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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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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