The Ladies loos on the ground floor of the London Science Museum are disappointingly un-sciency. I was hoping for some kind of NASA approved space-age bum-improving self-cleaning wonder-bog, but alas. They are more like the bogs you might have had in your school science dept. at best.

The highlight is, again, the Dyson hand-dryer, which doesn’t seem quite as impressive in these surroundings. I have also come across this contraption so frequently at this point, that I am beginning to see him as rather the slut of the toilet world. Bring back the humble towel dispenser!


The colour scheme is pleasant and inoffensive and I do somewhat like the schooly vibe, especially the retro wooden doors with a ‘no smoking’ sign on every single one! I half expected a man with a lab coat and a neck beard to appear, confiscate our cigarettes and hand out detentions to those of us not in school uniform.

Seriously. DO NOT smoke in here. Or no more science for you!

Seriously. DO NOT smoke in here. Or no more science for you!

Maybe I am some sort of disgusting risk-loving germ hoarder, but I actually sit down on toilet seats. Is this odd? I’m certain it’s not dangerous.. maybe it’s a cultural divide.. or maybe Tyra Banks is just mental.

Just sit down Tyra, I’m sure you do enough squatting in the gym.


Another lavatory I could happily live in. The Gresham provides effortlessly stylish sanctuary and comfort for even the fussiest of buttocks (Tyra Banks might even break her hovering rule for this place).

The cubicles are solid and well made in frosted glass and wood, and the wealth of spotless mirrors makes the place seem huge and sparkley. They have the balance of classic design and modern innovation down with unusual bowl shaped sinks, tasteful big plain tiles and stunning lighting.


Unlike in some fancy hotels, these toilets are luxurious in a modest way. There are no toilet attendants to listen in on your bottom burps and then awkwardly ply you with warm towels, foul-smelling hand creams and niceties.

And you don’t feel too guilty for being a tress-passing non-resident who probably couldn’t even afford a fizzy pop from the mini-bar

ooh! nice comfy chair!

ooh! comfy chair! don't mind if I do.

I often wonder if anyone really looks at the exhibitions in the V&A, because the restaurant, the gift shop and the toilets are AMAZING. That was a little shallow of me, they do have some great stuff in there, especially the old musical instruments. But honestly I could happily eat all my meals in the restaurant, equip myself for anything in the shop, live in the toilets, and never ever have to leave the V&A.
The toilets are vast, and a delightful shade of buttercup yellow (these are the basement ones, I’m pretty sure there are some others, but they were closing. I’ll be back though). They have the aforementioned bloody brilliant Dyson hand-dryers, and enough mirrors to satisfy even Mr. Vain himself.

Yes!

Yes!

There is a really cool kind of sink-bar along the middle of the room with mirrors starting at neck height, so that you can romantically share a sink with someone, yet never see their face.

The toilets are clean and well kept, despite the enormous number of cubicles, they smell nice and are just very satisfying.

Thank you dead royals!

I’m a bit dissapointed that they have recently changed the toilet seats in Solas. I think it’s for the best but I only wish I had photographed them earlier.. I’ll explain: The toilet seats in Solas used to clash in the most dramatic of ways with every other aspect of the decor. As you can see from the photos, the ladie’s room has a kind of warm reddy purpley romantic rosy creamy kind of thing going on. The toilet seats were blue, yellow, flowery and grossly twee. It was a brilliant example of toilet decor confusion and I shall mourn deeply those bog seats, wherever they may now be.. most likely in a tramp’s box of treasures.

So, minus fantastically clashing toilet apparel, what do the bogs at Solas have to offer? Well, the sinks are really cool, rustic and interesting, reminiscant of a caveman’s porridge bowls, and the mirror is nice and big. There is a sanitary protection/rubber machine: bloody expensive but occasionally life saving. The doors with the big printed roses on the are classy and cool and the lighting is ace, check it out:

Solas also holds host to one of the deadliest modern toilet phenomena of our time: the Dyson hand-dryer!!!! Behold:

I’ve come across these babies a few times now, and I am deeply impressed. You see, I’ve never been a hand-dryer fan. If no other drying equipment is available, I’d much sooner use my clothes or even hair. I hate the noisiness, ugliness and sheer crapness of hand-dryers. They take ages, and mostly just seem to vibrate the water on your hands rather than rid you of it. I also don’t really like disposable handtowels, because they are really wasteful, and many people seem to have no sense of proportion when given disposable things for free. What I really like is those proper old school (they even had them at my school) pull down looping towel things. The ones that are properly bolted to the wall – so no freebies – and are made of actual real absorbant towel material. That was a bad description. I hope you know the ones I mean.. Anyway, failing those practical yet elusive beauties, the dyson thing is brillant! you put your hands in wet and (slowly) lift them out dry! and you can watch the strong air make the skin on your hands tremble with delight.

So, well done Solas. Your toilets are lovely. (and your fries are really good too)

Although I will mainly review public toilets, there are one or two private water closets I have come across which I think are totally special and in need of recognition. Look at this one! the gold candle thingies! gorgeous! and note the collection of lavatory literature behind the toilet. 10 points! I am very much into having something to read while i’m doing my business. Especially books of fun facts like the Schott’s Miscellany books and those great mini books you get in your stocking at Christmas… or at least I always get them. (yes i’m in my 20s and still get a stocking, my mum is ace) I have a full dwarf’s library in my WC.

This toilet is in the house of some lovely friends of mine, who shall remain nameless.. and I bloody love it! It is tasteful, classic and unique, and the colour scheme is simple but striking. Easily done in a world of magnolia but still much appreciated. The real attraction is the main bathroom, which is thoughtfully separate from the actually toilet. Really handy for weak bladdered people who share houses with people who like to take long baths. Here is the main bathroom:

Nice huh! I love the indigo blue cupboards and the lovely Victorian tub, and the fireplace! A fireplace in a bathroom! To me this is the epitome of luxury.

And a seperate spacious shower. Great! I also really like the sink tiles, like crazy paving on your wall. They also have one of those magnifying mirrors that allows you to see your own facial pores in detail.. Fascinating and gross all at the same time.

So congratulations anonymous, yet valued friends. I love your loo.

Rather dissapointing i’m afraid. The Central Hotel toilets are totally bland and uninspiring. Not even a thrush poster for excitement. They don’t seem very well maintained, the decor is a bit rubbish, in a kind of ‘we tried to be classy and then ran out of money’ kind of way. As you can see in the photo above, the toilet seat has that dangerous slightly wonky quality, where there is a risk of it sliding out of place from under your buttocks and leaving you unbalanced midstream! Risk!

Despite the soulessness, it does have good chunky walls and doors (therefore good for a dump) and my cubicle had two toilet roll dispensers, hooray!

p.s. If this reaches anyone from the Central Hotel, i’ll let your yawn inspiring lavatories slide if you just please PLEASE turn off the awful radio playing in the library bar. Or at least switch it to Lyric fm or something inoffensive and inkeeping with the nice vibe of the room. I can’t stand having to listen to badly amplified pop shite when i’m trying to enjoy my tea and scones of an afternoon. And I really like having tea at the Central Hotel… i’m so uncool.

It is a shame and a blessing that the IFI toilets are so easily accessible to the public. They have saved me on many a Saturday when I have overdone it on fajitas at the organic market next door, but they are sadly abused by less respectful citizens than myself, resulting in common clumsy graffiti and elusive toilet seats. Despite this, they are pretty well maintained and very pleasant toilets to be in.The decor is plainly tasteful and the cubicles are of the solid floor-to-ceiling type which are a boon for those of us who do not wish to share the sound of our poo-plop with others. I personally like to keep this little aural treat purely for my own enjoyment.

I have been told by male friends of mine, that although the urinals are free to anyone in the IFI, to use a cubicle in the Gent’s, you have to acquire a key from the bar staff. Therefore letting them know that you’re off to have a poo.. or a wank.. or..ooh! the possibilities are endless.

So, overall the ladies conveniences in the IFI are pretty decent. I especially like the marbley sinks and the two level ceiling that includes a really attractive window (photo below). Just look out for silly queues in the evenings and try and get a toilet bowl with a seat on it.

Thank you.