When ya gotta go ya gotta go. And when you do, it’s nice to know someone took the time and made the effort to have your experience be a little more entertaining than usual. Here’s a list of some of London’s most unusual, historic and quirkiest restrooms.
The Breakfast Club
2-4 Rufus Street, Hoxton, N1 6PE
The “world’s smallest disco” and wallpaper featuring Fraggle Rock and Masters of the Universe graphics are a few of the delights in this Hoxton Square restaurant’s bathroom. Other Breakfast Club’s around town (Soho, Liverpool Street and Angel) add a bit of retro whimsy to their washrooms as well.
Hampton Court Palace
East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU
King William III’s “close stool” (a padded seat atop a chamber pot) is still on view today at Hampton Court in the William III’s Apartments rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren.
24 Endell Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9HQ
Have a seat, relax and learn how to be a better lover. The Kama Sutra wallpaper in the stalls of the second floor men’s room at this members club for the creative sector offer you the chance to contemplate India’s age old guide to the erotic arts while you do your business.
The Hunter S.
194 Southgate Road, De Beauvoir Town, N1 3HT
The somewhat pervy accoutrements and big lipped urinals (photo) in the men’s room at this newly opened and refurbished late Victorian-era pub are possibly worth a visit on their own (word is the women’s room is much more tame – sorry). From contemplations of how much titillation has changed since the glory days of girlie mags a la Hustler to realizing the music’s different to what’s being piped through in the dining room, a trip to the loo at The Hunter S. is indeed just that, a trip!
Sketch Lecture Room & Library
9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, W1S 2XZ
The food and cocktails are certainly up to London’s fine dining standards, but the bathrooms here might be more famous the menu. A postmodern, form-over function approach to décor adds up to a bit a fun when you need a comfort break. 11 individual glowing egg shaped pods await. The journey from the dining room to the bathroom is rather epic as well, but to divulge might spoil the effect for first time goers.
Tower of London
Tower Hamlets, EC3N 4AB
Some of the earliest toilets built in Britain are at the Tower of London. Set into the thick stone walls of the White Tower are royal garderobes with openings halfway up the building’s outer wall for waste discharge.
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photo: Chris Osburn