A visit to The Cosy Cat Café – a refuge for rescues plus a serving of great food

Residents at The Cosy Cat Cafe Photo Megan Devine

Megan Devine is a creative writing and journalism student at Canterbury College currently undertaking work experience with The Isle of Thanet News.

The 23-year-old enjoys art, baking, story writing, worldbuilding, cross-stitching and playing tabletop games. She is also the happy owner of four cats.

Megan visited The Cosy Cat Café in Herne Bay which takes rescues from charities including Thanet’s Cats in Crisis:

A short walk away from Herne Bay’s pier and seaside, sits “The Cosy Cat Café” where you can not only enjoy a drink and tasty bite to eat but also spend time playing and cuddling with the  resident rescue cats.

This cute spot is run by Christeen Norfolk, who has been working with cat rescues for more than 40 years. Christeen opened the café five years ago after a trip on a boat for rescue cats in Amsterdam inspired her to try and do something similar, in order to help more cats in need.

Photo Megan Devine

The café works with two charities, Thanet Cats in Crisis and Wisteria Cat Rescue, to take in rescue cats that need extra care, or who may not get adopted, due to age or illness.

Currently, the café has eight cats in residence, which include an adorably shy, black cat, named Jessica and a cuddly black and white cat called Panda, whose favourite spot to sleep is right on top of the café’s logbook. Christeen hopes to make  the café an official charity later this year, so that she can do more in the future for rescue cats.

The cast of cats also used to include two others, named Simba and Mr Chips, however, they have been sadly retired from café life, due to worsening illnesses and now live comfortably with Christeen. In their place, the café will soon be welcoming four new kittens that will be eager to meet customers.

Photo Megan Devine

When my friends and I arrived at the café, we were greeted by a staff member who let us into the café and then, once we were seated, informed us of the café’s rules. Afterwards, we were introduced to the cats and told where each one came from and what their personalities were like.

The café charges £8.50 as a standard entry fee for each person, which includes a drink and allows customers 45 minutes to enjoy the venue and its cuddly companions. On a quieter day, you may be able to stay for a little longer. This fee may seem steep to some, but the money goes towards the care of the cats for things like vet bills, toys, and food.

Photo Megan Devine

After that fee, more drinks can be bought separately with prices averaging at £2.50 – £3.50. There are two other entry fee bundles as well, where you can get a drink, as well as a savoury dish (price dependent on the dish) or a sweet treat (£10.50) included with your entry.

The café also has afternoon tea sets available, which include a wide range of treats, such as finger sandwiches and mini rolls, mini quiches, scones, and assorted cakes. For anyone interested in the café’s afternoon teas, they must be booked in advance. There are also vegan and gluten-free food and afternoon tea options available, as well as alternative milks.

Photo Megan Devine

I ordered one of the café’s homemade treats, a coffee and walnut cake. The cake was deliciously soft and moist, with a balanced flavour that wasn’t too sweet.

After I finished my food, I had a wander around the café, which has two floors of seating and a small outside area. There’s also a little shop inside where you can buy adorable cat-themed souvenirs.

Photo Megan Devine

For those interested in visiting the café themselves, it is busiest during the weekends and school holidays, so I’d definitely recommend booking ahead if you’re hoping to go during those times. If you’re looking to go during a quieter time, then I’d recommend coming in the week, especially if you’d like to get a bit more one-on-one time with the cats or if you’re just not a fan of crowds.

Although it should be noted that the café currently takes cash only, thankfully this isn’t much of a hassle as there as two banks with ATMs right next to it. However, due to the current size and layout of the building, I wouldn’t recommend the venue to those who use a wheelchair, as you may find it difficult to get in and out.

Photo Megan Devine

The café is hoping to do some more events in the near future, which may include tabletop game days and crafting events where you can come and get started in learning a new creative skill, like sewing or crocheting, or just work on your own current project while meeting some fellow crafters.

If you’re interested in those events, do keep an eye out on the café Facebook page and website for more information.

Overall, the café had a relaxed atmosphere, the food was lovely, and the staff were friendly and more than happy to answer any questions we had. If you’re planning on heading out to Herne Bay this coming summer holidays, I’d definitely recommend adding the Cosy Cat Café to your list of places to visit.

Where to find the cafe

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thecosycatcafe/

Address – 138 High St, Herne Bay CT6 5JY

Rescue cat charities

Wisteria Cat Rescue  – https://www.wisteriacatrescue.org/

Campus Reporters showcases the work by EKC media and journalism students who are undertaking work experience with The Isle of Thanet News

1 Comment

  1. Looks a really nice place, I have visited “Java Whiskers”, in London many times, which is the same cat friendly type environment. Congratulations to all involved.

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