I’ve had a pee in some pretty unusal toilets and places in my life. I’ve used troughs, long-drops, unisex toilets, and every combination of sit down and standup facility you might imagine. But even I was surprised when I saw the urinal at the newly refurbished Beresford Hotel tonight.
At first I wasn’t sure if it actually was a urinal. I felt a combination of tentativeness and embarassment when I proceeded to use it as nature provided. I was worried someone was gonna walk in and say “You’re pissing in the corner mate…”
As soon as my friend Michaela arrived tonight I said to her, “You’ve just GOT TO SEE THE TOILET”. As we walked down the stairs, noticing the elaborate design, she commented, “They’ve spent a lot of money, a shitload of money, on this place”.
When we arrived downstairs, we instantly struck up a conversation with a few guys who were similarly impressed with the facilities. They too, remembered the old days of the Beresford Hotel.
While she chatted with these blokes, I popped my head around the corner to make sure the coast was clear, so that she could pop inside and have a look to see for herself. For the purposes of “equality”, I guess I should have followed her in to have a look at the ladies loo, also, but it just didn’t feel right. I’m kinda old-fashioned, I guess. “Nice”, she said emerging and laughing “they’ve got this little shelf next to the loo so you can snort your cocaine without having to lean down too far. Very thoughtful…”.
Of course there’s a lot of the curiousity factor about the place, and tonight it was quite busy. This was a bit of a problem in the front bar where there was nothing to absorb the noise. Consequently we had to sit very closely to each other to be heard. All a bit too much really.
Instead, we spent most of our time in the beer garden which Colin has described as being “a little bit Villawood“. Even there, we got the feeling the place had been “over-designed” a little. As we walked in the first thing we noticed the series of “woven” chairs which everyone was sitting somewhat uncomfortably on. “It’s a bit like being in a university courtyard”, Michaela noted.
“You know what you need to do?”, we told the glassie as feedback to pass on to his superiors. “You need to put a few more of these booths around the space to make it smaller and a little more intimate. And you need to put a living wall of greenery up the back, cos at the moment the wall looks all a little bit Berlin circa 1980”. He smiled and took the feedback happily. And he was really nice.
In fact all the staff were really nice. Like really, really nice. We asked for some more bread for the antipasto and it arrived second laters. “You’d like another drink?”, they would ask, and it would turn up really quickly also.
The only downside is that it’s a little expensive. You wouldn’t go there with an intention of having a big night on the town unless you had plenty of free space on your credit card.
But of course the toilet was the main attraction. Truly modern. But also a little bit old fashioned in that they actually have taps, not sensors. “It’s such a relief”, I said to Michaela “to be able to turn a tap on, instead of having to wave my hands around uncomfortably waiting for the water to come out”.
The whole experience reminded me of my time in Stockholm a few months ago when I went into a bathroom, waved my hands around under the taps for three or four seconds before realising, embarrasingly, they had taps there too. “Toilets and bathrooms in pubs and clubs are so modern, these days, I guess I just assumed…” I told the guy next to me who laughed when he noticed what I was doing.