“Serving Hound and Human”
Also known, colloquially, as “The Dog Cafe”, The Lamppost discovered an unpopulated niche in Hebden Bridge dining in 2013, and has become very popular with locals and visitors alike. This place is not just dog-friendly but designed around dogs, and has a dog boutique to boot – not one of those pampered pooch places, but a shop where you can buy quality British-made collars, leads, bowls and the like.
Being cat-lovers, not dog people, we agreed to review The Lamppost with some trepidation. Would everything smell of wet dog? Would dogs bound up to us and leave their muddy paw prints all over our legs? Would there be dog-slobber? (To ensure you don’t stop reading right away, ‘no’, ‘no’ and ‘absolutely not’ are the answers; the Lamppost is, on the contrary, one of the cleanest cafs in town!)
Walking into TYhe Lamppost on a chilly day, the first thing you see is a real fire, with old fashioned armchairs either side of the chimney breast, and a large dog reclining on a cushioned bed beside the hearth. It’s a scene from a novel, from childhood, from a bygone age. It’s rather lovely.
The smiling staff behind a counter piled high with cupcakes seem pleased with the success of their vision. The cupcakes though… they look a little strange. Peer closer and you’ll see the label: “for dogs”. Pupcakes! Carefully sculpted to look like cakes, they are in fact fancy dog food. It’s such an oddball idea, I can’t help but be charmed.
The Lamppost is in an old cottage right next to Hebden Water in the centre of town. Up a short flight of stone steps almost as old as Hebden’s Bridge, we find a couple of tiny rooms packed with tables, chairs and hessian-covered dog cushions. There are dog bowls in a neat stack. Dogs seated beneath adjoining tables sniff each other politely. There’s no bounding, no slobber.
With sighs of relief we take our seats and choose from the simple “For Human” menu. There’s homemade soup (£4.50) and salad (£5.50). Baked potatoes with a selection of toppings come in ‘white’ or ‘sweet’ varieties (£4.50). There are cakes and sweet slices for afters, the usual hot drinks including fine coffee, and a wonderful range of farm-bottled fizzy drinks including ginger and chilli, sloe lemonade and cream soda. Much of the produce is locally-sourced and/or organic.
“For Hound”, if you have one, you can purchase a “delicious dog treat, handmade on the premises using natural ingredients”. Or a dog beer. We didn’t try these. We did try apple, cider and honey-roast parsnip soup (hearty, with a tasty roll and real butter), a ploughman’s salad (huge chunks of quality cheese) and baked potato with hummus (vegan and gluten-free). The food was good, veering towards “wow” when we got to the blueberry, raspberry and lime gateau.
The Lamppost proudly announces “Wet dogs and muddy wellies are wholeheartedly welcome”. In our experience, people without dogs are welcome too.