Fetch and Follow Stories | Nik, Belle and Nuccio

We’re extremely lucky here at Fetch & Follow that our studio is based in Hackney, surrounded by some amazing creative businesses. Just down the road from us and opposite Haggerston park is the stunning Grace & Thorn. This rule breaking florist renowned for their off-beat approach to floral and plant styling is a favourite of ours. We spoke to owner Nik about how she started the business and how her two dogs Belle and Nuccio fit into the day to day running of a florist.

Tell us about your dogs and how they came into your life?

Belle is 7 year old rescue pup. She was a stray and we have had her for 4 years now. She’s a beaut, a real Princess & the Pea but not a diva, she will lay anywhere as long as it’s on a blanket as she’s so bony! People think we are precious with her when we take her blanket down the pub but whippet/ greyhound owners get it! She independent but only in the fact she will go off into another room in the house…unlike Nuccio, our needy Bedlington Whippet X, who always has to have his eye on us. We got him as a puppy, which I do feel bad about, as I have rescued 2 greyhounds in the past and two whippets (massive fan of sighthounds).I am very pro adopt not shop but I had my heart set on that cross and he popped up and was from a very good breeder. The terrier part of him barks at random dogs and humans for absolutely no rhyme or reason!! He barks at 45% of them, which can be frustrating/annoying… he doesn’t do anything just runs and barks. Luckily we live in an area of great dog owners who don’t even blink at him. He is the cuddliest most affection dog I have ever had; he will lie on you and nuzzle into your neck all for as long as you let him. Importantly they love each other SO much, constantly side by side and cuddle in bed all of time, it breaks my heart. They actually mirror each other every morning when they come into our bed. SOO CUTE.

Could you tell us a little about Grace & Thorn and how it started?

I started Grace & Thorn from my living room 8 years ago. After becoming despondent after 13 years of IT recruitment, I did a course in floristry for a month and there was no looking back. Since then we have become one of London’s biggest florists, catering for many companies, brands, hotels and restaurants across London. We have a shop in Hackney, which sells lots of plants, flower, botanical gifts and ceramics. We also do events, weddings, plant styling and installations.

How does having a dog fit into your general day working?

I used to take them to the shop more regularly but Nuccio barking at random customers was a tad stressful at times! Now me or my partner Tom run them in the woods behind our house in Buckhurst Hill every morning. Depending on what time we are home our dog walker will come and let them out for a wee.

 When you’re not working where do you and your dogs like to hang out?

Epping Forest or any beach in North Norfolk.

What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk and what do you carry them in?

Poo bags and a ball / stick for Nuccio to try and distract him from running at other dogs.

What adventures do you and your dogs have planned for the rest of the year?

More of North Norfolk, its such a dog friendly part of the world, most of the pubs cater for dogs, and the beaches do too. They are so expansive and stunningly beautiful they love it!

You can follow Nik, Belle and Nuccio adventures to on the Grace & Thorn Here

Top 5 Dog Friendly Places to Visit | Muswell Hill

The beautiful urban village of Muswell Hill, is a brilliant place for you and your dog to potter at the end of their Fetch & Follow collar and lead. There’s a nice mix of boutiques, independent cafes, restaurants and pubs, who will happily accept your dog’s patronage, as well as plenty of green spaces on their North London doorstep including Alexandra Park and Highgate Woods. If you’re a London-dweller yet to check out this area, we highly recommend a visit with your dog in tow and here's our picks of top spots to visit.

Bobs Café

An all-day neighbourhood restaurant that puts friendly feels first – dog-friendly, child-friendly, friendly-friendly! With a homely vibe, they serve a mix of comfort classics such as steak frites, handmade burgers, fish cakes and salads with veggies, vegan and gluten-free diets also catered for. Visit during the week for their 12-7pm Prix Fix menu from as little at £11.95 or toast your discovery of this dog-friendly area in their week-night happy hour. Visit at the weekend and fuel your afternoon dog walk with a hearty brunch menu.

Bob’s Café,

43 The Broadway, Muswell Hill, N10 3HA.

Open Monday to Fri 8am to 11pm; Saturday and Sunday 9am to 11pm

North & Tenn

Aside from a simple yet satisfying menu of hot salt beef, chicken soup, smoked salmon bagels, filled crepes, speciality coffee, pastries, cakes and baked goods from Celtic Bakery, North & Tenn digs dogs. Milo the Schnauzer is their resident hound, and you will catch him both in the shop and on their Insta-feed along with other doggy guests. Dogs are welcome both inside and out, and their outdoor seating is perfect for watching all of Muswell Hill and their dog pass by.

North & Ten,

123 Muswell Hill Road, N10 3HS. Open daily from 8.30am until 5pm, except Sunday when they open at 9.30am

Evelina’s Patisserie

Fetch & Follow are fans of the sweet stuff, particularly after a long dog walk and Evelina’s is a lovely place to get a sugar fix with your dog at your side. Take your pick from classics such as Lemon Drizzle, Gingerbread Loaf, Coffee Walnut and Cherry Tart or popular American flavours of Red Velvet and Brownies. For something a little more fancy, there’s Macarons and an extensive patisserie menu with treats such as Chocolate Feuilletine and Mousse Mojito Tart. There’s also a small brunch menu if you need a bit of savoury before your sweet.

Evelina’s Patisserie,

56 Fortis Green Road, N10 3HN. Open Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 6pm; Sunday 9.30am to 6pm

Dog Friendly Shopping

We've always got something to purchase on our errand list so being able to browse and shop, accompanied by your dog makes for a more joyful experience without the pressure of having to get home to tend to their needs. In terms of dog-friendly shopping, we can personally vouch for Sweaty Betty (80 Muswell Hill Broadway), Oliver Bonas (141 Muswell Hill) and Le Creuset (74 Muswell Hill Broadway) all welcoming dogs. You will also find charity shops for All Dogs Matter (243 Muswell Hill Broadway) and Dogs Trust (64 Fortis Green Road) where you can shop to pay forward to dogs less fortunate than your own. On Sundays, venture further for Alexander Palace’s Farmers Market, enjoying a lovely walk through Highgate Woods through to Alexander Palace en route.  

Share your Fetch & Follow adventures in Muswell Hill by tagging us @Fetchandfollow on social.

Fetch & Follow Walk and Talk | YOKO Healthy Eating

Here at Fetch and Follow a daily dog walk is an integral part of our routine come sun, rain and even snow. Having a dog opens a world of opportunity everyday with a new adventure every time you head out together. With this in mind we are excited to announce that for our October walk (which will take place on Sunday 13th October) we will be walking from Finsbury Park via the Parkland walk through to Alexander Palace.

Lasting for two hours, dogs and their owners will get together for an intimate walk where we will be joined by the team from YOKO, who will be discussing about nutritional foods for dogs and the benefits a healthy, balanced diet can have on your dogs wellbeing. 

YOKO is a dog lifestyle brand providing a conscious way to live –  offering basic fundamentals about being healthy and treating a dog with respect as an equal. This healthy and creative lifestyle has grown out of a consciousness of us as owners.  They adopted Yoko from the Humane Society NYC in 2015 after she was severely malnourished leading to her breaking two legs.  After a long recovery process and a move back to London they became increasingly conscious about how a healthy nutritious diet and lifestyle could aid the recovery process, not only for humans but for dogs too.  Out of this honest need of investigating dog nutrition, ‘YOKO a healthy dog lifestyle’ was born, where Yoko is the ambassador of the brand.

The Parkland Walk is a 2.5-mile linear green pedestrian and cycle route in London, which follows the course of the railway line that used to run between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace, through Stroud Green, Crouch End, Highgate and Muswell Hill.  

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