See inside seafront cat cafe with a joyous vintage vibe
- Credit: Archant 2021
Vinyl records, teak sideboards and the kind of clutter that filled our homes of yesteryear mingles with moggies on Great Yarmouth's busy seafront.
Darling Darlings vintage cat lounge has re-opened in bigger brighter premises on the Golden Mile with its squad of feline friends and volunteer staff.
On its first opening day on Tuesday (May 18) it enjoyed a flurry of bookings and walk-ins with people keen to see for themselves the transformation that has been underway since December.
With new recruit Stanley on board, there are now four cats waiting to be petted, including Teddy the tabby, Maverick the hairless Sphynx, and three-legged Coconut who was caught in an illegal trap in Caister.
For project owner Caroline Graham the cafe, an oasis for all things vintage, is a passion that combines all her biggest loves including helping people - the cafe having a strong therapy ethos.
Getting through the first day had been a relief, buoyed by the positive comments from customers who were transported back in time thanks to themed areas spanning the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, she said.
It means people can sit on retro furniture and flick through Smash Hits and Look In or hear an old LP crackle into life on a record player, while enjoying the company of cats.
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It all came about when having worked in education with vulnerable adults the 39-year-old gave up work to care for her terminally ill father.
With his blessing she resolved to give the cat cafe a go, soon outgrowing its home in Howard Street South where it started off with just one cat, Teddy.
To ease both the humans and the cats back into work after such a long time away she made sure to keep a lid on numbers inside the cafe.
"We have got four cats but for us it is the therapy side and it is about quality not quantity," she said.
"We are hoping to have another rescue by the end of they year but we need to get our feet on the ground here first."
Summer opening hours are 10am to 4pm everyday except Monday with bookings being taken as far ahead as January 2022.
The cats have access to a human-free zone and go home to Caister every night.