The Londonlaunch Good Loo Guide gives the low-down on the best WCs in London featuring mirrors, lips, eggs and two-way glass. Read on to discover the flush of loos we consider worthy of a Londonlauncher's pitstop.
Years ago my then two year old son was doing a shoot for, as it turned out, the cover of the Jo Jo Maman Bebe catalogue (now, rather aptly, hanging in our downstairs loo). One fine day we were on top of a (sort of) mountain in Crete and, whilst Charlie was doing a football scene, I snuck off for a wee. Rather than pee off the nearby cliff, which, on reflection, would have been much more fun, I wandered off and found what appeared to be an ancient stone loo cubicle attached to what was, I'm guessing, a mountaintop taverna of sorts.
What I had stumbled across triggered an inspirational notion. Peering through a small pane-less window aperture, I was stunned by the magnificent Mediterranean landscape below, stretching for miles down to the sea and over to Turkey beyond (which is technically Asia - almost). Drama panorama! My immediate thought was to publish a book one day called 'The View From The Loo' incorporating all the finest views collected from contributors all over the world. This book will be a must in every downstairs loo in Britain. A proper crap book.
So, because I'm not going to publish this book before I retire (they're hollowing out my volcano in the Bahamas as I write) I thought I'd take inspiration from my every day life frequenting loos after gallons of coffee each day as I roam London from meeting to meeting.
In fact I'm writing this in the ME London Hotel secret loo beyond the Marconi Bar. I often hide in there (not in a weird way).
So, next time you feel the urge, cross your legs and get to one of these loos...
1. Sketch - Dinosaur eggs
The original cool loos and still awe inspiring after all these years! These loos are a tourist attraction in themselves. Unfairly, they're the ladies loos so us men just stare longingly at these beautifully formed works of art. The men's Swarovski loos would be sensational if they were anywhere else but you spend your whole time wanting to go in the egg next door.
2. W Hotel
House of mirrors. I walk into the wall every time I go there. There are just mirrors everywhere - even on the back of the door. It's so confusing and makes this tiny bar loo seem like it goes on forever. The most useful pit stop in my day, the loo at the W Hotel is a huge relief, every time.
Pronounced ‘No Pee’. A great place for reflection. Literally. This is like the W Hotel bar loo on Acid. Mirrors, mirrors on the wall where’s the loo, where’s the stall? Take a bread roll and leave a trail of breadcrumbs because once you go in you may never come out…
4. Home House
Below stairs, Downton style. I love the notion of quirky memorabilia in the downstairs loo. It's as if all the interesting stuff that you're not allowed to put where you really want it (in the living room) can go here, unchallenged. There are no rules. This loo is culturally significant because it was once the residence of M15 Agent and (as it turned out) double-agent and Soviet Spy, Sir Anthony Blunt. What’s more, he’s also thought to be the illegitimate son of George V. Appropriately, his loo seat has been preserved and is proudly displayed down here. A throne room indeed…
5. ME London
MY secret loo. Behind the Marconi Bar there's a door. Behind that door, there's another door and behind that door another. All these doors can't possibly be necessary but beyond them is a small flight of stairs and yet another door. Nobody seems to know about this lovely big spacious loo and once you're in, you're in (resisted saying 'urine'). Even if you don't need the loo. It's a tranquil safe haven. A panic room and an oasis of calm in a hectic city. The hand soap smells lovely too and there are just towels everywhere. This magnificent loo is surplus to requirements and as such, I consider it my backstage area.
Inverted voyeurism. For a long time I thought these second floor loos benefited from one-way glass. You pee whilst you peak at all the passers-by in Leicester Square below. After a while a sign appeared saying "In case you were wondering...yes they can see you. But they probably don't know what you're doing!" (Possibly because they were sick of me asking). Refreshing. This loo also has the loudest hand dryers in the Solar System. Like jet engines through a megaphone which is just obnoxious.
7. The Hunter S
Vintage porn. Statistically, people stay in this loo much longer than they should. I have no statistical evidence of this ‘fact’ but it’s a fact nevertheless! The urinals are reminiscent of the Rolling Stones iconic ‘Sticky Fingers’ album and they are sensational! A similar concept in Sydney had to be removed on ‘sexist’ grounds, which I’m gobsmacked by (excuse the pun!).
8. The House of Lords
Peers only. I have accosted both Hugh Grant and Julian Fellows here. Well, just outside in fairness but they were still mildly bemused. A right Royal flush.
9. Ting at The Shard
View from the loo. Taking a pee in the tallest building in Europe is a bucket-list must. Floor to ceiling glass makes this the best vantage point from a urinal, possibly anywhere in the world. If you suffer from vertigo and it makes you wet yourself, perfect! These are also the most useful loos in London too, because you can charge any device (iphone, ipad, iwatch, Samsung, Sony, HTC etc etc - but if you've got a Nokia 3310, you're buggered!) in any cubicle. I've literally never seen so many chargers popping out of a hole in the wall...especially not in a loo!
10. Rebecca Loos
My friend Hugo from school went out with her and told (sold) his story to The Sun. And she was cool with it. Definitely one of the top ten Loos in London.
Will Broome, CEO