Quayside Cat Cafe
The quayside’s newest cafe has caused quiet a social media storm and comes with an interesting twist of the feline variety. Catpawcino provides a refuge in the city where you can relax over a cuppa and a sandwich whilst socialising with their beautiful resident cafe kitties.
We popped in to see what all the fuss was about and we were not disappointed. Located bang on the stunning Newcastle Quayside over looking the River Tyne, it is the purrrrfect place to relax. The ground floor has the ‘cat lounge’ – a sit-in café, home to their 7 resident cats. They also have a drop in, feline-free basement cafe offering food & drink for takeaway (or limited sit in) and a super cute gift shop.
We went for the full ‘cat lounge’ experience. We were given a warm welcome and asked to take our shoes off, before being told about the do’s and don’ts of the cat cafe. The rules were very simple, do not pick up the cats, pull their tails, feed them your food or take photos with a flash. Entry to the cat lounge is only £5 per person and it goes towards looking after the cats. We sanitised our hands and were then guided through to the area where the cats were. It had a very relaxed laid-back feel, with comfy seats, soft jazz playing and an noticeably calm feel. The cats were just scattered throughout the cafe, lazing around without a care in the world.
The cats relaxed demeanor is infectious and before we new it we were also sprawled out in comfort on the couch. The decor is brilliantly cat themed and very unique.
We settled in and ordered some tea and a sandwich. The tables came complete with a handy booklet telling you about their resident cats. They specialise in rare breeds and pedigrees, but of course love cats of all shapes, types & sizes, donating a percentage of the profits each month to a local cat charity.
They also look to re-home rescue cats and have so far helped re-home 7 cats, working with local cat charity Feline Friends. The cats are brought in as foster cats, settled in with the resident felines and then hopefully re-homed. The whole process takes on average of a month. We spoke to manager Sarah Zong about this and the cafes ethos. You can tell by her and all the staffs enthusiasm they really love and care for the cats. It was great to see.
Our food arrived and we tucked in to the delicious goats cheese and roast pepper panini. The cats were very well behaved and did not even show an interest in our food. We enjoyed a good cuppa and settled in. The atmosphere is very relaxed and it would calm you down on even the worst of days at work. The cats have the free reign of the cat lounge, even having a separate ‘cat only‘ area if they need some peace and quiet. All of the moggies were happy to share their lounge with the visitors and would walk by and investigate when and were they fancied.
There were some great characters, with bold Alfie proud of place on his top bunk bang in the center of the cafe. Timid Flora and Iva, curled up in little nests out of sight, until the treats came out! Betty who had the best spot of all, people watching the rain soaked passers-by from the safety and warmth the window seat. And my personal favourite Darvin, a cheeky noisy puss with a heart of gold. He spent most of the time hidden away but when he came out he let everyone in the cafe know with a vocal display worthy of X-factor and a lesson in hire wire acrobatics.
Alfie was born in Newcastle on 1st June 2014 and was the cafe’s first cat. He is a Ragdoll breed with stunning blue eyes, and mocha brown paws. Alfie is calm & affectionate, and loves following people around – he’ll try to push through an open door just to be with you. When he lived with Sarah, at bedtime he would always be sure to find a cosy spot on her bed. He’s like a big brother to the other cats and you’ll often catch him cleaning the younger kittens.
Betty was born shortly after Alfie. She is a lovely British Blue and has a subtle ring-striped tail. She is the shyest of the group and will approach only when she’s good and ready. However she is also curious and once she gets to know you she loves nothing more than to play
Chocolate was born on 11th June 2014. He is a chocolate coloured Point Birman, and was brought from Doncaster with his twin brother Davin. Their mother was a show champion and they both follow in her paw prints. Chocolate loves attention, sleeping by your side and receiving his daily fur brush. Sarah feels lucky to have them both and to be able to help ensure they always stay together.
Davin, Chocolate’s twin, is a cream coloured Point Birman. His miaow sounds exactly like his brother’s so sometimes it’s hard to tell which one is making all the noise.
He enjoys lazing around and never misses an afternoon nap (or three). He is soft and fluffy with deep blue eyes – almost too pretty to be a boy! Just like his brother he loves to be groomed, so once you start he won’t let you get away.
Ebby was born in February 2015. Her breed is a rare Scottish Fold and she came from a family in London to join her new family in CatPawCino. Ebby is very playful and full of energy – she never seems to get tired even after hours of running about. She loves following Alfie and nuzzling up to him while he licks her head. I’m sure you’ll agree – she’s little cutie.
Flora was born on the 17th September 2015. She is a gorgeous looking British shorthair from York. Being the only one introduced to the catpawcino family after the cafe has opened, Flora quickly made herself comfortable living here. She is bold and curious, and was playful from day 1 in the cafe. Tiny as she is, Flora seems to have an amazing appetite.
Iva is a beautiful Scottish fold. She was born on 22nd June 2016. Her temperament is still under development since she is still young. Currently, she is very playful like all kittens. She will paly for hours on end and then fall asleep to recharge for more play time. She likes sitting down with her legs stretched.
Each cat is so different with a unique character and way of interacting with the visitors.
The layout in the cafe is brilliant with scratching posts, platforms and multi-leveled areas for the cats to perch on. Catpawcinos cats are beautiful, well taken care of and so friendly. You don’t always need to book a place which is perfect if you just wanted to pop in on a whim, but I do however recommend booking on weekends, to avoid any disappointment.
It would be a good daytime activity for a group on a hen weekend, for those bride to be who are not yet willing to give up their crazy cat lady tag just yet and need another feline fix. You get an hour slot, which is the perfect amount of time for a relaxing bite to eat and some time with the cats.
We decided to try some of their delicious hot chocolate and cakes before heading off and it was well worth it. The food was great and we would whole heartedly recommend Catpawcino for an alternative cafe experience you’ll definitely not forget!
CatPawCino are launching a new range of limited edition festive drinks next week, made from recipe’s unique to the cafe! These are: ‘Lebkuchen Winter Warmer‘, ‘Gingerbread Cappucino’ and ‘White (Choc) Christmas’ (aka hot white chocolate).
For more information visit CatPawCino on Facebook here.
This blog was sponsored by The Neon Greenhouse, photos by Melissa Nicholson photography.