|"These are the most interesting and dirtiest walls in Derbyshire"|
A public toilet (also called a bathroom, restroom, latrine, comfort room, powder room, toilet room, washroom, water closet, W.C., public lavatory, lav, convenience, loo) is a room or small building containing one or more toilets and possibly also urinals which is available for use by the general public, or in a broader meaning of "public", by customers of other services.
The public toilet is a deeply interesting place. I carelessly like to assume that no one really has a particular fondness of public bathrooms. But they are a necessary evil when you are not within the vicinity of your own home-based private bathroom, or indeed, a friend’s, acquaintance’s, or arch enemy’s inside outhouse.
For this reason specifically, I decided a while ago that The International Cheese-Fries Review should rise to the challenge of reviewing a handful of Liverpool City Centre’s public bathrooms. Being of a female persuasion and as the sole researcher in this venture, I have to apologise in advance for the fact that I was only able to sample the respective locations’ ladies’ rooms; and thus, any evidence I can give will necessarily be heavily skewed and biased. Whilst I am apologetic about this as mentioned just now, I am also revelling in this state of affairs for absolutely no reason whatsoever and to a perfectly ridiculous degree.
As you can see from the above, public toilets are clearly social animals. This goes some way toward explaining why they can usually be seen hanging out in groups.
With a modest sample size of 6 locations, my extremely limited selection (please take note: 3 of the host properties, that is: half of the sample size, are situated on Hope Street), most of which can be illustrated and underpinned by completely useless pictorial evidence, will surely make for a highly scientific review and is sure to have a great impact on the academic and political community both locally and globally.
However, please rest assured that I have personally visited and used all of these toilets at least twice (i.e. a minimum of 2 (two) times) in order to account for variances in weather, air/water pressure, alignment of stars as well as myriad other factors which may impact the rating of said shithouses.
Here, then, are my findings, arranged in order of oh-who-even-cares (bathroom selfies are to be viewed with caution and at your own risk):
The Pen Factory, Hope Street
There is a certain charm to this rustic simplicity, however. An added benefit is that you don’t have to walk through the actual bar/dining space to access the toilets, so you are able use them at your leisure without anyone asking questions. And isn’t that something we all really want in our lives? To not be spoken to when we go to do our business?
Overall rating – 7/10
The Philharmonic Pub, Hope Street
Overall rating – 9/10
Marks & Spencer (Mahrks n Spahrks innit), Church Street
This one is standard department store fare in terms of lavvies – bonus points are awarded for efficient hand dryers (the type that you have to stick your hands in vertically downwards) – but this IS Marks after all – as well as the warning sign on one of the cubicles which informs the attentive reader that the door upon which it sits opens outwards (shock!). Health and Safety reigns supreme in this country and M&S is clearly its proudest stalwart.
Overall rating – 6/10
The Everyman Theatre, Hope Street
The washrooms at the Everyman are very stylish indeed. It’s almost... too much. They are: colour coordinated, industrial, and crisp. Just look at the pictures. It's everything you could ever want from a shitter, really.
Seriously, though: The taps and hand towel dispensers are fitted with sensors so you don’t have to touch them (but of course you do anyway, if you’re me, and adopt a slapping rather than a waving technique). I don’t feel good enough for these toilets. I'm currently in talks with the proprietors of the building to negotiate an assured shorthold tenancy on this particular restroom, but to be honest, I don't think I stand a chance.
Overall rating – 9.5/10
Another boring, standard, but mostly clean department store lot. I have to give minus points here simply because someone else is always in there with you. Obviously, the location can be found too easily by the general public. It must be too obvious, too well signposted – although you do have to walk past the tiny-children’s clothing section to get there, which may well prove disturbing for some unwilling or unwitting (non-)customers.
With regards to these premises, I am planning to petition for a maze to be implemented over several of the store’s floors which would take even the most shrewd of solvers roughly 20 minutes to complete before the sweet relief of bladder-emptying may begin, in order to ensure exclusive use of these premises for myself only.
Overall rating – 5/10
The Met Quarter, Whitechapel
Overall rating – 9/10
*UPDATE: Special bonus contender:*
The Kazimier, Wolstenholme Square
Here, then, is the best thing: I like to call it "The friendship toilet". Spotted in the legendary Kazimier's ladies' rooms (whether it is the Kaz that is legendary or its ladies' rooms is for you to decide), this toilet displays an uncomfortable and yet exciting lack of boundaries and ensures you can still chat and hold hands with your bestie even whilst weeing to your heart's (and bladder's) content.
Overall rating - Out of this world
At the end of my exhaustive review, let me just say that if you were looking for a winner of this competition - there is none, despite what the numbers may suggest. As the saying goes, all's fair in love and toilets and you should go out there and find the one that works best for you.
Nature calls x
Nature calls x