Thomas Crapper (real name, I swear) invented the toilet first in 1861. Since then, restaurants have evolved, and their toilets have too. When you think of a michelin star restaurant, you don’t exactly think about the toilets but more about the food, ambiance and service. However, there are a handful of architects that have created a toilet that pertains to the restaurant’s theme and they are so worth the visit.
Here is a list of some of the craziest toilets you can visit in London.
Sketch London – 9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG
This restaurant is known for its crazy themed rooms and it’s delicious food. But it’s best feature? The crazy egg pod bathrooms of course. Found through the pink tea/dining room, these bathrooms have captivated diners since Sketch opened in 2003. The architect behind the bathrooms wanted to add to the quirky elements that are shown throughout the restaurant, and create a futuristic and colourful bathroom experience. As you enter the room, you are shown two staircases. One on the right, which has pink lights on its stairs and one on the left with blue lights on its stairs which lead you up to either the men or women side of the bathroom. Underneath the uplifted floor, is a small cave that holds another bar where people can be seen mingling and laughing. Were they laughing at the location of the bathroom? Excuse my pun, but they were anything but egg-celent. Although the concept was great, there was barely any room inside the pods and confused women were constantly trying to pull on the door while I did my business. A fun idea, but maybe at the next Sketch, spare us the confusion and replace them with stalls.
The Shard – 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG
Talk about a loo with a view! Going to the toilet 750ft above the ground is probably the most luxurious bathroom break you’ll ever take. The bathroom is situated right under the bar at the View from the Shard, and identical ones are at their michelin star restaurant Aqua. Although seemingly normal on the outside, when you push the heavy wooden door to the cubicle, it’s a view you would never expect. The bathroom looks over the River Thames, London Bridge and countless other London landmarks. With such a view, I was flabbergasted and proceeded to spend more time than I needed inside the bathroom, leading to a long queue and slightly annoyed women. I guess that’s the price you pay when you pee at the Shard.
ShakaZulu -Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AB
Set over a groundbreaking 27000 sq ft in The Stables Market, Camden this spectacular two floor restaurant, bar and club offers amazing food, drinks, live music, dancing and a crazy themed bathroom. The South-African restaurant sticks to a jungle theme in their restrooms and it is bananas! The zebra-print walls and the cane-looking sinks make you feel as if you have been transported into the greatest jungle safari in the world. You might want to use the cubicles instead of the urinals in case there are any poachers around.
Nopi – 21-22 Warwick St, Soho, London W1B 5NE
Found in the heart of Soho, this elegant and rustic restaurant holds straightforward, delicious food but it’s bathrooms are far from simple. The bathrooms when you first enter is a labyrinth of mirrors, which is confusing but very beautiful. The design by architect Alex Meitlis says that, “Whoever enters the bathrooms must find themselves, a bit like Alice in Wonderland.” Although the design may be beautiful with it’s porcelain counters and it’s mirrored room, it’s a never ending trick that keeps guests on their toes. If anything else, this would probably be the best place to reflect in.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town – 12-16 Artillery Lane, E1 7LS
This speakeasy is hidden away behind the door of a Smeg fridge in The Breakfast Club diner. Open the doors and walk down within the fridge to find this whacky bar with even whackier toilets decorated in My Little Pony wallpaper. You’ll feel like a kid, discovering a new underground world. Rumour has it there is a special password to get you inside. Now I can tell you, but what’s the fun in that?
No matter what restaurant it is, toilets are essential for people with weak bladders such as myself. So go forth, and find the best bathroom in London – if you give a crap about that sort of thing.
Words: Tooba Haq | Subbing: