The Attendant – London

On November 11, 2013 by Paris_Stilton

If my life in France were a movie it would probably be called ‘Gone with the Wine’. My sister’s life in London is more like ‘Citizen Kale’.  My theme song would be ‘Rolling in the Deep (Fryer)’ and hers would be ‘(Organic) Strawberry Fields Forever’. You get the drift. Four days into my last London trip, and already in need of a break from the nut milk, beetroot juice regime I am submitted to every time I visit, I decided to shake things up and take sister Sienna Millet out for lunch – Paris style.

Sienna Millet: So where are we actually going for lunch?

Paris Stilton: The Attendant, it’s an old abandoned male public toilet that’s been converted into a cafe.

Sienna Millet: OMG that is disgusting, are you serious? Is it clean? I bet it’s a total dump.

Paris Stilton: hahahaha dump, get it, hahahahha.

Sienna Millet: I actually can’t believe you’re taking me to a toilet.  I’m really pissed off.

Paris Stilton: hahahaha pissed off hahaha.

Sienna Millet: No seriously, can’t we go somewhere nice instead?

Paris Stilton: you mean “in lieu” hahahahaha.

And that is how one fuming Sienna Millet and one highly amused Paris Stilton became the ladies who lunch…in the mens.

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The Attendant was built as a public urinal in 1890 and left abandoned for more than 50 years after it was shut down in the 1960s. Earlier this year, after a serious revamp, and an even more serious sanitisation, the space opened its doors to the public once again.  The beautifully ornate iron lace entrance has been left intact, as have the original porcelain urinals which have been turned into individual eating spaces – but luckily these days the only thing flowing in this well-lit den off Foley Street is some seriously good coffee.

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The fare is fit for an English country picnic – a trendy, organic, fair trade, sustainable country picnic – complete with hearty soups, stews, and cheese and pickle, and corned beef filled sourdough sandwiches.

While Sienna chowed down a deliciously homely chili con carne-esque bean stew, and I ploughed through my very tasty ploughmans sandwich with its fat chunks of smokey vintage cheddar, generously spread with a nostalgic piccalilli and topped with some young greens leaves, I decided I love this place.

I love it because of its honesty, I love it because of its moreish food, I love it because of the handsome clientele and the effusive staff, and I love it because I love history and while I eat my moreish food and smile at the handsome clientele, I thoroughly enjoy imagining the impressive tackles, and ancient sword fights that took place where my Nike Air Max 90 now dangle.

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Incidentally, the slightly salty, chewy sweet chocolate caramel brownie by Bittersweet Bakers, that I had to accompany my macchiato (fair trade and sustainable coffee with organic milk from a tiny farm in Somerset where the cows are happy) was unequivocally the best I have ever eaten.

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Quirky setting, delicious food, great coffee, mouthwatering brownies, and the endless puns. Who knew lunching in little boys room could be so much fun?  If I lived in London, I would most definitely be a regular. Wink wink nudge nudge.

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Just don’t go if you really do need to go… ironically, they have no toilet.

xoxo

Paris Stilton

 

The Attendant 
Downstairs, 27a Foley Street
London W1W 6DY
Tel: +44 (0) 207 637 37 94
Email: pete@the-attendant.com 

 

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