I don’t like to say it, and I’ve had to make sure Kimber’s out of earshot, but I’ve heard that some people don’t like dogs.  No, really.  I know.  Have you seen her.  So cute.  So cute, in fact, that I had a crowd of wee girls sticking their arms through the playground railings earlier today, just so they could pat her.  And yes, I know I’ve probably just undone all the lessons they’ve learned about strangers and puppies.  Charlie Says…  Luckily the playground assistant lady saw me, asked if she could help, and hopefully went back inside to suggest reinforcing the message.  However, I digress.

As well as some people, some places aren’t too keen on dogs either.  Which is fine for us, because more and more enlightened pubs and restaurants are opening up that welcome our pooch pals, and they’re the ones getting our custom.  This makes weekends much more pleasant for us: we can enjoy a long walk and then some fab food and nice wine, safe in the knowledge that we don’t have to rush home to let Kimber out, because she’s snoozing under our table.  Until recently we were only aware of a handful of places in Edinburgh that were dog friendly, but more are opening up, and they’re of a very high calibre indeed.

You can’t talk dog friendly in Edinburgh without mentioning that stalwart friend of pooches, The Espy in Portobello.  It’s a friendly pub, with home-cooked food, served with sparkling smiles and reasonable prices.  The perfect accompaniment to a walk on the beach.  Then in Leith, the places you might expect to be dog friendly aren’t, and the places you wouldn’t expect to be dog friendly are.  Like Bond No 9, who love dogs and bring them a bowl of water before they’ve brought you your wine.  Just saying.  We went there for our anniversary dinner last year and loved that we could eat a proper dinner and enjoy a decent bottle of wine, with our new member of the family in tow.  Perfect!  Also in Leith, Cafe Tartine‘s conservatory is earmarked for dogs and their humans.  They have an extensive menu that caters for everyone, and their french onion soup is the best I’ve tasted outside of France.  Except for my Mum’s.  But then not even the French make french onion soup as good as my Mum’s.

And then there’s our experience today.  My lovely hairdresser, Robbie, of Arthaus Hair, who adores Kimber, and always likes me to bring her, told me about a new place around the corner, Riparian Rooms.  Since I had Kimber with me,  I was thinking it would be fun to get some friends together to go there, when he uttered the words I didn’t expect to hear.  Kimber and I had walked past it already, and I thought it looked very smart.  Surely it would be too much to ask.  But no, it wouldn’t, this lovely new place is also dog friendly.  So we called the husband and met him there for some delicious Cullen Skink.  They have so many nice-sounding things on the menu, that we can’t wait to go back.

So now we have four places, all well within reach of our home, where we can enjoy good food and wine in the company of Kimber.  How could life get better than that?