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Pop-Up Café Lets Customers Pay for Tea and Cookies With Hugs

Apparently Brits need "more cuddles."

McVitie's Cuddle Cafe

Forget cat cafés: London is currently home to the hippest new café concept — a cuddle café. According to the Independent, the two-day pop-up — which opened its doors yesterday — is hosted by British cookie company McVitie's. The café allows customers to pay for their tea and treats by cuddling with a giant oversized version of McVitie's owl mascot.

"[W]hat better combination that a cuppa and a cuddle?"

Apparently, the McVitie's Cuddle Café is the "company's answer" to recent research that revealed "nearly three quarters of Brits would like more cuddles in their life." Dr. Stuart Farrimond, the scientist behind the research, tells the Huffington Post: "My research not only discovered that cuddling a soft toy triggers a similar emotional response and health benefit to hugging a person, but also that the act of drinking a hot beverage can stimulate similar warm, positive feelings, so what better combination that a cuppa and a cuddle?"

The Independent writes that everything in the café is built to "help simulate happy feelings." Not only is there a large owl to hug, but the furnishings are also soft and comfy, stuffed animals are abound, and the walls feature "cute images." Plus, all the sugar from the tea, cakes, and cookies probably doesn't hurt.

McVitie's isn't the only company to turn to alternative forms of payment. McDonald's recently launched a new promotion where customers can pay for meals with "lovin" — hink: giving someone a compliment or taking a selfie — in place of real money. The McVitie's Cuddle Café is open today until 8 p.m. local time. Check out some images of the café below: