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?


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…


…to the pictures adorning the walls.


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


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).


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


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.


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.





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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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).



The Man and the Dog.





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!


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).


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.


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


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).


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 .


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.


We’ll be back again soon.

The Man and the Dog.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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


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.


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


The Man and the Dog.




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.


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.


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.


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!


(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.





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.


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.


The entire space is a creative delight.

From the ingenious lighting …


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


… 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.



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



The Man and the Dog.



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.


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.


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.


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!


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?!


The Man and the Dog.



dog friendly cafes, London, the dog blog

Monmouth Coffee Company – Borough

If you are a food lover, and if you like to get the best quality ingredients, then you must visit Borough Market . Admittedly I wouldn’t consider it a place to start doing your weekly ‘big shop’, unless you have a bank balance the size of a small country’s national debt. I’d also advise that you go early, unless you enjoy the feeling of strangers constantly pressing against you and standing on your heels (each to their own!). There is a lunchtime market on Mondays and Tuesdays with the full market Wednesday – Saturday, and it gets VERY busy.

Stupidly, Grenson and I made our visit mid-afternoon. Bearing in mind Grenson finds a mere dead leaf on the ground to be a source of endless fascination, you can imagine just how much all of the tasty morsels spread across the market floor would entice him.

Cleverly, I knew exactly where I was heading and wisely skirted around the market edge. For if you do ever find yourself in Borough Market, having ticked the boxes marked ‘food lover, and purchaser of quality produce’ and if you would also consider ticking the box ‘lover of fine coffee’, then no visit is complete without popping into Monmouth Coffee Co.


This place is a coffee lover’s dream. Not only can you get your fix of quality espresso based beverage complete with excellent latte art, which you all know by now impresses me greatly …


(sorry couldn’t resist a sip of the one above before I remembered to take a photo)

… but you can also buy their beans to take away so that you can attempt to produce the same quality latte art at home (and fail miserably in my case, of course).


Unfortunately, due to its popular location it can be common to find a large queue, sometimes snaking into the street outside. But don’t worry, there is a small army of the best barristas around, working away inside to bring you your coffee. In fact, it can be quite enjoyable waiting in line and witnessing the well oiled machine at work, as each member of staff carries out their specified task, making up the cogs in the wheel that leads to your little steaming caffeine hit. So the wait never seems to be too long. Especially if you don’t have some fool in front of you, messing up the queuing system because his puppy insists on sitting slap bang in the middle of the busy thoroughfare with an expression that says, ‘this isn’t the park, what kind of walk do you call this?’.

Once I’d enticed Grenson out of the way and over to a seat, with the aid of a chicken flavoured chewy stick, I was able to sit back and watch the world go by.


There is nothing like entering a little caffeine bubble of serenity. When you finally finish off the smooth remnants of the latte art now at the bottom of your cup, the caffeine should begin to kick in and embolden you, ready to go outside for the next round of artisan food purchasing.

Unfortunately the pick me up of a good coffee isn’t available to all. If that is the case for you, then a full day of shopping at the market can leave you a little pooped out. You have been warned!


The Man and the Dog.

cafes for dogs, dog friendly cafes, the dog blog

Ten Thousand Hands Cafe – Ladywell

The Ten Thousand Hands Cafe is a place that I had never visited before. Yes folks, this is the first ‘recommendation’ that I’m reviewing … well … I say reviewing, but lets face it, I think we’re far enough along in this enterprise now to realise that I’m no critic, I’m only ever going to feature places that I really like and think you all should check out for yourselves … And I say recommendation but strictly speaking it was an excellent article that I read on the Lewisham Card website suggesting 11 cosy bistros to escape from the cold that pointed me in the right direction.

Anyway … I was aware of quite a few of the bistros featured and hope to include them in future posts (I don’t want to use up all the local ones in one go! I’m playing the long game here!). The Ten Thousand Hands Cafe however, had somehow slipped under my radar.

So after a lovely walk around Ladywell Fields in which Grenson finally discovered the joys of a good stick to carry around on a walk, (but unfortunately also insisted on carrying it in the most dangerous fashion he could find) …


… we set about finding this elusive cafe. This turned out to be a pretty simple task as it is in plain sight, right behind Ladywell train station. It’s been there since 2014 so I’ve no idea how I’ve missed it all this time. Stepping inside I ordered my customary flat white and, as I was feeling frivolous, a delicious flapjack to accompany it.


If this is anything to go by then I expect that the rest of the menu must also be excellent. It definitely looks like it should be, and it’s worth noting how friendly it is to all you veggies and vegans out there, which is rare for such a small place.


It is also important to note the hand prints, which brings us to the origin of the name. Ten Thousand Hands Cafe is a Jimmy Mizen cafe. For those of you that don’t know about Jimmy, he was a 16 year old local boy that was tragically killed in an unprovoked attack in 2008. In his memory his family set up the Jimmy Mizen Foundation with the aim that ‘something good should come from his death’. Their many projects have included setting up cafes in the area that create opportunities for local youths to receive training and gain valuable business skills, whilst also creating safe havens within the community.

The Ten Thousand Hands is named after a campaign that gives local youth the opportunity to volunteer their time to create change, leading to a safer environment and community. Locals of all ages are encouraged to add their hand prints to ‘Jimmy’s Peace Cloth’ signifying their commitment to building a better working community together. So far the hand prints number in excess of 100, 000.

If you haven’t already done so, it is worthwhile clicking on the links within this post to find out more about this fantastic foundation and all of its campaigns.


Feeling refreshed, Grenson and I headed back out into Ladywell Fields to walk off the flapjack in my case, and to rediscover where he’d left his favourite stick in Grenson’s case.

The first recommendation had been a roaring success and well worth the visit. Thanks for the tip off, Lewisham Card. I highly recommend that any of you with the opportunity should head over and check it out for yourselves. We should all do our best to support valuable initiatives such as this in our communities … especially when it simply involves eating a delicious flapjack!!


The Man and the Dog.


cafes for dogs, dog friendly cafes, the dog blog

The Gentlemen Baristas – Southwark

The Gentlemen Baristas coffee house can be found in Union Street, one of the many little back streets around Southwark that could easily appear in a Dickens adaptation with very little set dressing.

In fact, the shop itself would probably need no set dressing at all! (Apart from the removal of the ‘one way’ sign that is spoiling the below picture featuring the nonchalant modelling skills of Grenson and En Brogue)


It has a shop frontage that by rights should permanently have snow drifts in each corner of the windows.

Step inside and the Dickensian vibe continues as all of the gentlemen baristas are suitably hirsute with some fine moustaches and beards on show (I am also certain that they are big fans of tweed and arrive to work on suitably sturdy Victorian bicycles).

Despite the hairiness and the aforementioned ‘gentlemen’ of the title, this is not in any way some sort of specialist sexist coffee shop. It is not an old-fashioned gentlemen’s club. Many of the baristas are in fact gentle ladies. This was welcomed by Grenson as he could carry on with his new hobby of making every lady that he encounters immediately fall in love with him! Admittedly a fair few men also came over a little giddy in his presence, but walking around town with him must be a little like walking around town with David Beckham.

Anyway, enough of my jealousy, back to the coffee shop. It’s fair to say that the Gentlemen Baristas has an excess of charm. But it’s not all style over substance. These gentlemen baristas really know how to barist! (if that’s an actual word).


Their flat white is one of the smoothest in London and when you combine it with a top notch sandwich and packet of crisps (or fruit for the healthy eaters) in a £6.50 meal deal, it gets even smoother.

But lets face it, you’d expect no less from ‘The Coolest Baristas in the UK’ as voted for in the UK Coffee Stop Awards!


I can also recommend for breakfast (or whichever meal you like I suppose, it’s a free country), one of their chocolate twirly pastry things. I’ve no idea of their official name (something French that I can’t pronounce no doubt) but once, when struggling to describe what I wanted, one of the gentlemen baristas helpfully cleared it up as something he referred to as a ‘chocolate b*st*rd’. You see!? They weren’t crowned the coolest baristas in the UK for nothing.

Just to be clear, let’s not get confused about this coolness. Much like the way the baristas being referred to as gentlemen doesn’t mean that they are all male, their ‘cool’ moniker does not mean that they are frosty and aloof. Far from it. You’d be hard pushed to find more welcoming and friendly staff. In fact, as we were leaving they offered me a free take away coffee that someone had mistakenly ordered!


There is nothing in life that tastes more sweet than free stuff. Although it may have pushed me over my safe caffeine level for the day, but hey, when you’re hanging with the coolest baristas in the UK you have to be a little rock and roll!

So in summary, if you’re looking for a Dickensian coffee house with the coolest gentlemen baristas that aren’t all men, serving smooth coffee that is sometimes free and accompanied by big chocolate b*st*rds, then we suggest that you hunt out this little gem of a coffee shop.


The Man and the Dog.