its roll. (I’m not even sure if that actually works as smutty innuendo, but that’s not stopping me accompanying the phrase with a Sid James chuckle in my head).

Absolutely delicious. I’ve since had a look at their website and oh my, the breakfasts look awesome. Maybe next time we’ll have to do two circuits of Greenwich Park if we want to avoid the food guilts…

 

The Man and the Dog

 

 

 

 

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dog friendly restaurants, London, the dog blog

Dogs Trust & Andrew Edmunds – Soho

Recently we were lucky enough to be invited into town to attend the launch of a new book by the Dogs Trust published to coincide with their 125th birthday celebrations – ‘Dogs and Their Faithful Celebrities‘.

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Yes, frankly I’m as shocked as you are that we weren’t asked to actually be in it. Outrageous oversight on their behalf I reckon!

Still, at least we got to go along and enjoy the launch party…well eventually we did, once I’d managed to get Grenson to walk past the incredibly lifelike doggy mannequins that were standing on the door and were completely freaking him out.

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Once inside, as you’d imagine from a Dogs Trust event launching a book about dogs, the place was a dog-fest!

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Doggies everywhere!!

I applaud the organisers for being brave enough to put on such an event, it had the potential to be absolute chaos, but all in all the canine partygoers were pretty well behaved… apart from one big guy that got a bit too excited about being out on the town and tried to pick a fight before being dragged out by his ‘hooman’. There’s always one who can’t handle his cocktails isn’t there!?

With a room full of dogs there was only one certainty. Grenson would find the one that looked just like him to hang around with (narcissistic? Grenson? never!). And so it was that we stood idly by and watched Grenson and WiggyWright (the mini schnauzer that belongs to Matthew Wright of Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff fame – Grenson is only interested in celeb dogs these days) do the schnauzer hug for the remainder of the time that we were there.

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Eventually we had to drag these new BFFs apart. Canapés are all very good but we were ‘up west’ and so a slap up dinner was in order.

Off we headed into Soho to a little place I had passed many times and each time promised myself that I’d eat at one day. Andrew Edmunds on Lexington St, is an unassuming little spot with an unassuming little name, but aren’t they always the best? Now that I had found out that they allowed small, well behaved dogs (Grenson is almost both), there was no stopping us.

This amazing restaurant is situated in an incredibly atmospheric 18th Century town house, and as we were led into the downstairs room it was like going through a time tunnel. The candle light and stylish interior could have easily been the same for over 300 years. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that it’s covered in cobwebs. It means that it’s classically classy.

Any place that gives me a hand written menu that includes ‘Old Spot Pork Chop’ is guaranteed to make me happy.

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And when they say pork chop and green beans, they mean pork chop and green beans.

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When it’s this good you simply don’t need anything else. Probably the best pork chop….ever. No messing, just simple delicious food. They’ve been doing it for thirty years. They know what they’re doing. No need for fiddling about.

I cannot recommend this place enough. However, as mentioned, it’s an 18th century townhouse, those places aren’t what you’d call spacious. Intimacy is the name of the game, and so when they say small well behaved dogs only, they do have a point. Luckily Grenson on this evening was being as small and well behaved as he is able. He sat quietly at our table for the duration, with only a few sniffs under the table of the two gentlemen at the table next to us (sorry whoever you were, and thanks for not seeming to mind too much).

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It probably helped that I’d threatened him with those doggy mannequins if he didn’t behave!

If you have a small well behaved dog yourself (or not, dogs aren’t compulsory I suppose), and enjoy simple food, served simply, but with a touch of magic that makes it somehow a million times better than you’d ever be able to do yourself, then head to Andrew Edmunds immediately.

And if you need something good to read whilst you’re there (it’s definitely the type of place you’d be fine going to alone with a good book for company) then follow the link and buy a copy of ‘Dogs and Their Faithful Celebrities‘. Even if you don’t like to look at pictures of Ronan Keating and his Pug (although, who doesn’t?!) then just be aware that 100% of the royalty goes to Dogs Trust. You can’t need anymore incentive to buy a copy, or maybe even two!

 

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

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