I am always on the look out for dog friendly place to either punctuate my dog walks or allow for repast post said walk.
As such Coffi Lab opening (brave in the, at the time, rather bleak outlook for hospitality – although the end at last seems to be nigh, in a good rather than bad way) in Llandaff High Street at the back end of last year was of much interest to me, with its doggie friendly focus.
In an old bank, the compact exterior
belies the rather caverous interior.
Plenty of room for both dogs and their owners. With Bruce and Oscar in tow this was a good thing, as Bruce has not quite worked out the personal space thing yet (much to Oscar’s horror).
He (Bruce) is also growing at an alarming rate and I expect him to be ginormous when fully grown
Back to Coffi Lab, the place focuses on coffee (unsurprisingly with the monicker),
athough other drinks are available
some more dubious than others.
Personally I have never understood the flavoured latte fad. To me all of the above sound absolutely hideous, bar from perhaps the hot chocolate. I mean why would you want to ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee by putting salted caramel, gingerbread or (good forbid) pumpkin (I am assuming the Pup-kin is that rather than pureed ……) in it, but each to their own I suppose?
There is a wide offering of pastries and cakes
from Alex Gooch, which all looked rather fine.
There are also sarnies (standard hot and cold and toasted) and salads, which didn’t look quite as enticing as the cakes and pastries (but seemed nice enough).
We went for a couple of flat whites (me and Mrs. SF) and a cappaccino (J), as well as a cake/pastry each.
J thought it cute that the flat whites came on little boards and in glasses. Mrs SF and I on the other hand didn’t get the need for a chopping board and would have preferred a decent sized cup and saucer (difference between Boomers, Generation Xs and Millenials – we embrace all three)
When we have dogs in tow, glassware is not the best option in my opinion. I am a clumsy bugger at the best of times and Bruce is currently the equivalent of an many kilo pinball. To Mrs. SF and I things like this are all a bit style over substance, but J loves this sort of guff.
Small quibble aside, the coffee itself was a good blend. Nice mokka notes and a touch of fruitiness.
In terms of the cakes, I went for a cinnimon cronc (£3), which had excellent lamination and a good hit of cinnamon (I know cinnamon tends to split the crowd, but I love it).
Mrs SF had her usually almond croissant (£2.50), which got the thumbs up (Mrs SF is very particular about her almond croissants so that is a good sign). J also very much enjoyed her surprisingly light slice of lemon and blueberry loaf cake (£3.25).
Oscar and Bruce weren’t left out with some rather snazzy looking doggy treats on offer (£1).
We choose for them peanut butter and (the seemingly more healthy) beetroot, with each one of these coming with a contribution to Guide Dogs UK (so happy dogs and virtuous humans). Personally I am not keen on carob, a dog friendly chocolate substitute, as to me it encourages dogs to associate real (not the dairy milk shxte) chocolate (which can be very toxic to dogs) with food.
Oscar very much enjoyed both biscuits, taking full advantage of Bruce’s slight hesitancy, with a “You snooze you lose” snatch and grab. Full on smug face on him after that, with J then proceeded to stuff both their faces with treats. Oscar has worked out very quicky that J is a bit of a feeder and very much a soft touch treats wise.
Take advantage while you can Oscar as give it 6 months and a jumbo Bruce will just sit on you!
We rather liked Coffi Lab, with the place really focussing on dogs and their owners. There is money in this business model, as dog owners increasingly like to take their dogs out with them. I am seeing an increasing acceptance in hospitality of dogs, which is great for a dog owner like me. Very much a case of businesses all in for the “dog pound“.
Will I go back? Good coffee, good cakes and very dog friendly makes that a yes. Makes for a good post or mid dog walk pit stop. Seems many agree, as it was rammed at the time of our visit, with those with and without doggies.
This place adds very nicely to the general doggie friendly position in Llandaff, with all four pubs dog friendly to an extent. That includes (in the bar) my absolute fav. the Heathcock, with me really needing to reactivate my pre “C” word weekend routine of a post dog walk pint and a bar snack
Coffee here pre. or mid. walk and finish said walk in time for opening and a pint at the Heathcock 🤔
I’ll walk the dog Saturday Mrs. SF 😂.
Address: High Street Llandaff, Cardiff, CF5