Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Blue Bicycle: A Semi-Intellectual Bike Ride!

Finally, the photos we've all been waiting for in a nail-biting state of frenzied agony: Semi-Intellectual Friend's photographic journey through the toilet at the Blue Bicycle restaurant!
We always like to quote our guest contributors, to give the reportage that certain je ne sais quois flavour and colour, so here's what Semi-Intellectual Friend has to say about his work:

I'm not sure what you normally look for in a toilet photo, so apologies if I've got the angle all wrong, but I took quite a few. Quantity beats quality every time. Its a classy joint though. I like the towels. (Decency meant that my focus was turned pretty much exclusively toward the male toilet. Alice spoke highly enough of the female equivalent though, when prodded forcefully enough for an opinion.)

Gaaaah! Separated taps! But lovely-looking soap AND hand-lotion - hurrah!

Paper towels (recycled, we hope) hygienically and stylishly stacked away from the toilet.
The bin appears to be at a most comfortable distance from the bog visitor.

A close-up of the paper towels, and the toilet paper,
which is likewise stored at a hygienic distance from the toilet.

Everything looks clean enough, but we are saddened to spot
a disability-hostile lever flush and uncovered toilet paper in the same picture.

Oooh, a wall of fame, and an incredibly vulgar bust of Marilyn Monroe - we feel compelled to applaud this! One is certainly in good company while enjoying the use of this toilet! But what is that horrendous British-looking attempt at ventilation? We bet you it doesn't work.

We enclose this extra view of Marilyn and the mirror, because Semi-Intellectual Friend was clearly so pleased at having managed to take this picture without showing up in the mirror.

 If you liked this reportage, you will rejoice to know that Semi-Intellectual Friend may well return one day, and do another one! Here's what S-I F has to say on the subject of toilet photography in York:

Still, I might visit York for the Airblade dryers. I feel I can be honest with you that they might be one of my favourite things in the whole entire world. Do you have a spy camera for your toilet exploits? Or is carrying that sort of thing into a toilet steering too close to doing something that might be mistaken for a deportable offence? Reading back through this paragraph, it seems a bit too much like I'm asking for advice.

 If you like the look of this toilet, and would like to visit it, you can do so at this address (we haven't been there ourselves, but we checked out the menu on the website and it looks d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! And what's more, the Blue Bicycle occupies a building that used to house a brothel!):

The Blue Bicycle Restaurant
34 Fossgate
York YO1 9TA
Tel: 01904 673990

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Vidal Sassoon: Cutting-edge Conveniences

We have long been in favour of the pleasant and stylish design, user-friendliness and hygiene of Vidal Sassoon salon toilets (and we have been to quite a few over the years). We recently visited the Sassoon Academy in Davies Mews, off Bond Street, and consequently have the pleasure of bringing our eager readers a review of the conveniences there.

This is the kind of coat-hook we like! Stylish, sturdy and more than capable
of holding our rucksack as well as our favourite leather jacket!

The soap was pleasant, but what filled our heart with soaring joy was the mixer tap!

Hygienically covered, plain white toilet paper.
The bin is extremely hygienic and placed at a convenient and practical distance from the bog user

Not a water-saving flush, but easy to use even for those who are manually challenged, like us,
or short of stature, like other people
We can sum this up as a lovely toilet! The air-dryer (not pictured) unfortunately shaves off a point, leaving this barber's bog with a total sum of 9 points.
May we recommend a visit to Vidal Sassoon not merely on the strength of the excellence of their toilets, but also the friendliness, skill, and sheer, unadulterated genius of their staff?

Sassoon Academy
15 Davies Mews
London W1K 5AA
T: +44 (0) 20 7399 6902

Monday, 16 May 2011

Doing the Locomotion

We had reason to get the train from York to London recently. Nature, as we all know (some only too well), is no respecter of modern modes of travel - she may call when you're half-way to Peterborough, for instance, and there's nothing you can do about it. Or rather there is - you can go and take pictures of the train conveniences.
The soap smelled really very nice, though ever since a friend told us about one time when she tried washing her hands on a train, only to find that the water had run out, leaving her stuck with soap all over her hands and no way to rinse it off (unless, of course, she happened to meet a soap-loving, hand-licking Labrador), we're a bit nervous about hand-washing on trains. One trick is to rinse your hands first (as per NHS guidelines), so you know there is water, but then what if that uses up the last of it?

This toilet was perfectly clean and in no way unpleasant to use.

We love clear signs like this one. The bin is not too close.

We thought the old "do not use in station" rule stemmed from the days when the contents of train toilets were simply emptied onto the tracks, and therefore antiquated, but apparently not. Anyway, nothing surprises one in Britain.

A handy reminder for people with short memories.

East Coast trains have really very good toilets; we award this one 10 points out of 15!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Kennedy's: Cleanliness, Scottishness and rejoicing all around.

 We ventured to an excellent little place called Kennedy's for some quite, quite delicious coffee. The weather was fine, the waiter was Scottish, and everyone was in a good mood. And lo and behold, the toilets were bloody marvellous!

Mixer taps with delicious soap AND hand lotion!
A hygienic and environmentally friendly Airblade dryer!

A radiator! Imagine how warm and cosy and uncharacteristically non-freezing (for Britain) this toilet will be in winter!

A pleasant, clean toilet. Bin perhaps a little close, but not unpleasantly so. Flush not water-saving, but easy to use, with no awkward lever-pulling involved.

Hygienically covered, plain white bog roll!

 We were pleasantly surprised by these excellent, excellent toilets, and award them a whopping 11 points!
Encouraged by this little gem of a café and its marvellous toilets, we have decided to award a hygienic dryer, which we have always made concessions for, the same number of points as a revolving towel, that is, one, from now on.

Kennedy's Bar and Restaurant
1 Little Stonegate, York, YO1 8AX
01904 620 222
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