Say you won’t allow dogs, but don’t dress it up as law

Lesley Keating
Lesley Keating
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Our little dog Milly is a real member of the family. We often take her out for trips, where she is usually welcomed into coffee shops.

As not everyone shares my enthusiasm, I always keep her on my lap, but customers and staff usually make a real fuss of her.

Recently she joined us at a branch of a well-known chain of coffee shops where she enjoyed a relaxing snooze on my lap while we caught up with a friend.

What a contrast though when we recently ventured into another well-known establishment.

Mike ordered toasties while I found a quiet table and popped her on to my lap.

Suddenly an excitable barista burst over, flapping his hands in alarm and loudly shrieking ‘Sorry, no! No dogs!’

You would have thought I’d brought in a woolly mammoth, not a Yorkshire terrier!

I tried, really politely, to convince him to let her stay on my lap as we’d just ordered food. But he interrupted with ‘no, sorry, it’s against the law’.

Now what many people don’t realise is that it’s actually NOT against any UK law for dogs to be in restaurants, pubs and coffee shops.

But it IS at the discretion of the management and dogs aren’t allowed into the actual kitchen where the food is being prepared.

The same barista later brought our food to where we’d been banished outside, saying sorry – in a tone which suggested otherwise - but what could he do as it was ‘the law’?

Now I don’t mind an establishment saying Milly can’t come in. That’s up to them.

But they really shouldn’t dress it up as some fabled ‘law’ which simply doesn’t exist.

They should be brave enough to just say it’s their policy.

That’s their prerogative.

But the best was yet to come. After the barista flounced off in a puff of self-importance, we were somewhat surprised to discover a very grubby tray had been put down for us.

And we’d just been lectured about standards of hygiene...

So, make mine a double espresso with a helping of double standards please!


Health experts are now saying that we should be careful about how we cook rice because of the ‘high levels’ of arsenic it contains.

And it’s not just rice.

Apparently other foods, including shellfish, poultry, Brussels sprouts and wine, have varying levels of arsenic too.

The advice now is to rinse rice really well and cook with plenty of water, five parts to one.

Plus, according to scientists, it’s even better to soak it overnight first.

What a palaver!

So, if you are planning on taking your Valentine out for a romantic meal tomorrow, maybe forego the wine and give the chicken and prawn risotto a miss.

Or, better still, stay at home with a salad and a nice glass of water.


A friend’s daughter was in a supermarket queue the other day.

She saw an elderly lady ahead of her somehow manage to drop some of her goods on the floor.

So she went straight to her aid, scooping up the items and putting them back on the conveyor belt for her with a smile.

How refreshing to see a kind youngster helping someone elderly, you may think.

I was sure the elderly lady would have been very thankful for that little kindness and maybe smiled and said something in gratitude?

Not a bit of it!

‘I was quite capable of doing that myself’ she snapped, while scowling in annoyance at my friend’s daughter and tutting to herself.