We made a special stop on our journey home from the North East to pay this dog friendly café a visit.
As we arrived in Hebden Bridge there were swarms of people gathering along the river and a JCB making it’s way through the narrow streets…We found ourselves at the start of a Duck Race organised by the local Rotary Club!
We’d heard about duck races before but never actually witnessed one. In the race each duck has a number on it that corresponds to a ticket, similar to a raffle. Whoever’s duck reaches the finish line first wins a prize, and there are usually second and third place prizes too.
We couldn’t help but get caught up in the atmosphere as they counted down to the start when the rubber ducks would be dropped into the river…
As the ducks floated downstream we managed to squeeze through the crowd and over one of the bridges so that we could make our way to the café.
The Lamppost Café was easy to find in the middle of town.
The first thing that you see when you enter is the selection of amazing cakes – for both humans and dogs!
There is a small boutique section at the entrance selling a range of treats, toys and accessories.
The interior of the café is split into a few smaller rooms as well as an outdoor section at the back that overlooks the river. Outside was particularly busy when we arrived due to the duck race, but we found somewhere to sit inside relatively easily.
The Lamppost Café has a choice of food and drink available for both hounds and humans, most of which is freshly prepared on site using locally sourced and organic produce where possible. They serve breakfast, sandwiches, salads and jacket potatoes for humans along with a range of hot and cold drinks. Dogs can choose from a selection of freshly baked treats which can be washed down with water or dog beer!
We couldn’t resist treating Elsa to one of the amazing looking ‘Pupcakes’… They are handmade from human grade, organic ingredients and free from wheat, gluten, sugar and salt and yet somehow still manage to look absolutely delicious!
Elsa couldn’t wait to tuck into her treat!
We love the quirky water bowls and dog ‘plates’ too.
With Elsa enjoying her Pupcake, we thought we’d treat ourselves to something nice too! The human cakes are made by a local baker called Craggs Cakes. It didn’t take us long to polish these slices off…absolutely delicious! Good cake deserves good coffee and The Lamppost Café’s trained Baristas certainly know how to make a good flat white.
There were lots of other dogs in the café from Staffies to Sausage Dogs – we even met another Lhasa Apso. It was clear that the staff love their canine visitors as they were very friendly and attentive towards all of the dogs.
Looking around this charming, dog friendly café it’s hard to imagine that not too long ago they were victims of the awful flooding that struck the area in 2012 and then again in 2015. Reading the blog post on their website, it looks like they have become experts at dealing with the aftermath of these unfortunate events, drawing strength and determination from the support of their customers.
Q&A with Claire and Amy from The Lamppost Café
Why did you decide to open a café that caters for dogs as well as humans?
We opened the cafe almost 4 years ago because we were tired of standing out in the cold drinking coffee from a paper cup and having to do the relay with your partner just to try and order inside…..
Having dogs ourselves and taking them everywhere, we ensured that we trained them from a very young age with impeccable ‘pub etiquette’ manners! The idea to serve hound and human came from having our dogs out with us often, we know that if we give them a small treat when we go out, they will happily sit under the table while we enjoy our meal so thought that other people might be able to enjoy such an experience. Also, dogs react to the environment they are in, so by offering a chilled out ‘dog space’ full of people who ‘get it’, then dogs will feel relaxed and learn how to behave when out in public spaces. So many people don’t take their dogs out with them because they worry what other people will think of they misbehave, but how do you train them if there’s nowhere to go where you know people won’t react…..
What are your most popular dog treats?
All the pupcakes are very popular, the most favourite being peanut butter and banana and the cheese and carrot.
We have a chocolate Labrador who has to have a operation on his front legs when he was young. As he could exercise for a few weeks, we didn’t want him to put weight on so we started baking treats for him that we know would be healthier than the shop bought commercial treats. These were what we decided to elaborate on with the ‘pupcakes’.
What are your most popular human treats?
We keep the menu simple, after trial and error over the past years we’ve come to understand that people and hounds come for the experience and fun, relaxed atmosphere of the place rather that exquisite master chef menu options. We do try to offer somethings different without over complicating things. The soup everyday is made fresh and it’s a different flavour soup everyday. The oven baked sweet potato option is extremely popular as it’s not something that is generally offered elsewhere.
We travelled quite a distance to visit you. Do you get a lot of customers doing the same, or would you say the majority of your customers are locals/ regulars?
We do get lots of people that travel some distance to come to visit. This weekend we had people that had travelled from Windsor, Liverpool and Newcastle. We do bring people to Hebden Bridge which we are quite proud of as we offer for locals (and we do have a large regular custom all year round as dogs always need to be walked regardless of the weather) and bring people to Hebden which then spend money in other businesses in Hebden also while they are in town.
Do you have any plans to expand or open any other branches/ franchise?
We do have plans to expand, there is no real reason why a ‘Lamppost Cafe’ wouldn’t work in most towns. Click here for more information.
The Lamppost Café got through to the finals of the 2017 ‘Visit England Awards‘ in the Dog Friendly Business of the Year category. Sadly, they narrowly missed out on the top spot but it’s great to see dog-oriented businesses getting the recognition that they deserve.
This is definitely somewhere we would recommend and will be visiting again with Elsa!
Before heading back to the car we spent a little bit of time exploring the town of Hebden Bridge.
We ended up in a park where Elsa met her twin! This handsome chap is a Havanese – a similar looking breed to the Lhasa Apso that originated in Cuba. Their fur is slightly finer and silkier.
Elsa was besotted with him and the two of them enjoyed a brief play session before we continued our walk.
Something that caught our attention was this dog waste bag dispenser, pictured below. We love this idea as it helps to support dog owners in the effort to keep Britain clean.
All in all, Hebden Bridge seemed like a lovely, dog friendly town. The fact that The Lamppost Café is there gives us peace of mind that even if we returned on a rainy day, we would still be able to sit inside somewhere with Elsa and get a drink and something to eat.
We will definitely be back again when we have a bit more time to spare!
13-15 Bridgegate, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 8EX