You might not know this, because she’s been super quiet about it on all forms of social media, but Charlotte of Colours and Carousels fame is turning 21 later this month.
In fact, she’s turning 21 the day I’m flying to Sorrento for my much-needed summer holiday.
So, how do you make it up to one of your favourite humans for skipping out on the party she’s been counting down to all year? Why, with an early birthday trip to Scotland’s first cat cafe (in accidentally matching cat print skirts) of course!
So what’s a cat cafe? I hear you ask. Um, pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a place where you can go to enjoy tea and cake, while enjoying the company of cats. So, pretty much just like my house, but with better decor. Maison de Moggy, which opened in Stockbridge in Edinburgh in January 2015 but is now based off the Grassmarket, is a custom-built kitty paradise full of things to climb, things to play with and things to sleep on – and a couple of comfy sofas for the humans too.
At the start of your pre-booked one hour slot at Maison de Moggy you are politely asked to remove your shoes – and then you are free to roam the cats’ dual-roomed palace. You can also order hot and cold drinks and from a selection of locally-sourced cakes (including dairy and gluten free options) to enjoy during your visit, which are prepared in a nearby cat-free kitchen. Although once the cake is out in the open you’re on your own: if you’ve never seen a hairless Sphinx cat in a blue hooded sweatshirt go from sleeping to cake-stealing hellbeast in about 15 seconds, let me tell you it is quite a sight. Elodie, we salute your efforts but your little kitty tummy just isn’t made for sponge.
Charlotte and I didn’t actually order cake (it meant we had an excuse to go to Mimi’s Bakehouse with Hayley and Rebecca later) as it would have cut into our kitty-petting time. And, um, outfit picture taking time. Because you can’t go to a cat cafe and not dress in keeping with the theme.
I loved my blue fluffy Collectif sweater so much that I went back and got the same one in red, which meant I was able to coordinate my outfit with my new glasses from Banton Frameworks. A Scottish company (the Banton in the name is for Banton Loch, near Kilsyth, where the company is based), Banton specialise in simplicity and craftmanship. They make everything in-house, including the lenses, with the idea being sustainable eyewear at cost effective prices.
Rather than produce a huge collection of frames which vary only slightly from one style to the next, Banton instead give you a couple of customisation options (temple colour, temple tip colour) so you can make the design more personal to you – although they also offer a completely bespoke service if you’ve got a design for glasses in mind that you’d love to have turned into reality.
For my review pair of Banton Frameworks glasses I chose the Milner frame in the “Red Havana” colourway. I wanted something a little different, so the frames are slightly larger than any of the other glasses I own – and in an on-theme, subtle cat eye shape to flatter my square-shaped face. The glasses are beautifully made, and the attention to detail is fantastic (as someone who has worn glasses for coming up on three decades I feel safe saying I have never seen anything like the square-shaped presentation box they arrived in before, and the UK-made calfskin case and microfibre pouch are lovely touches). They’re also, by some distance, the most lightweight glasses I have ever owned – although they still feel really sturdy.
My one quibble with Banton is that you have to pay for lenses separately, which when you need a high-index prescription like mine pushes you back up into the high street prices I’ve started shopping online for glasses to avoid. I do feel as though the price point comes across in the quality of the product, and I’m always willing to pay a little extra to get something beautiful and hand-made (especially if it’s something I know I’m going to be getting lots of wear out of) – but it does mean that a pair of Banton specs are ones you’ll want to look after.
What do you think of these glasses? And have you ever visited a cat cafe?
This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own and unbiased.
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