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

Cantina – Isle of Wight

Cantina in Ventnor has been running now since 2012 (I believe it was first situated down on the seafront, before a move to its current location on the high street), but for             En Brogue and I, its existence has been a very recent and wonderful discovery.

Be aware that it is only a small place so booking in advance is generally recommended (even for breakfast), but never has the saying ‘good things come in small packages’ been more apt since Kylie fished out her gold hot pants from the back of the wardrobe and began spinning around.

And it’s not just the quantity of good things on offer that is stunning, it’s the quality too.

Let’s start with the bread, as this is what you encounter when first entering the premises.

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Now that right there is what you call a table full of bountiful baking. I once left here with ‘bacon bread’. That’s bread with bits of bacon in it! Try to imagine a bacon sandwich made with bread that also has bacon in it!! You’ve got yourself a bacon bonanza on your hands my friend!!!

Then let us move on to the food and drink. You can always rest assured that any place that sells Square Mile coffee is sure to be a quality establishment.

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We visited for breakfast and may I highly recommend the slow cooked ham, beans and fried egg with toast as an alternative to the full on fry up, (although from a sneaky peak at the full english that the fella next to me had, that seems pretty damned good too).

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En Brogue had the cheddar, emmental, spring onion toastie with tomato jam, and said it was the best cheese toastie … ever! So I think that also counts as a glowing recommendation.

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Last but not least, if you look up at the bar area you will soon spot what else Cantina is especially good at.

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Any place that has a bar that well stocked is a place that knows how to mix a cocktail.  Yes, this place is not just about breakfasts and coffees. It is open until 10pm every day so it’s the perfect place for an evening meal and a cocktail … or five.

I have to admit that I didn’t check whether or not dogs would be welcome in the evening, but Grenson was made to feel more than welcome on our morning visit. He even charmed the waitresses into bringing him a big bowl of water. This was done between the regular ‘fuss sessions’ that Grenson seems particularly good at demanding and receiving from the staff (and most of the customers too) of any establishment that we now visit.

Before I go I just wanted to add a mention for the small cacti that are placed on every table. I do like a quirky little touch like that. So much better than a plastic flower. I’m also partial to merchandise, especially of the mug variety, so you can imagine how much the picture below pleases me.

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Rest assured I will report back soon with a definite answer on the level of evening dog friendliness, as come the summer months I will surely need to be trying out their ‘Mexi – jito’ (chilli infused Olmeca Reposado, mint leaves, lemon, agave and Chegsworth apple). Roll on the summer!!

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The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

 

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dog friendly restaurants, the dog blog

Three Buoys Restaurant – Isle of Wight

There has been talk on this blog in the past (see Seaview Hotel post), of a legendary event known as ‘The Family Do’. This is an annual event around Christmas time in which we get together with all of Hannah’s (a.k.a my wife, a.k.a ‘En Brogue‘) maternal side of the family (aunties, uncles, cousins, second cousins, friends, maybe a few passers by just swept along for the ride) and eat, drink, and at some point all join in on badly coordinated Greek dancing (Nanny was Greek you see, but I’m not sure traditional Greek dancing is something that is passed down in the genes!). This has now become a tradition that has been going strong for over 40 years … (we really should have mastered the steps to Zorba the Greek by now).

If you’ve read the post on The Seaview Hotel you’ll know that it was the venue for my introduction to The Family Do. You’ll also know that I’m a big fan of the place. But it’s nice to spread the love, and after a few different venues in the ensuing years, this year we opted for The Three Buoys for Grenson’s own introduction to ‘da family’. (Luckily for him he didn’t have to partake in the slippery nipples … don’t ask!).

And what a great venue it was for his first do?

I mean, what’s not to like?

Let’s start with the food and drink.

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Firstly they serve ‘Curious Brew‘ on tap! For anyone who hasn’t come across this, it’s an English lager that is re-fermented using Champagne yeast (it’s as luxurious as it sounds!). As for the cocktails? You’ll need half an hour just to choose from their selection of delicious gins. Secondly, the food is simply excellent. Hannah and I had amazing starters of floured calamari with fennel, beetroot and orange vinaigrette; and chicken liver parfait with blackberry, pickled veg salad and toasted garlic croutes, (both can be seen in the picture above). We each had braised beef brisket for our main course and chocolate brownie for dessert, which unfortunately didn’t make it into the photo collage above as we both ate them too quickly!

Now lets move on to the location.

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The restaurant is set above a little cafe that sells plastic beach ware and ice creams, but if you ascend the stairs at the side of the building you’ll come to the restaurant with its balcony that takes in the full panoramic view of Appley Beach. You may think that this beach sounds familiar? Well that is because it’s the same beach where The Dell Cafe can be found. Yes, that’s right. At one end of this beach is Dell’s and at the other The Three Buoys. In between you have what feels like endless beach (especially when the tide goes out for a mile twice a day) and if you’re not up for walking on that (or the summer restrictions for dog walking are in place), then you can find Appley Park set back from the beach, behind the row of beach huts. Trust me, I have walked the entire coast of the Island and this is without doubt the best 1km stretch you’re going to find!

No wonder Grenson spent most of his time on the balcony staring out at the beach longingly! “When can we go on there again?!? when can we? when?!?”.

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Finally, let’s talk about the atmosphere. Whether you are a couple looking for a romantic meal, a family with kids, a man and a dog, or a giant extended family of (questionable) Greek dancers, the welcome is always warm. The staff, led by husband and wife team Tim and Emma, are knowledgable and ever attentive (we once witnessed one staff member welcome a visiting French couple and wait on them all night whilst speaking fluent French -you don’t often get that kind of service in this country).

The Three Buoys has only been running for a couple of years but with lots of hard work this great team have managed to establish it as one of the top culinary destinations on the  Island. And now of course it also has The Family Do seal of approval!

For Grenson, his first time meeting all of the family was a little tiring, (I felt a bit tired and emotional myself!), but we both look forward to many more return visits to the Three Buoys … as long as The Family Do hasn’t gained us a lifetime ban!!

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The Man and the Dog.

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