What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

Meet Maison de Moggy – Scotland’s First Cat Café

If you’re looking for a little romance this February – look no further than Maison de Moggy – where you’re guaranteed to fall in love at this award-winning cat café!

Maison de Moggy first opened in Stockbridge in early 2015 as Scotland’s first cat café. Just a few months later, they moved to their permanent home in the Grassmarket. The space was custom-built with the cats’ wellbeing in mind and features an array of charming feline amenities; with everything from a network of cat-sized bridges and mini chaise lounges to secret hiding places, cleverly tucked under benches and up high on shelves. Within moments of entering this cat-lovers paradise, you’ll be forgetting your stresses and immersing yourself in the life of the curious cat.

Photo: Maison de Moggy

There are twelve resident purebreds that call Maison home, all with their own unique look and personality. Maison is a fan-favourite among locals and tourists alike and is the ideal place to de-stress. Your worries will melt away as you play and cuddle with your new furry friends. From Bengals to Maine Coons, this adorable family of felines is sure to steal your heart.

With comfy couches, wicker furniture and a laid-back atmosphere, Maison has a cosy and homely feel. Shoes aren’t allowed in the café, so you can really kick back and get comfortable. Hot drinks and delicious cakes are also on offer to help you relax. And don’t worry, the kitties will follow, but don’t let them steal your cake!

If you’d like to check in with the cats after you leave, Maison post regular stories on their Instagram, so you can keep up-to-date with the cats’ daily routines, though we’re sure you’ll be planning your next visit before you’re even out the door.

Keep reading to find out more about the cats at Maison de Moggy and how you can win a free visit to the café!

Photo: Maison de Moggy

1. Could you tell us about the business and how it started?

Laura, the business owner, was inspired to open Maison de Moggy after a holiday to Tokyo, where she had first discovered the concept of cat cafés and paid her first visit. There, she fell in love with a little Persian cat called ‘She’ and was soon doing the groundwork for opening her own cat café back home.

2. How did you decide what kind of café you would open? Where did you get your inspiration?

We have had a lot of very clever designers and joiners help us over the years to make Laura’s vision a reality. First and foremost, the place had to be cat-friendly with high up spaces and cosy nooks for them to snooze in. We also had to create a space that would set us apart from a normal café experience – making cat-friendly things that would also be pleasing to human eyes!

Photo: Maison de Moggy

3. What makes Maison de Moggy so unique?

First and foremost, a good cat café’s number-one priority is the health and well-being of their cats. Any decision we make is always first in relation to the cats, even if that means at the expense of the business. I think we are unique in that our customers really feel a true connection and bond with the cats who live here. They all have very well known personalities and people visit just to meet their favourite cat – for example, our little cake thief Elodie, the Sphynx. 

We have also worked to create a home away from home feel – unlike a normal café, when you step into Maison we want you to feel like you are at your Auntie’s house. Take your shoes off, have some tea, put your feet up – even have a nap if you want! We will look after you.

Photo: Maison de Moggy

4. What’s your favorite thing about your job and what is a typical workday like in the Grassmarket?

Our favourite part of the job is obviously getting to hang out with the cats all day! But that aside – we really enjoy being here while people are visiting. We love seeing their reaction to meeting the cats. Many people have been following our story for years and have finally made it along. Being in the West Port/Grassmarket area is great. This little corner of town is an absolute treasure trove of small, independent businesses, which is so great to see. 

Photo: Maison de Moggy

5. How did you decide which cats to select for the café?

The very first cat was Pierre the ragdoll, and he is definitely Laura and Jon’s favourite boy! After that, we gathered the rest of our cats – some because it was the right cat at the right time and some because we were specifically searching for that cat. For example, Guillaume joined us because Laura had fallen in love with ‘She’, and Elodie the Sphynx because we really wanted to give people the chance to meet a naked cat.

Photo: Maison de Moggy

6. Tell us about the cats – what are their personalities like?

They all have very different personalities and bring something completely different to the café environment – personally I could never choose a favourite. They all get on really well because they have lived as a group since they were babies, we have socialised them extensively so that they can live happily in the café with each other and with people.

We have a range of purebreds in the café, including some siblings. Alain and Amelie are our Ragdoll twins, then there’s Marcel and Philippe, our Bengal Siamese brothers. We have two gorgeous and fluffy Norwegian forests, Jacques and Fabian, and two British Short Hairs; Coco, with her shiny coat and stunning amber eyes and our ginger boy, SebastianGuillaume is our Chinchilla Persian as he has established himself as quite the local celebrity!

There’s a full page on our website with introductions to all of our lovely residents, so you can get to know them before you visit.

7. What role do the cat nannies play in Maison?

The cat nannies are as important to the café as the cats themselves. We are incredibly fortunate to have the most wonderful team of people caring for the cats and our guests. We really are like a family, as we are constantly in touch with one another, even when away on holiday. If you’re lying on the beach in Spain you definitely still want to see a video of cute cats – and you can!

We spend a lot of time with the cats outside opening hours. While most people will head out somewhere glam for their Christmas party, we can never think of anywhere we would rather be than hanging out with the cats! 

8. You’ve opened your doors to students with special offers – how has this been important for the community? 

Our student special-offer runs from Monday to Friday and gives a discounted rate for walk-in entries. We know that student life is incredibly expensive and that many students are away from home and away from their beloved pets. We hope that during the stressful exam time students can come in and have ‘time out’ with us, to pet some cats and forget about the world for a while. That’s what we are here for!

9. Why do you think people keep coming back to Maison?

I think people come initially for the cats, but they return because of the welcoming and homely environment we have created. We really believe it is impossible to spend an hour here and focus on your worries or your stress. Maison is a safe place for everyone to relax and feel at home – and that is something we are proud to offer. 

Photo: Maison de Moggy

10. Here at Dickins, we’re all about Edinburgh. What would your ideal day out in Edinburgh be?

My ideal day in Edinburgh would start with stopping by Bross Bagels on Leith Walk for late breakfast and their amazing coffee, then wandering up Leith Walk for a wee climb up Calton Hill. That earns you a trip to Considerit for one of their DIVINE donuts (I don’t only eat round food!) after which I would probably swing by Maison to say hello to the cats. By now it must be time to hit one of my absolute favourite spots in Edinburgh – the window seats at the Hanging Bat. It is people watching heaven. I would love to say I end the day in a really fancy restaurant, but give me the pub quiz at the Dreadnought (my local) with a takeaway from Origano or East Pizza and I’m happy!

11. What are some fun/unique events that take place in the café? What does 2019 have in store for Maison de Moggy?

I know it sounds corny but the café itself is unique all day, every day! No two visits are ever the same – the cats are always guaranteed to surprise even us! We do occasionally run special events like knitting and felting evenings, which have been very successful.

A big focus this year will be the wedding of “Mum and Dad”, Laura and Jon. Will the cats be in the wedding pictures? You’ll have to wait and see!

Photo: Maison de Moggy

COMPETITION TIME

(Competition now closed.)

Win entry for two people at Maison de Moggy!

The competition runs from Thursday the 21st February until midnight on Wednesday the 27th February 2019. 

The giveaway is open for entry to everybody over 18 in the UK. Prize valid Monday to Friday only. Children can visit the café but must be over 10 and accompanied by an adult. We will pick the winner within 24 hours after the competition has ended and contact the lucky person through the social media platform they have used to enter the giveaway.  Valid only at Maison de Moggy. This promotion is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

 

For a chance to win, choose from one of the following options:

1. Like Maison de MoggyDickins Facebook pages and share the competition post on Dickins Facebook page.

2. Follow Maison de MoggyDickins on Twitter and retweet one of the competition tweets on the Dickins Twitter account.

3. Follow Maison de MoggyDickins on Instagram and tag a friend on the competition post on the Dickins Instagram account.

 

 

Make sure you follow us on social media so you don’t miss out on our monthly giveaways!

GOOD LUCK!!

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