- London's Best
- London's best venues in converted toilets
London's best venues in converted toilets
Spotlessly clean, and serving you beer
Come on, we've all thought it... you're red-faced, squatting down over the porcelain, that big vein in your forehead is about to pop and you suddenly think... "Oh, I could really enjoy a Campari and Soda in here."
London is deep in the belly of a re-purposing frenzy... old tyres that are now plant-pots, old packing pallets that are now tables... so what could be more fun than kicking back in a bar or cafe which used to be a toilet?
Fair play, some of them are pretty darned cool; here are our favourites...
The Rosebery Rooms
168 Clerkenwell Road Clerkenwell EC1M 5PARegion:
Barbican (0.2 miles)
Colon hydrotherapy in a toilet, and we don't mean a number 2. This spa is down the stairs of what used to be public conveniences on Clerkenwell Road. They offer facials, massages, threading and tanning, as well a good old flush of your colon.
WC - Wine & Charcuterie
Clapham High Street SW4 7AJRegion:
Clapham High Street (0.3 miles)
The clever clogs at WC have turned the initials of the former lavatories into Wine & Charcuterie, serving platters of European cheeses and cured meats. Also, French tartiflette, cassoulet with white beans and chorizo, and hot artichoke and Parmesan dip. They've made sure to keep the original tiling and mosaics for that on-trend toilet ambience.
Bermondsey Arts Club
120a Tower Bridge Road SE1 4TPRegion:
Borough (0.6 miles)
There are cocktails and jazz nights at this cool, art-deco style bar in Bermondsey. They specialise in negronis and strong gin-based drinks like Bermondsey Gardens, made with cucumber, mint and apple. It's tiny (for obvious reasons), so apply for free membership and get priority bookings.
0 Aldwych WC2E 7DNRegion:
Covent GardenNearest Station:
Covent Garden (0.2 miles)
This underground restroom has been going strong as a bar for many years, with live acts ranging from jazz bands to cabaret and drag performances every night of the week. The drinks list focuses on cocktails and sprits including a wide variety of tequila and absinthe, plus it's one of the few London bars that sells snuff. Entry is free and it's open till 1am.
27A Foley Street Marylebone W1W 6DLRegion:
Goodge Street (0.1 miles)
It's pretty obvious to see what Attendant was in a past life. The men's urinals are now dividers on the walls between seats, and the Victorian tiles remain, now de riguer decor in smart venues. It's open during the day for breakfast and lunch, and coffee comes courtesy of Caravan.
201 Tooley Street SE1 2UERegion:
London Bridge (0.4 miles)
One of London's most sought after restaurants thanks to its Noma-trained chef, molecular-style food, and of course its Michelin star. But what many don't know is that this fancy eatery - which looks a bit like a shed from the outside - was once a toilet.
The Piccadilly Institute
1 Piccadilly Circus W1V 9LARegion:
Piccadilly CircusNearest Station:
West End bar Piccadilly Institute have turned their men's loos into gaming rooms. The toilets have video games installed above the urinals, including shooting penguins and football matches where the customer can score goals by controlling their "flow". Once they've finished their business they can add their scores to the leaderboard (with phones, not wee thankfully).
96 Tooley Street SE1 2THRegion:
London Bridge (0.2 miles)
Although not quite a venue in a toilet, the lavs at the glamorous Aqua bar in the Shard are the highest in Europe. While you're spending a penny you get the same excellent views over London as you do from the rest of the building.
Ladies and Gentlemen
2 Highgate Road NW5 1NRRegion:
Kentish TownNearest Station:
Kentish Town (0.1 miles)
Ladies & Gentlemen is a neighbourhood bar in what is quietly becoming THE new foodie and night-life destination, Kentish Town. From William Borrell (owner of Vestal Vodka) here they bring you the highest quality cocktails based on a menu of homemade liqueurs and syrups, botanicals and herbs. There is even a 16-litre copper on site, capable of producing 12 bottles of bespoke spirits every day including Kentish Town's very own Highwayman Gin, available in the bar and bespoke stores.