Want to really get your money’s worth when you’re spending a penny? We’ve brushed up our knowhow with a guide that shows London is aflush with the swankiest and wackiest restaurant toilets. From magnificent sky-high thrones to perfectly preened powder rooms and downright bizzare bidets, we’ve got a rundown that will boggle your mind. These eccentric restaurant lavatories truly merit a visit, so check out our picks of the best London lavs: all for your convenience, ladies and gentlemen…
1. sketch Gallery Book sketch Gallery
Some wonderfully weird cocooned pods comprise the intergalactic space-age landscape in the sketch Gallery lavatories. Whilst you are in the dinosaur-egg pod, your ears will be treated to the soothing sounds of retro nature documentaries. Oh, and there are Victorian maids, just to further freak up the already esoteric setting. Brilliantly bonkers.
2. Crazy Bear Book Crazy Bear
Not that we’d encourage illicit voyeurism but at Crazy Bear it’s all too easy to get a glimpse into the dark side via the dazzlingly glam, open communal sinks. You enter via a concealed mirrored door, but be warned: all that glitters is seemingly not gold. With all the mirror action it can be tricky to distinguish male and females loos apart so take care not to accidentally intrude.
3. M Restaurants Book M Restaurants
These Japanese-heated toilets at swanky M Restaurants treat you to a proper pampering session: a nifty little control panel means that you can choose massaging water motions and complete your Tokyo-style toilet experience with drying air jets and a spot of powdering. You’ll never think about a ‘wash and blow dry’ in the same way again.
4. Aqua Shard Book Aqua Shard
Aqua Shard wins the prize in the stakes for adrenaline-fuelled toilet highs. You can take in the spectacular London skyline with these city-slicking powder rooms 31 floors up, surrounded by 180-degree London views. You’ve definitely made it when you can say you’ve answered the call of nature from these lofty heights.
Talk about shooting from the lip. After a less than favourable review from Mr Jay Rayner himself, Abracadabra has taken some stick for its lascivious, lipstick-mouthed lavs. Magic. Ladies, fear not; you are also in for a treat with the sophisticated, golden phallic taps (if Peter Stringfellow designed interiors, they’d probably look something like this). Best check this joint out before it goes down the pan.
6. The Attendant
This is all getting a bit meta. Toilets within toilets? The Attendant’s key selling point is the humble water closet and it ‘commodes’ your attention at every turn. After 50 years lying abandoned, these 19th-century washrooms reveal ornate Fitzrovian porcelains converted into a dining table that’s so clean you could eat your dinner off it. Don’t worry, it’s been mega-deep-cleaned to within an inch of its life. And the toilets ain’t bad either.
The menu at Nopi is rustic and directional, yet simple. The lavatories are not. A work of dazzling art, you may have trouble upon both entry and escape from these labyrinthine mirror lavatories, like a nostalgic Hall of Mirrors. Be sure to tell your guests that if you’re not out in ten, send reinforcements to rescue you from the never-ending mind-trickery of the mirror maze.
8. Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
Hush, hush. You need to ask to ‘see the mayor’ to get entry via a fridge to this secret speakeasy hangout, before taking a twisted trip back to your childhood via the fake exit door of the My Little Pony-clad lavs. If you’re not into the Brony thing, then you could skip by the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town gents for a nostalgic masterclass in He-Man stances. By the Force of Greyskull, these toilets are far from dull. It’s all rather cloak and dagger, but I’m sure Boris would approve.
9. sketch Lecture Room Book sketch Lecture Room
Love checking the lavs when you visit a restaurant? sketch features washrooms that just keep on giving, with not just one but two sets of crazy khazis. Lacroix-inspired, crystal-decked creations that are truly worthy of the royal throne mantel can be found on the way to sketch Lecture Room. A departure from the dinosaur space eggs but almost equally intriguing with a distorted fairground soundtrack and spider web-spangled walls of mystery.
10. Shaka Zulu
Shaka Zulu has earned its stripes in the exotic khazi stakes with a Zebra-zapped world of glorious toilet heaven. No, it’s not safari road kill: it’s art, don’t you know. It takes a lot of dollar to achieve this simple yet ostentatious pony-stripe effect: class. We’re not taking the ‘p.’