Our York shop is a great place to hear about other feline experiences our customers are enjoying. The Steampuss Cat Lounge in Scarborough has been mentioned positively on several occasions, making us curious to experience it for ourselves.
We used the straightforward online booking system to secure an early slot (10am) on Wednesday 13th July. The weather was lovely - sunny but not too warm and the train journey from York with views of Yorkshire Wolds countryside was very pleasant.
Steampuss is at 22 Bar Street, YO11 2HT, a level 5 minute walk from the railway station. We thought the location, being out of the main shopping area but still central was a good choice, making it more peaceful for the feline residents.
The "Shop Window" of Steampuss:
Shop customers had said Steampuss was quite small and they weren't wrong. With room for just two tables on the ground floor and two at basement level, it makes for a cosy experience. That said, the cats had plenty of space to "do their own thing", including a cat flap giving access to their own private resting area.
The Cafe name and eclectic decor gives a serious nod to the Steampunk movement. Scarborough and the Yorkshire Coast generally have links with the Steampunk movement (a hobby community built around "what might the world have looked like had Victorian steam power become dominant" - also described as "nostalgia for a history that never was"). Exponents wear extravagant Victorian era costumes often complete with hats and mechanical accessories. Google "Steampunk" to see some examples! Here are a few pictures of the Steampuss interior decor:
We settled ourselves at a basement table while a couple of cats (Simba and Niffler) came down too. Niffler enjoyed sitting on the decorative woodburner and trying hard to "catch" the mice, feathers and other moving objects on the TV screen above!
Simba, a simply stunning Savannah cat was keen to come and tell us that he was not only the most beautiful, but also one of the friendliest cats in residence!
"In residence" is not quite the right phrase to use because, possibly uniquely for any Cat Cafe/Lounge in the UK, the cats go home with the owners every evening. I had visions of a very long "cat herding" exercise but apparently the cats are so used to their routine now, they often hop into a carrier of their own accord.
Steampuss owners, Matthew and Chloe, have 15 cats but they don't all go to the Lounge every day. There's a brochure on each table showing all the cats and their names - we found this very helpful. There's also a "family tree" - with Chloe and Matt as Head of the Steampuss Family!
On our visit we met Spooky, Tigger (who slept in the window for our entire visit!), Hagrid, Rocky, Niffler, Marie, Wolfie, Simba and Daenerys. Aramis was asleep in a hammock and remained asleep when Simba decided to sit on top, despite there being no room!
Aramis being Squashed by Simba
Rocky Sitting Pretty
Alison and I had breakfast early, so we were very ready for some refreshment. Whilst the main attraction in a cat themed Cafe is the cats, for us, on this particular day, the quality of refreshment was going to make a real difference to our enjoyment. I'm pleased to report that full satisfaction was achieved! Alison gave a thumbs up for her flat white and my Cappuccino (I've skirted around the excruciating cat pun names) definitely hit the mark. As an occasional runner who needs to keep his strength up (my excuse and I'm sticking to it) I felt obliged to sample one of the "sweet treats". My chocolate and cherry cheesecake was fab, exceeding my expectations.
Crockery, Tablecloth and Cappuccino Decoration are all "on Message":
Before we knew it, an enjoyable hour was over. We felt nourished both from a food & drink and a feline company perspective. More importantly we came away feeling that the Steampuss Cat Lounge was definitely putting the needs of their felines first. House rules were clearly set out and followed. All the cats we met were well groomed and looked relaxed and contented. If you're in the area we would recommend Steampuss to anyone looking for a well run Cat Cafe experience. If you do go, please give Simba a chin tickle for us!
Alison & Peter