Lloyd the Whippet shares his expert knowledge on London’s best dog-friendly restaurants.
On Tuesday, I met with the very gorgeous Lloyd (best known on Insta as @allaboutlloyd_) and his lovely owner, Paz. After Citymapper took me on a suspicious route through a Tesco car park, I finally ended up at Hackney Church Brew Co. — a fantastic brewery with ridiculously good food (more on that later).
We chatted about how expensive it is to live in London and why we love it anyway (Lloyd had some very strong opinions on this), why east London is the best (don’t @ us), and Brexit (because, well, what conversation doesn’t end up there these days?). Most importantly though, we spoke about London as a dog-friendly city, and all the best places to bring your pooch. I asked Lloyd (via Paz) what his favourite London restaurants were, and this is what he had to say:
1. Lagom at the Hackney Church Brew Co., Hackney
Taking the top spot is Lagom; current residents at Hackney Church Brew Co. Their chef, Elliot Cunningham, cooks up incredible meats and veggies over an open fire, showcasing seasonal dishes and fresh, balanced ingredients. The result is mouthwatering grub that you can hardly believe — from the melt-in-your-mouth BBQ pork ribs to the charred sweet potato with buttermilk, herbs and parmesan.
Food aside, the beers are also excellent, and there are two lovely whippets who will always come and say hello. My kinda place. Find Lagom at Hackney Church Brew Co., 17 Bohemia Place, E8 1DU.
The Marksman, Hackney
The Marksman is the first pub in London to be awarded Michelin Pub of the Year, and it’s dead posh. However, despite all its poshness, it’s still just a friendly neighbourhood pub. The food is determinedly British, and the menu is by no means too pretentious to feature hearty roast dinners and pie and mash (albeit slightly fancier ones than you’d get at your average boozer). If you’re not already sold, it might help if we told you that Lloyd is a regular… Find The Marksman at 254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ.
Paz tells me that Bermondsey is generally a pretty good area for dog-friendly spots (though Hackney wins that category on the whole). She particularly raved about Pizarro while I nodded along enthusiastically: this place is the bomb. Like most Spanish restaurants, this place delivers on the tapas. Except here, they’re called pica pica, which loosely translates as “a desire to come back for more”. A bold claim, but they’re not wrong. We recommend the croquetas and pan con tomate, as well as the playful Bermondsey Bomba, a huge crispy ball of potato, tomatoes, and spiced mince beef. Read our full review here.
Abuelo, Covent Garden
Abuelo is a cute spot for coffee or brunch, or some lovely, organic sharing plates in the evening. It has a cool, Aussie vibe and the space feels a lot like home. Sit at the ‘kitchen table’ and chat to friends and strangers alike (and pups, if you’re lucky), or bag a seat on the cosy chairs in the corner. Some days, you might even spot their house dog Annie the Doodle eyeing up the cakes. Find Abuelo at 26 Southampton Street, WC2E 7RS.
Angelina is an intriguing new restaurant concept that combines Italian and Japanese cuisine — and it’s pretty damn fancy. The seemingly unlikely couple are actually a match made in heaven, and the five plate sharing menu is well worth a try. Find Angelina at 56 Dalston Lane, E8 3AH.
We Are Vegan Everything (WAVE), Hackney
London is no longer short of vegan restaurants, and this one is a welcome addition to the pack. We Are Vegan Everything is a plant-based paradise filled with cakes, pastries, freakshakes, and an all-day brunch menu. The interiors will whisk you away to the Indonesian archipelago as you relax on bamboo chaise lounge seats, day beds and swinging ceiling chairs. (Oh and it goes without saying that, in WAVE’s case, being animal-friendly goes further than the food: dogs are obviously more than welcome.) Read all about it here.
Further recommendations from the wise whippet 🐾
Paz and Lloyd are admittedly very loyal to east London and their Hackney home, and don’t tend to stray too far from the nest. The pair of them (yes, I maintain the fact that Lloyd played an equal part in this) also recommend the Conservatory Archives, the plant-covered haven on Hackney Road; E5 Bakehouse, the artisan bakery and coffee shop near London Fields; Café Miami, the Instagrammable brunch spot in Lower Clapton; and Palm Vaults, the tropical Hackney café with the pastel-coloured coffees.
For more top-quality dog content, check out these VIPs (Very Important Pups) that you should definitely be following on Instagram.
Also published on Medium.