Of course I was thrilled when I heard Newcastle was getting a cat cafe! I was even more thrilled when the name changed from Pretty Pussy Parlour to Mog on the Tyne, it's much more clever. Opening in August, I booked up to visit as soon as I was able to. It was one of the things I was really looking forward to doing once I got back from New Zealand, so earlier this week that is where I went.
Since I went to Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium earlier in the year I was immediately making comparisons in my head, but after a lot of consideration I have to say that Mog on the Tyne is better than Lady Dinah's for so many reasons., which I'll get in to. So if you're looking for a UK venue for some worldwide cat cafe tour (I'm sure that's a thing) then I would recommend Mog on the Tyne over Lady Dinah's.
Let's get in to the food and price of the experience. I had a beautiful hot chocolate and Matthew went for a cappuccino which he enjoyed. No complaints on the coffee front so that's a good start. I want to go out on a limb and say that the cakes and brownies on selection are homemade. Here's my evidence: on the menu, it's just listed as cakes or brownies with the price which makes me think the selection changes every day. I had the salted caramel cake on the left there (can't miss it, that slice is HUGE) and Matthew had a peanut butter brownie (which he complained looked more like a blondie, but first world problems, am I right?) Eating the salted caramel slice, which was sweet and delicious, confirmed my feelings of the home-madeness but I can't really prove how other than I had a gut feeling (pardon the pun)
With the cake, brownie, hot chocolate and cappuccino the total came to just over £20 - but hang on before you jump to caps locking WTF. There is a guest price of £5 per person, very similar to Lady Dinah's which was £6. This is a fee that goes towards looking after the cats, because with lots of little fluff balls running around you can imagine the vet bill can be pricey. My only beef with the guest fee is that it is £5 for the hour, whereas Lady Dinah's is £6 for an hour and a half. Also, because of the cross over bookings we didn't actually get sat down till 6:08pm, so that's £5 for 52 minutes, but then we did leave at 6:58ish so we're looking at 50 minutes. I think the time slot changeover could be smoother in order to maximise cat time. It's not something that will stop me from visiting again though.
A small thing that bugs me before I get on to the cats is the venue itself. Now, don't get me wrong, inside it is a cat haven with comfy chairs and fresh style. It's a lot smaller than I expected and you will have to queue out the cafe on the street to get in. The street is mainly a road too, not the busiest road, but it's like - be careful kids. It's only an issue because when I visited Lady Dinah's the cat room was behind 2 small rooms so if you arrived early to your booking (like we did, naturally) there was a very small space inside to wait rather than outside on the street (which is more alley than street).
Since the venue is very new, the cats are all pretty much kittens making them playful cuties with a lot of energy, whereas when we visited Lady Dinah's the majority of cats are older and distant from customers. Oh my gosh, okay, the cats are freaking adorable. We got given treats at the beginning of the visit so the kittens flocked from person to person. You're then free to roam, pet the cats and play with them, just don't pick them up. A wonderful thing about these kittens is that they come to you to play, they're so curious that you can sit in your chair for the majority of your visit and pet a good number of felines. These cats are beautiful and social and I was so delighted that they actually came to me. If they keep these lovely personalities then Mog on the Tyne is going to be a wonderful kitty environment to hang out in. Definitely visit sooner rather than later.