The Attendant Café @ Foley Street, Fitzrovia

The Attendantは、1890年頃に建てられた男性用公衆便所という、飲食店では考えられないロケーションに今年2月にオープンした、ユニークなカフェ。1960年代から50年以上、使われないで放置されていたものを、10万ポンドと2年という歳月をかけて計画・改築、徹底的に清掃を行い完璧に清潔にしたという。昔の管理人部屋はキッチンとして生まれ変わったが、鋳鉄製の凝った外観、ヴィクトリア朝時代のフロアタイル、またカウンターブースに改造されたDoulton & Co社製のポーセリン便器など、オリジナルの特徴も残している。

→before&afterの写真:Daily Mail

このカフェは、提供するフードやドリンクの品質にも注意を払う。ミシュラン星付きのレストラン・Pollen Street Socialで働いていたというシェフが、青果卸売市場のNew Covent Garden Marketや、Ivy House Farmなど厳選された業者から仕入れた高品質の食材を使い、腕を振るう。コーヒーはCaravan Roasteryの豆を使用。バリスタの一人に見覚えがあると思ったら、オールドストリートのカフェ・Salvation Janeで以前働いていた人だった。


The Attendant café is housed in an unlikely location for eateries – a toilet. Built around 1890, this former men’s public toilet had been abandoned since the 1960s for more than 50 years, before this tiny café opened in February this year. After two-years of planning and £100,000 restoration, the place was jet-washed and now is thoroughly ‘clean’. The old attendant’s office has become a kitchen. They have kept some original features such as the cast-iron exterior, Victorian floor tiles, Doulton & Co porcelain urinals converted into sitting booths.

→before&after photos: Daily Mail

In addition to its unique history and appearance, the café also care about the quality of food. Their sandwiches are created by a chef who previously worked at Michelin-star Pollen Street Social, using quality produce from New Covent Garden Market and carefully selected producers such as the Ivy House Farm. They buy their coffee beans from Caravan Roastery. We spotted one of the baristas who used to work at Salvation Jane, an Old Street venue for good coffee. 

The Attendant certainly has a character. Their michelin-level ‘gourmet’ sandwich was OK as well as their coffee, but not exceptional. But that’s not a problem. My problem was there is no toilet!! This is a warning for a potential customer, especially ladies. It is a bad joke – a toilet without toilet.  I realised it after I had my flat white, and had to go out and looked for another café, buying another drink to use their toilet. Coffees and teas are stimulant, and I have a strong belief that all cafés for eat-in should have a toilet, no matter how small it is. There should be one for staffs, so why don’t they share with customers?! In fact, there are so many cafés  in London that don’t offer a toilet to their customers, and I refuse to go to this arrongant café without toilet.


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