VICTOR TEIXEIRA – LMDI
The last 3 years (has it really been that long?) have flown by and what started as a list of places I enjoyed taking my puppy to, has now grown into a community of nearly 900 dog-crazy members. We share fun photos and videos of our dogs doing silly things, we present evidence that we have the cutest pup ever and we sadly break the news that the unthinkable has come to happen. The support we get from each other is often humbling.
It is easy to forget the essence of this movement, which was always to ensure that more and more venues were or became dog-friendly. So every now and again I have to remind myself of just that and go back to basics. With that in mind, I remember the South London I have lived in for the last 23 years and notice the huge transformation it has enjoyed. Part of that mutation is the way pets are now viewed solidly as members of the family – not of the extended one but at its nucleus.
Personally – and I’m sure parents feel the same way about their offspring – the best customer service I can ever experience in a so-called “dog-friendly” establishment is witnessing my dogs being cared for even before I am: to sit down at a table and see a water bowl arrive without it being requested, to have the staff genuinely fuss over our pets, to notice that we were placed in a quiet corner not because we won’t disturb other patrons but because our dogs will be safer and more comfortable. That to me turns good customer service into an excellent one; and it makes me return to these places time and time again – and bring friends along while I’m at it.
If you’re not too familiar with the dog-friendly scene in London (and South London in this particular blog), here is a suggestion of a possible route you might take next time you venture into the capital. Of course hundreds of other options will be available and businesses are dying to welcome you in these testing times.
Here is our November DogBlog:
Looking to spend a couple of days in London but trying to avoid staying with friends and family? Many hotels are only too aware of our collective concerns and going to huge lengths to ensure their spaces are clean, safe and healthy. One such hotel is The Bermondsey Square Hotel, near Tower Bridge SE1, which has seen huge changes to the way it operates.
The Bermondsey Square Hotel was temporarily closed (only for the second time since their opening) between 05Nov and 02Dec as part of the National Lockdown, but this doesn’t mean that they weren’t working extremely hard to welcome their guests when they’re ready to travel again.
As part of that effort, they have made a group-wide commitment to ensure that face masks are worn in all public areas, the regularity of cleaning is increased, extra sanitisers are available throughout the building, all staff have received additional training to deal with the pandemic, amongst many other measures. But the most important measure in my opinion is that every hotel in the group will be assessed by Environment Health Professionals.
Bermondsey has reinvented itself as a trendy, hip and attractive corner of South-East London. In fact, in my 20+ years living in the area, it’s gone from a place that I would only drive through on my way to Tower Bridge, London City and East London, to an actual destination where I visit cafés I review, parks where I walk my dogs and restaurants which show off an incredible array of international cuisines (French Bistros, Spanish Tapas and Thai-Malay Fusion to name but a few). Not all of these restaurants are dog-friendly but we’re working on that!
The hotel’s commitment to being a dog-friendly establishment is patrolled by their mascot Alfie who is B2’s canine PR.
BARS & PUBS:
London can be quite overwhelming for those of you who live outside it. Not only is it a lot busier than the towns and cities outside the M25 (and the rest of the country) but its prices are enough to shock the most seasoned traveler… Save yourself some money by taking advantage of daily menus and any special offers advertised by the capital’s numerous bars and pubs. Many have deals with online apps which give you discounts on the day, others provide you with loyalty cards which will offer you freebies with regular visits.
Amongst the most dog-friendly ones, you will find The Tommyfield; they aren’t just dog lovers, they work around welcoming your treasured family members. Teresa and Hector have known us the longest and always welcome us back like we’re long-lost relatives. And we can see by Oscar and Ollie’s waggy tails when they visit that they’re just as happy to be there.
They host comedy nights, quiz shows and offer the best pies in South London – try the Pulled Pork one – not forgetting the most delicious Nutella Gnocchi (and I don’t even like gnocchi)!
After a big lunch, you will probably feel the need to take an afternoon stroll. There are loads and loads of parks where you can walk your dog freely and interact with other dog owners and their pooches. But these walks can be quite exhausting, especially if you have to watch your pet every second of every minute. I would break the journey down by popping into a few cafés, benefitting from a little caffeine and perhaps even a sugary treat. Back in Bermondsey, if you’re making your way back to your hotel, you will find several venues where your dog is not only welcome but actually spoiled. Chapter 72 is one of them, Fuckoffee is another. And HEJ Coffee House. We have reviewed some of these cafés in the past and going back shows us that their standard of customer service remains the same; and so does their commitment to serving good coffee and great cakes! The crowds are hip, the music is alternative and the prices are affordable. More often than not you will find that dog water bowls and biscuits/treats are available free of charge.
Head over to Kennington, Waterloo, Stockwell, anywhere just short of the river and you’ll find that having dinner doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune. My favourite haunts are Amici on Kennington Lane – SE11 (a haven for scrumptious Italian treats), Baltic Restaurant and Bar on Blackfriars Road – SE1 (specialising in Polish, Hungarian and Russian food and drinks) and Tia Maria Bar & Kitchen on South Lambeth Road – SW8 (Brazilian cuisine, regular live music events and the most delicious caipirinha). None of these will break the bank and you’ll feel right at home with their warm customer service and attention to detail. And staying south of the Thames will mean a very short ride home back to your hotel.
Of course these are just a few of various possible combinations we could recommend to you. If the weather is good, you may feel like eating outdoors; if it’s cold and wet, you might opt to spend the day shopping; or you could simply decide to stay in the hotel, be pampered and watch the world go by… Whichever way you choose to spend your time in town, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to taking your dog along with you.
Our site keeps growing with recommendations of new dog-friendly places so we keep adding them at a fast pace; but we still rely on your contributions so if you come across a business that’s not yet listed with us, please let us know as soon as possible! We’ll get in touch with them and make sure we visit and review them at the earliest possible opportunity.
Finally, don’t forget to document your chosen itinerary with photos and videos so that you can later share them with your fellow Let My Dog In Facebook members. They will no doubt benefit from your first-hand experience. And if those businesses do not have a dog-friendly sticker proudly displayed on their doors and windows, please let us know!
Want to write a DogBlog about dog-friendly places in North London? Or indeed in Brighton, Lisbon, Paris, Cardiff or Dublin? Let us know by sending a quick email to email@example.com and we’ll get straight back to you. The same applies if you’d like to write about dog training, grooming, rescuing or any other subject. If it’s dog-related, we want to hear from you!
Chris Knight has gone and done it again! ?????
Last year he created a dog calendar to help sponsor The Dogs Nobody Wants Sanctuary. LMDI were proud to order and sell a few tens of units for Chris and so he sent the sanctuary 10% of his profits. His 2021 edition is now available and it’s looking gorgeous:
“My Dogs 2021 Calendars are now available ?
In July we have Saxon – the wolf dog hybrid. What a stunning dog, I was so lucky to work with him.
I will be donating 10% of the profits to The Dogs Nobody Wants Sanctuary. Price is £10 each and postage & packing will be £2 unless you would like to pick one up from me or a shop near you.
The calendar is A4 landscape so when hung will be A3 portrait. This would make an ideal gift for dog lovers and don’t forget Christmas is not far away ?”
In the last 30 days…
2,015 posts, comments and reactions
37 new members
Top contributors in the last month:
1 – Abel Cruz Talavera
2 – Leuqar Acsat
3 – Mafalda Da Silva Antunes
4 – Regina Cocito
5 – Immem Magalhães
THANK YOU! ❤️
For more ideas and recommendations, try:
Bars & Pubs – https://www.letmydogin.co.uk/bars-pubs/
Restaurants – https://www.letmydogin.co.uk/restaurants/
Photos and videos of your dogs, as well as business reviews, are always welcome on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Finally, if you’d like to write a piece for our monthly blog, all it needs to be is dog-related and dog-friendly.