I stumbled upon the You&Meow cat cafe after having a little scroll on my IG feed, and couldn’t believe that it had been open for about 3 months and hadn’t been on my radar – I am officially a bad crazy cat lady. Nevertheless, I just had to go and luckily I had already planned my trip to Brizzle for the following week (I planned it around the trip to the cat cafe ngl – priorities).
Luckily, I had planned the trip on a Thursday so I could also watch a bestie’s gig at The Fleece, so it’s best to be aware that the cafe is actually shut all day on a Wednesday! So I went ahead and popped an email over to You&Meow, and planned a little blog review trip so I could share the wonders of You&Meow with all of you!
Upon arriving at You&Meow I was greeted by the lovely owner, Ewa, who talked us through the “House Rules” prior to entering the cafe – a concept that I really am in favour of. In terms of rules, it’s just as you would expect if you have been in contact with cats before. Simples – just don’t agitate or irritate the cats, and have respect for them and their space.
Following this we were lead into a homely, yet spacious room full of all the furry felines who were so ready to get to know us. The interior in the cafe is so up my street it’s unreal, from bamboo to palm print – there’s such a relaxing and comfortable vibe in the cafe. We took a seat in the “Zen” space within the cafe, which is styled around japanese interior concepts such as bamboo and taffeta furniture and low-lying seating (pouffes). Due to this, it’s not advised to sit here if you have mobility problems, however there is plenty of room in the standard area of the cafe – or there are more “sofa” styled seating areas around the corner.
Don’t expect any background music to be playing in the cafe either (I am all for this), instead the sound of the water feature lightly echos through the room for a chilled atmosphere for both cats and us. It’s very clear from the moment you walk into the cafe that the experience is centered around creating a positive aura which benefits the cats in terms of attention and play, and the guests who connect with the kitties.
Honestly as soon as we took a seat, the cats one-by-one came to have a lil sniff to become accustomed to us and most of them demanded fuss and attention instantly! I was quite taken aback by this as I assumed many of them would be timid and shy, but it was quite the opposite. The cats were very energetic and were engaging in play with both us and their brothers/sisters in the cafe, which was so cute to watch. I also wasn’t expecting there to be three little black kittens, who were little balls of energy! It was so tough to tell them apart, but they were all really inquisitive and were lapping up all of the fun and attention the guests were giving them.
The older cats: Petal, Casanova, Noel, Ivy, Aya, and Odie – were also really curious cats, and did that thing cats do when them plop themselves directly in front of you and tell you to give them fuss – and of course, I obliged. Casanova was definitely the cat to steal my heart, let me tell you that he was definitely named appropriately! He kept coming back for more attention and happily sat in the sun purring as we took turns giving him a little attention.
If you’re the type of person who loves cats, yet isn’t quite sure how to interact with them you wont have any problems at the cafe. There are plenty of toys available to help you really get to know your fave felines, such as string toys, fuzzy balls, and more! Ewa even got out a motorised butterfly toy that really entertained all of the cats and got them eagerly following it around and jumping on it. However, I found that the outfit that I was wearing was more intriguing than any of the toys, I was wearing a flared sleeve dress that (I should have realised) really did resemble curtains – and all of the cats went mad for it.
Concerned that the cats are playing too much? There really is no need to worry, we were at the cafe for 1.5 hours and witnessed multiple cats take a time out to sleep in the sun laze around, they know when they need some “me-time” – for sure. My lil fave Lucky has enough of bouncing around the room from guest to guest and settled down on a table in the zen area for a 15 minute cat nap and some apres-sleep fuss. The purring of the cat is just what I needed to take a time-out from all of the stress that built up during revision period.
Upon visiting the cat cafe I did forget that it’s actually… a cafe? Queue the coffee and cakes galore! The coffees are also aptly named, ie. Meowcha, Catticcino.. and they even come with a variety of You&Meow’s brand new stencil set which makes for a beautiful coffee indeed. Plus, I was v. impressed that they even catered to those with gluten intolerance, and I could actually order a cake which wouldn’t make me feel bloated! The g.f. victoria sponge was top notch, even if I did have to fend off a few sassy kitties who wanted a taste… Also, Ewa puts hand sanitiser on every table in the cafe to ensure that everyone can stroke and play with the cats without having to worry about eating/drinking after, and with plans of introducing panini’s (or pawnini’s – love it) this will be really important to keep everyone clean and safe.
General Admission bookings for the cafe are £5 per adult (£3 per children) for entry to You&Meow for an hour visit, with food and drinks costing extra – however, you are no way held to purchase anything at the cafe. If you are looking for a bargain, I would suggest buying the “Cats, Coffee, & Cake for Two” voucher which will set you back £20 for entry for 1hr, coffee, and cake for two, well worth the £10 cost per person. You can also buy a “Nine Lives Card” which is a £35 upfront fee for nine visits to the cafe (can be shared with a friend) saving you a nifty 22% – making each visit only £3.90.
Would I recommend a visit? 110% – If you love the company of cats and need a little kitty TLC, I would definitely suggest booking yourself (or a friend!) and hourly slot. Ewa is looking to do much, much, more for the cats and the cafe in due time and I’m really excited to see what You&Meow has in store for the future. Ewa will be looking to run mindfulness classes to encourage guests to achieve higher levels of self awareness, with the help of the zen-masters (the cats!) of course. Over time. the cats will also be up for adoption to good homes, once the cats give natural signs of needing more space or become very territorial with age. So Ewa is always looking out for the tell-tale signals of a cat in distress with a need to move on to a more solo, stable home. You&Meow really resonates with the opinion that they might not change the homeless cat world, but they can change the whole world for that one cat – which a beautiful principle to run the cat cafe by.
*I was gifted a visit to You&Meow however all thoughts and opinions are my own*