Henrietta Morrison, founder and MD of challenger food for pets brand, Lily’s Kitchen (www.lilyskitchen.co.uk) speaks out on why she is supporting The Kennel Club’s ‘Be Dog Friendly’ campaign and awards as well as providing some insight into some of her own favourite dog friendly places in the UK.
Dogs are often considered ‘man’s best friend’, and my Border Terrier Lily, is without a doubt mine! Sadly though, not all public places feel the same and many dog owners, including myself can find it difficult at times to go to shops and try on that lovely dress in the window that you have your eye on, or visit restaurants and other places with their four-legged companions in tow.
I’m sure if these businesses were to become more dog-friendly they would see their sales soar, in particular restaurants and cafes. There is a general misconception in the UK that dogs are not allowed in premises where food is served, but it is only food preparation areas that are out of bounds, not areas where food is served and sold. The only legal obligation on the owner of such a place is to make sure there is no risk of contamination and that all food preparation areas meet the specified hygiene requirements.
Lily and I are lucky to live in a very dog friendly part of the capital – Hampstead, where a staggering 1 in 3 residences is also home to a dog. At Lily’s Kitchen we’re looking at ideas on how we can support local businesses in Hampstead by providing every shop, bar, hairdressers and restaurant with facilities to help them welcome dog and their owners. For example tie up stations outside, dog bowls for water, a supply of poo bags and to offer Lily’s Kitchen dog treats to the pooches that grace their businesses. Could it actually be possible to officially make Hampstead the UK’s Most Dog Friendly Village? Time will tell…
I am a huge supporter of the Kennel Club’s ‘Dog Friendly Britain Campaign’, and Lily and I will certainly be voting for our favourite dog friendly places to make sure they get the recognition they really deserve.
Here are a few of my favourite London dog friendly haunts :
- Hampstead Heath
A short walk from our office and my home, is the haven that is Hampstead Heath – often referred to as ‘the doyenne of all dogs walks’ and THE mecca for all mutts. The wildest of London’s parks, Hampstead Heath has fields and interesting woodland for dogs to run in, long grass for them to roll in and most famously, ponds for them to swim in.
- The Wells Pub, Address: 30 Well Walk, Hampstead, Hampstead Heath, NW3 1BX www.thewellshampstead.co.uk
This is my favourite dog friendly pub, which is nestled in-between the Heath and Hampstead Village. Lily and I have always both been made welcome with fresh water, treats and a fuss from the staff for her and super tasty food for humans too. The restaurant serves up some truly delicious and sophisticated offerings but I sometimes it’s the simplicity of the freshly cooked meals from the bar menu which fit the bill. And exciting news for all local canines, during Hampstead Restaurant Week this September, all pooches who accompany their owners to the pub will also be offered their own Lily’s Kitchen doggie menu for the week.
Serpentine Gallery Café, Serpentine Road, W2 2UH
Each summer, the Serpentine’s Summer Pavilion, acts as a meeting place, café and summer hangout for visitors to the Serpentine Galleries in Hyde Park. I’m so pleased that Damian Clarkson, from the London Kitchen (www.thelondonkitchen.com) will this summer take up residency for four months at the Serpentine Gallery Café. I can’t wait to visit the dog friendly venue where Lily’s Kitchen dog treats await canine friends whilst their owners enjoy a glass of Champagne and delicious food.
Donate to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust to support rescue centres and invest in dog health.