Owner Andre Carless, is a former chef, leather craftsman and dog loving, chihuaha parent, that has combined his talents to create an upmarket haven for dog and cat lovers.
At Verve, dog lovers can select hand crafted collars created by Andre, whilst also enjoying a glass of wine, a fabulous coffee, or a selection of fabulous food.
Initialy, Andre was hand-crafting leather goods and clothing for humans and sought a means of using up the off cuts, so made a collar for his beloved chihuaha Louis. From there, people saw Louis' collar and wanted one for their dog. Soon the demand for Andre's exquisite collars eclipsed the trade for human clients and the unique pet boutique and cafe business was born.
The real boss of the establishment is Louis the long haired chihauha who ensures clients are welcomed and well looked after.
Louis also welcomes a wide selection of canine friends who regularly bring their humans for refreshments, whilst the dogs have a good tail wag.
Stepping through the door, I instantly felt at home, surrounded by wonderful dogs, welcoming clients and staff who will bend over backward to ensure both you and your pet are well looked after.
Amidst Verve's off the rack range all designed and hand made by Andre, I found the exquisite plain, quality brown leather collar, wide enough to be comfortable on Whippet Boy's neck. The leather was magnificent and finished with the kind of solid old fashioned, practical buckle I had searched for in every pet supplier I had entered in Australia. It was the kind of hard-wearing collar that would last my dog a lifetime!
Meanwhile, I wanted a special present to take home to Whippet Boy, one that he could wear when he was out helping me promote Pets and Plants, or wear on more formal occasions.I had long had a fetish for seeing my dog wearing the kind of collar one sees in movies and would catch the light and a bit of attention when we were out about town. For the first time in my life I had the option to have a one off diamond encrusted collar created for Whippet Boy by Andre at Verve.
Sadly, for me, I am a woman of champaigne tastes on a beer budget, so the diamonds were out of my reach.
However, exquisite Swarovski Crystals were way more affordable and caught the light and my eye just as well.
I decided on purple and white crystals on gold plated daisy flower petal bases, with a matching gold buckle and fittings. The hardest part was making a choice between bright orange or lime green, two of my favourite colours.
Andre also advised me that the lime green would highlight Whippet Boy's pale fawn brindle, and white trim colouring, whilst the orange, would make him look darker.
To my surprise, Andre made up our special collar in both colours, giving me the option to decide on my favourite out of the two. Making the choice was difficult, but I decided on the lime green. Of course a matching lead was also essential. Later, my only regret, was not ordering myself a matching handbag, so Whippet Boy and I could be fully coordinated on special occasions.
I highly recommend Andre's services if you want something truly unique created for your dog. You will not be disappointed. I asked for the inside of Whippet Boy's collar to be fully lined, so none of the studwork would catch on his fine skin. This was carried out without question. The entire collar is sufficiently well crafted to withstand robust wear and tear, or perhaps be borrowed from Whippet Boy for special occasions myself!
Even better, Verve carries a fabulous stock of standard bespoke collars to fit all budgets, from high fashion numbers bejewelled with fantastic bling, to the more expensive Swarovski crystals. Diamond collars are locked behind glass, with appropriate high security. For those more practically minded, plain, hard wearing collars are available to fit all sizes and even hard to fit breeds, such as whippets, or great danes can be individually catered for.
Our special. one off collar and lead was a bit of an indulgence, but I know lots of pet parents just love to get their beloved pets something special occassionally!
Verve also stocks fantastic pet carriers, beds, food, coats, toys and treats.
Items for humans can be made to match, or individually crafted to your needs.
I only wish Whippet Boy had been at my side to accompany me into Verve and be as welcome inside as any human. I so wish we had a Verve Pet Boutique and Cafe in our own neighbourhood. Whippet Boy behaves like a true gentleman when we go out together, but here in Australia, health regulations banish us to outside tables, if we are lucky, when we take refreshments together, sometimes making it hard for ordering and my own toilet needs.
At least some cafes and bars in Australia are now putting water outside for clients with dogs, but the London experience of Verve, illustrated just how much better the world can be when well behaved and socialised dogs are as welcome at indoor tables, as those outside.
If you are visiting London, make an effort to visit and experience Verve. If you are lucky enough to live in England and have a dog, take them with you. It is an experience that will remain in your heart forever!
I discovered Verve en route along Westbourne Grove to London's legendry Portobello Rd market, which is a few minutes walk away. Verve is also close to Bayswater Rd and Ladbroke Grove. The nearest tube station is Notting Hill Gate on the Central Line. Buses also run along Ladbroke Grove.