Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Attendant Cafe in Soho


The Attendant Cafe in Soho

Last weekend I had a coffee at The Attendant in Fitzrovia. Nothing blogworthy, if it wasn't for the fact that the Attendant is housed in a former underground urinal. Since the loo is more likely to be the place where I find myself after having a few drinks to many, I never ever thought I'd be having a cuppa coffee straddling a gents' urinal bowl.

The Attendant Cafe in Soho

 The original Victorian urinal dates back to the 1890s and was in use as a men's loo till the 1960s. The place was due to be demolished till it was bought up and turned into a cafe in 2013 . However weird the concept of having coffee where someone used to go for numbers 1 and 2, you soon get over this when you walk down through the Victorian, wrought iron entrance and the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafts your way.

The Attendant Cafe in Soho

 The Attendant looks and feels like a cosy cafe, with a few toilet attributes reminding you of its former use. The stalls have been replaced by a coffee counter, where healthy sandwiches and tempting cakes are laid out. On the other side of the room the  porcelain Doulton & Co toilet bowls now act as a bar, the cisterns function as wall decoration while the attendant's office has been turned into a kitchen. The floors and walls still feature the original Victorian wall and floor tiles and the handdryer over the communal table now acts as wall art, hanging amidst paintings and drawings.

The Attendant Cafe in Soho

It's not a big cafe and it can get very busy during lunch times. Besides the former urinals turned coffee bar, there is a communal table in the back, great for reading and surfing the internet and when the weather is nice, you can have your coffee upstairs on a bench along the caged entrance.

The Attendant Cafe in Soho

The coffee is good, the food is tasty and the staff is friendly. It certainly is a great place to spend some pennies. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

The Attendant Cafe in Soho

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