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

The Archie Parker – Forest Hill

How has it taken me this long to try out The Archie Parker?

What a name! It’s so cool. Surely it has to be homage to a character from a swinging Sixties Michael Caine classic?  But no, it is even better than that, the truth is that the cafe is named in honour of a little guy even cooler than a Caine character…the owners’ Miniature Schnauzer!

A cafe named in honour of a Mini Schnauzer? What have I been playing at?

IMG_7849

The Archie Parker is a lovely quaint cafe with a 60/70s vibe that can be found just a few minutes walk from Forest Hill train station, along Dartmouth Road. Once there it is difficult to miss the influence of Archie, from the shop logo and the blackboard outside…

IMG_7848

…to the pictures adorning the walls.

IMG_7842

But my personal favourite is the little silhouette on the windows.

IMG_7841

That is pretty awesome.

Then as if this wasn’t enough the man himself arrived on a rare fleeting visit to the shop. Unfortunately the excitement was all too much and I failed to get a picture of the momentous meeting of Archie and Grenson. Some things are best left to the imagination…(I know, I’m a fool. Sorry. Maybe next time?).

Anyway, the reason to visit the Archie Parker isn’t limited to Schnauzer appreciation.

It’s a flipping great cafe!

I had a delicious steak ciabatta that Grenson almost sneaked off with whilst I was trying to take a piccie. (Serves me right I suppose, ‘food is for eating not taking pictures of’, so says Grenson).

IMG_7847

Luckily for me it wasn’t long before Grenson was brought out a little snack of his own.

IMG_7839

Wonderful. So there you have it. Full on Schnauzer appreciation, tasty ciabattas, doggy treats and smooth coffee (sourced from Dark Fluid coffee a local roastery, and also supplier of my essential Brockley Market coffee hit on a Saturday morning). If you need more convincing then bear in mind that this place is also stylish enough to get the Lewisham Card and South East London Journal seal of approval.

IMG_7835

Don’t be a fool like me. Get over there ASAP and check it out…and keep your camera nice and handy just in case Archie makes an appearance.

 

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Standard
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.

IMG_7601

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.

IMG_7659

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.

IMG_7604

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.

IMG_7661

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!

IMG_7662

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).

IMG_7631

Word.

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

 

Standard
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!

IMG_7548

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).

IMG_7551

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.

IMG_7556

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

IMG_7553

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).

IMG_7554

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 .

IMG_7547

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.

IMG_7549

We’ll be back again soon.

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

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

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.

IMG_5704

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.

IMG_5700

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.

IMG_5703

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.

IMG_7433

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!

IMG_7434

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

IMG_5702

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.

IMG_7431

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

Cool.

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

Standard
cafes for dogs, dog friendly cafes, London

Browns of Brockley

Tuesday was such a beautiful day in London that I decided that Grenson was due a nice long walk. First off we hit Ladywell Fields, which was being thoroughly enjoyed by a gaggle of mothers and babies, joggers, tennis players and dog walkers. (It’s also home to the 10,000 Hands cafe, as previously recommended on this blog)

We then headed up to Hilly Fields. Again, we found a park teeming with young families, exercisers (human and canine), and people just soaking up the spring sunshine. There is nothing like immersing yourself in the simple beauty of a city enjoying good weather to make you feel better about life. The news may show that there is evil out there, bent on destroying freedoms, but the majority of people in this world just want to spend time happily together enjoying a day in the park.

Feeling reassured about the human race, I carried on to my ultimate destination, Browns of Brockley.

IMG_6714

I had planned on lunch, as I have experienced their wonderful bagels in the past. Unfortunately, I managed to arrive bang on rush hour. It is quite a small space, so if you are lucky enough to visit when a table is free then I suggest you grab it and make the most of the experience. Despite there being no room at the inn, with quality Square Mile Red Brick coffee on offer (and after the long walk, with a return journey still to come), a takeaway was most definitely in order.

As we only spent a few minutes in there whilst waiting for my takeout, I began to worry whilst writing this that they may not have actually been a doggy friendly place. After all, as mentioned, it’s not a huge space inside, and a pack of dogs and small spaces arent always a great mix. Thinking back I tried to piece together a few clues on its dog suitability. First up was the art work on the walls.

IMG_6715

I figured that any place with a poster dedicated to pooches on its wall must be quite friendly to dogs.

My second clue was the fact that they provided me with water in a take away cup for Grenson. Again, any establishment that provides water for your dog is generally pretty friendly. This was also great for LOLs, as passers by would only have seen me coming out of a coffee shop then lifting a coffee cup to Grenson’s mouth. If they didn’t already judge him as a hipster dog then the image of him seemingly drinking a Red Brick flat white would have cemented his reputation.

Finally, upon closer inspection of the coffee cups I noticed my final clue as to the dog friendly credentials of Browns of Brockley.

IMG_6717

I’m guessing that having a dog on your logo is a surefire sign that you are fairly welcoming to dogs?

Of course, I could have just asked … If I had I would have found out that the logo model is a little superstar called Ludd the pug and belongs to the owner Ross Brown. One look at their Instagram and it’s clear this place doesn’t just welcome pups, they love them!

I still think guessing was more fun though.

So in summary, when the sun puts its hat on again and you’re feeling a bit down from world events, head out for some park life and make sure you get a coffee from this super cool little place. You won’t regret it … And if you don’t take my word on the quality of their brew, then just ask Grenson!

IMG_6718

(n.b. I’m not sure what the shadow is in this picture. I presume it’s not my head. Unless I’ve turned into an alien?).

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

 

 

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

Canvas & Cream – Forest Hill

Canvas & Cream is a beautiful little creative hub in the heart of Forest Hill. It’s much more than your average cafe; let’s start with the fact that the cream part of its name is not to be ignored. I indulged in a lovely creamy flat white and had to tear myself away from the equally creamy and indulgent-looking array of cakes on the counter.

IMG_6249

If this top quality fare and the delicious restaurant menu was all that was on offer, then this cafe would already be on to a winner. However, add the canvas part of the name, and it moves into the category marked ‘special’. You see, as well as being a cafe and restaurant, it also houses an art gallery and studios at the rear of the property. I heard a rumour that once a very famous art collector attended one of their exhibitions and bought everything on show! Of course that may be completely false, but who am I to let facts get in the way of a good story?!

But what I really love about this place is that you don’t have to even go into the gallery to get your artistic fix. Just walk through the door and look around.

IMG_6247

The entire space is a creative delight.

From the ingenious lighting …

IMG_6246

… to the amazing reclaimed and hand laid wooden floor..

IMG_6245

… this place is just a pleasure to sit in, relax,  and soak up the vibe.

It’s also an excellent place for a private function. I speak from experience having performed the running man (probably more jogging man to be fair!) during a friend’s birthday party that was held here.

So with all of the above in mind I was already a fan.

Then they went and brought out a bowl of water for Grenson … but not just any old bowl.

IMG_6250

SUPER BONUS POINTS!!!

If the deal wasn’t done before, that bowl completely sealed it. Yes, we definitely like it here.

IMG_6244

 

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

Standard
dog friendly cafes, London, the dog blog

Archibald’s – Lee

You can’t get much more dog friendly than a cafe that is named after the owners’ pooch. This is the case with Archibald’s in Lee. In addition to the canine friendliness, it also happens to be just a short walk from Manor House Gardens (which is Grenson’s favourite walk at the moment), and even better than that, as a bonus it also happens to be a fantastic little cafe.

IMG_5815

Once you step behind the green door (ooh I came over a bit Shakin’ Stevens then for a second, sorry!), you enter a beautiful little cafe that very much feels like it belongs to a different decade … in a good way.

IMG_5819

But it’s not just the lovely retro decor that makes this place special, it’s the top quality fare on offer – coffee from Climpson and Sons, tea from Teapigs, and cakes from … well I’m not sure where they’re from actually but I’m guessing heaven by the looks of them.

IMG_5820

And all that is before I even mention the brunches. All I’m saying is ham and cheese in an eggy bread sandwich. Yes that’s right, you heard me, eggy bread!

IMG_5816

If my word (and the above pictorial evidence) isn’t good enough for you, then may I just add that it was voted winner of best cafe / coffee shop in the Lewisham area for the 2015 Time Out Love London Awards, so it’s not just me singing the praises of this little place.

My only problem with this delightful cafe is that for some reason Grenson has taken to refusing to walk when he enters. Instead he has begun spreading out on all fours and insisting on being dragged across the floor like a mop. This obviously causes much glee for any customers quietly tucking into their eggy bread sandwich (Yes! EGGY BREAD!!). On the positive side he’s doing his bit for keeping the floor clean, thereby disproving any complaints that dogs shouldn’t be allowed in places because they might make the place dirty. My one sweeps up with his belly!

If the worst comes to the worst I’ll just have to carry him. I’m not missing out on this great little hidden gem. Did I mention that they do EGGY BREAD?!

IMG_5879

The Man and the Dog.

 

 

Standard