I used to work in an office in Central London, so commuted every day during rush hour to Oxford Circus Tube Station, then walked up Great Titchfield Street onto New Cavendish Street to work.
Yesterday while in town I took the same walk much later in the day, just for fun, and found what had been a disused Victorian gents’ public toilet on the corner of Foley Street has now been repurposed.
When I worked in town the surface entrance gate to the old underground public convenience was always chained up, the ironwork railings and canopy clearly uncared for, the tiled steps leading down to who-knows-what were constantly filthy and covered with rubbish, and all in all it was a bit of an eyesore.
But yesterday I saw it has now been transformed into a trendy-looking cafe, so went in to explore. Apologies for the poor quality images, my phone camera isn’t that great in poor light, but I was delighted to see that many of the original features remain.
The creamy-white and green tiling is still on the walls, and the decorated porcelain urinal stalls have been thoughtfully converted into individual spaces for sitting to enjoy your coffee through the simple addition of a solid wooden counter top and modern metal stools! Even the old cistern for flushing through the urinals is still in place above.
It’s a very small space, but has been really tastefully done out, and although it now serves as a very functional cafe I’m glad it retains enough of its original history to still be recognisable for what it once was – oh, and they make great coffee! 🙂