Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in London adds rescued cats to your high tea experience. This doesn’t exclude coffee drinkers, but it certainly rules out those who aren’t feline crazy.
Dinah’s dozen-plus cats walk, sleep, and play freely as you enjoy your high tea. Baskets filled with cat toys and brushes are within easy reach to make engaging with the cats joyful and simple.
When you arrive at Lady Dinah’s in the Bethnal Green neighborhood, you are pretty sure you’re in the wrong place. You step into a tiny shop with no tea in sight. You’re greeted and asked to wait until the time of your reservation.
Then, you and your fellow diners are escorted into another tiny room, where you are asked to wash your hands and are told the cat rules, which include all good things such as: don’t disturb sleeping cats and wait until cats come to you.
You are welcome to simply enjoy the tea and watch the cats, but if you opt to engage with them, the friendly staff guides you in how each cat likes to be petted. This dear boy likes only to be played on his hips like a drum. If you slow down or don’t pet him hard enough, he walks off to find a human who has truly listened to the staff guidance.
The first floor and basement rooms of this tea house are filled with lots of cat friendly things from a beautifully sculpted “tree” to high shelves for undisturbed napping…
…to hidden cubbies.
On Dinah’s website, a video shows cats running on the exercise wheel. Ha! In our two hours there, we saw a succession of cats napping on the wheel. Too funny!
It’s not the fanciest high tea in London, but it’s lovely, and we got our money’s worth for sure. It’s about $33 per person. We had the vegan option, which was satisfactory, and with a big shout out to the banana chocolate chip cake, which was one of the best cakes – vegan or non – we have ever had, period.
No, the cats are not available for adoption, so you won’t have to start figuring out how to bring them through Customs! They live their lives out at Dinah’s. However, if any come to not enjoy this public life, they are “re-homed” to carefully selected humans who can meet their needs.
And, yes, we will definitely go back!
Make High Tea part of your daily routine on a London Untour.
When Elizabeth is not busy visiting the cats of London, she works as the director of the Untours Foundation.