In a bid to out-quirk itself, London has taken its restaurant scene somewhere totally new: the toilet. Forget the stale urine and nuclear disinfectant, some of the capital’s restrooms now fill your nostrils with the fine aroma of freshly-brewed coffee or Michelin-starred food. Armed with hand sanitiser just in case, we explore London’s latest food trend.
Pop-up catering connoisseurs The Humble Kitchen are popping to the loo in Clapton. Chef Danny Jack has taken over the kitchen at The Convenience, a café and bar located in the disused public toilets on Brooksby’s Walk, and is now serving seasonal British small plates and local craft beers. The current menu includes dishes such as courgette halloumi and sweetcorn fritter with smoked yoghurt, and brown shrimp risotto.
Brooksby’s walk, E9 6DA. Wednesday to Saturday, 6pm-10pm. www.facebook.com
When the word spread about a coffee shop down in the old underground urinals, everyone thought they were taking the piss. Yet late-nineteenth-century gents’ toilet turned independent coffee shop The Attendant has become a real hit. This tiny place serves up top-notch Caravan coffee and a selection of tasty sandwiches and salads.
Basement, 27A Foley St, W1W 6DY.Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm. www.timeout.com/attendant
The ultimate toilet transformation is chef Tom Sellers’ Story. Awarded a Michelin star in 2013, this former Victorian toilet block promises an edible story with dishes that evoke childhood memories.
199 Tooley Street, SE1 2JX. Tuesday-Saturday, Lunch served noon-4.30pm, dinner served 6.30pm-midnight. www.restaurantstory.co.uk
Ladies and Gentlemen
Word on the street is that a vodka entrepreneur is setting up a swanky new subterranean cocktail bar in the unused toilets in Kentish Town. If all goes to plan Ladies and Gentlemen will open this summer, but at the moment there’s a bit of a dispute with the local amenity groups and councillors who aren’t too happy about losing the loo and seem a bit pissed off about the possible noise.
Kentish Town, TBC. @ladyandgentsbar
For more great places to eat and drink in the capital, check out our guide to London’s best restaurants and bars.
By Laura Sagar