Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dog Friendly Cafe Review: Botanic Gardens Cafe - Kings Park, Perth

I have to thank Honey and Hsin-Yi for finding this cafe for us. They wrote a blog entry about it well before we got around to visiting. I have been living in Perth for years and they only just moved here, and yet they are finding all these great dog friendly places for us to try.

The Botanic Gardens cafe is located near Fraser's Restaurant on Fraser Avenue. We drove up there at 8.30am and there was plenty of parking, but by the time we left the car park was getting rather full. Before we sat down to breakfast, we took the dogs for a walk around and enjoyed the lovely panoramic views of the Swan River. Bender and Barbie were both very happy to be somewhere new and they got a lot of attention. A group of tourists took photos of them.

As there is a lot of space between the tables there, both Bender and Barbie got to come and try this place out. As it had been raining the night before I bought Barbie a foam camping mat to lie on.

The staff were very dog friendly, and most of the other patrons were too. A lady came over specifically to pat Barbie. She was from Melbourne and missing her Whippets at home. She commented about Barbie's small size and said she looked like a Whippet. She enjoyed the attention, though Bender felt that he should be patted and commenced bouncing and squeaking to get her attention.

We decided that whenever people ask how old Bender is they are expecting us to say he is a puppy, so we will tell them that he is two! 

Barbie didn't really lie down on her camping mat much as she was busy investigating her surroundings, and I think she was a bit cold.

Bender was happy to lie down on the pavers, and they are the nice smooth kind, not rocky or pointy. They will be nice and cool on a summer's day in the shade. 

From a human perspective the only drawback of this cafe is that you have to order at the counter, so you need to have someone to baby sit the dogs while you go and do that. It is a very minor quibble though, as at most cafes you still have to go inside and pay at the end of your meal. I just think the idea would be to sit down, get served and pay the waitstaff from your table. When I find a place that does that I can take Barbie out to a cafe on my own. 

The food was very good, the service was quick and the seating area was comfortable, with a great view.

Parking the car might be an issue, as it sometimes is at King's Park later on in the day on a weekend, but all was quiet at 8.30am when we arrived. 

Human score: 9/10

Barbie tells me that from a dog perspective, it's definitely the kind of cafe where you will get attention from other customers, it's probably not the cafe for a dog not so outgoing around people. 

There is a lot of space around the tables and the staff and other customers are friendly. There would be a nice sea breeze blowing through here in summer, though Barbie told me it was a bit cold on a winter morning. She was happy I bought her a mat to lie on but this time she was asking for a coat as well. You can never please some doggies. 

Bender is not fussy and did not really have any criticisms of the cafe. He just wanted more people to talk to him instead of just wanting to talk to Barbie. He still doesn't understand that if he bounces and squeaks a lot of people get a bit intimidated!

Dog score: 9/10

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