Sunderland cafe named most dog-friendly in UK

Winners of the Kennel Club award, Doggie Diner 
From left customer Andrew Brown, staff Steph Robinson, customers Elaine and John Brown
Winners of the Kennel Club award, Doggie Diner From left customer Andrew Brown, staff Steph Robinson, customers Elaine and John Brown
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A canine cafe has taken the lead to scoop a national award.

The Doggie Diner in Sea Road, Fulwell, put a wag in the tail of voters from The Kennel Club who awarded it the title of the UK’s most dog-friendly cafe/restaurant in the annual Be Dog Friendly Awards.

Winners of the Kennel Club award, Doggie Diner 
Owner Adrienne Dickson with Woody

Winners of the Kennel Club award, Doggie Diner Owner Adrienne Dickson with Woody

The cafe, which opened last summer, is aimed at four-legged customers and their two-legged owners with a menu for both hounds and humans.

As well as being able to chow down on dog treats such as Woof Beer, woofin (muffin), pupcake (cupcake), doggie popcorn, ice-cream, doughnuts and biscuits furry patrons can also let their hair down in an indoor play pen. The venue also hosts doggie birthday parties, complete with cake and pooch party hats.

Adrienne Dickson, who runs the business with Amanda Wilkinson, said: “We couldn’t believe it when we won. We knew we’d been nominated but thought it was just for the northern region, then we were invited to the Kennel Club headquarters in London and were presented with the national award.

“We’ve only been in business 16 months and haven’t advertised, it’s all been word of mouth, so we feel really proud to have won.”

Winners of the Kennel Club award, Doggie Diner 
From left staff Steph Robinson,  customers Andrew Brown, Elaine and John Brown

Winners of the Kennel Club award, Doggie Diner From left staff Steph Robinson, customers Andrew Brown, Elaine and John Brown

The cafe’s unique approach to canine catering has seen it attract dog lovers from across the country and has proved so successful that the business partners have trademarked the name and are fielding inquiries to make it a national franchise.

Despite its customers being prone to distractions, Adrienne says the doggie diners are no problem.

“Sometimes they’re easier to deal with than children,” she joked. “We don’t really have any problems with the dogs.

“The owners know their dogs and they usually bring ones who have the right temperament to be around other dogs.”

Winners of the Kennel Club award, Doggie Diner 
Owner Adrienne Dickson

Winners of the Kennel Club award, Doggie Diner Owner Adrienne Dickson

Be Dog Friendly is a Kennel Club campaign to encourage, recognise and reward non-pet businesses and places that go the extra mile for the benefit of the UK’s 8.5 million dogs and their owners. Winners of the Be Dog Friendly Awards are chosen by public vote.

The only other winner from the North East was Bamburgh in Northumberland which won the most dog-friendly beach award.