London is the city for beautifully designed bars and cafes, but not many people notice the unusual and outlandish side of our capital city. Former public toilets are becoming a huge hit for investors to start up a business and what better way than to use them for the entertainment of the public? I went on a hunt to find a couple innovative places in London.
Ladies and Gentlemen, a bar in a disused underground Victorian toilet in Kentish Town, has become a London favourite. William Borrell, the owner of the bar and Vestal Vodka has created an innovative delight. The bar has a warm and cosy atmosphere – it is more on the casual side compared to the ordinary London cocktail bar, but it is perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail or a post-work booze on a Friday night.
Since its launch in 2015, Ladies and Gentlemen has become a neighbourhood bar: the barmen are extremely friendly and have great enthusiasm. The bar offers high quality cocktails made of homemade liquors, syrups, botanicals and herbs. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and are happy to cater towards your cocktail preferences. They don’t have a food menu, but upon arrival they bring homemade popcorn to your table and top it up throughout your stay.
Being a former underground loo, the bar does a great job of making the most of the unusual space. After making your way down the narrow stairs and pushing back the door, you can expect to see two moodily lit tiny rooms with a small centrepiece bar. Ladies and Gentlemen offers fabulous table service but if you are more of the chatty type there are a few seats at the bar. Drinks are always served with great hospitality and a smile.
Its cosy atmosphere creates a very comfortable experience and the retro-inspired décor makes the whole experience even more exciting and enjoyable. Apart from the various toilet parts hung on the walls, you would never really grasp that it was a former public toilet.
It is an unusual bar in an unusual setting and is most definitely a perfect place to hang out with some friends, both for the atmosphere and the drinks.
London’s cocktail bars are great, but sometimes all you need is a comforting cup of coffee during your busy day. Of course high quality cocktails are essential for a good night, but the quality of your coffee is equally as important. The Attendant, located in Fitzrovia, also uses the space of a former Victorian toilet and has been transformed into café that has been decorated to a high standard – keeping some original toilet features have made the overall look very innovative and quirky.
After two years of planning and restoration, the old Victorian toilets have been converted into a little kitchen and the original urinals have become a staple look and are lined along the main seating wall to create single booths. The green seating matches the original Victorian tiles which have helped to keep the old-fashioned and casual style.
The two developers, Bosh McKeown and Ryan De Oliveira, had a vision of creating innovative brunch cafes and designed them as a place for people to take a moment, gather their thoughts and refuel, which has definitely paid off.
The Attendant believes in sustainable and quality products, so the coffee they serve is made using green coffee beans from single estates and farms. The underground coffee shop also serves up delicious looking food for your breakfast, lunch or an afternoon treat and are all made with quality products. To learn more about The Attendant’s story and objectives visit their website: www.the-attendant.com.
As it is a very small space, The Attendant is more of a quick stop for a sandwich and a coffee; it is not really a place to have a long meeting with fellow colleagues as it does get fairly busy and over-crowded.
It’s so refreshing to find an independent coffee shop around London that has the full hospitality package – quality food, coffee, great atmosphere and friendly staff. The baristas are extremely talkative and welcoming and will manage to put a smile on your face – a nice difference from some other coffee shop baristas.