Sunday, 2 November 2014


I would like to state for the record that it's not a regular occurrence for me to spend time in a men's toilet - and somehow particularly not at a urinal - but that's exactly where I recently passed a very pleasant half hour, so to speak. What's more, I took some friends.

Fear not gentle reader, this may be underground but it is completely above board. For those not in the know, may I present to you -  Attendant? Attendant is a wonderful, tiny, very quirky coffee bar located in what used to be a Victorian men's toilet in Foley Street, signposted by the gorgeous original cast iron surround and a sandwich board with the obligatory coffee drinkers' thought for the day. 

Steps lead down into a classic white-tiled interior (don't worry folks, the entire thing was scrupulously steam-cleaned as part of the renovation) with many of the original features intact: the cisterns became light-fittings, the urinals are now booth-like tables with stools (insert your own toilet joke here) and there is even a hand-drier on the wall. 

Happily, it is not all style over substance. It may be novelty that first brings you to Attendant, but the coffee will keep you coming back. Proper baristas who know their stuff - and who, on my visit, were the loveliest guys ever despite being run off their feet - with Caravan coffee, Paul A Young hot chocolate and a selection of good food. We had literally just eaten lunch but did manage to cram in a mini salted caramel brownie with our drinks, and I recommend you do the same. They even made me an affogato (an espresso with a scoop of ice cream) which is one of my favourite things. 

So go for the random photo opportunities but don't rush the coffee; it's actually worth the visit all by itself. Add your personal tag to the graffiti board at the door (mine is there if you look carefully!) but be aware of one somewhat ironic factor; the only thing they don't have is a loo.

Yours, sipping espresso in subterranean sanitary splendour,

Girl About Town xx

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