Josie and Sarah are a creative team who believe that toilets are severely underrated. They’re working on a project to explore independent coffee shops, bars, restaurants and other prominent buildings all over London in an effort to review their toilets. Their “backstage tour of London”, which is full of toilet photography, is collated in the Bog Blog website. Sarah and Josie share the story behind the creative photographic project.
The Bog Blog project is all about getting under London’s skin, a behind the scenes tour, away from the tourist attractions and publicity. We have been exploring independent coffee shops, bars and pubs, basically anywhere with an interesting toilet and reviewing them. We believe that toilets are severally underrated and we are on a mission to shout about it. Independent cafés and bars are at the heart of this project because they experiment and are brave enough to do something jazzy with something so simple as a toilet, yet it makes such a big difference.
The inspiration came from a conversation we had at lunch one afternoon. Sarah came back from the toilet and we had an hour-long conversation about how important nice hand wash is. This lead to a whole afternoon recalling toilet mishaps, for example when Sarah was in Australia she was faced with a toilet that seemed to have a gear stick with a selection of controls. Unable to resist the temptation of a big red button, she presses it but all seemed well. Not thinking anything of it, she stands and the toilet squirts her directly in the face. Josie on the other hand, was looking for the toilet in a restaurant in Amsterdam and nearly got locked in a freezer. After hours we thought this couldn’t just be us? Other people must appreciate good toilets as much as we do, right?
We ended up in some strangely in-depth and passionate conversations about loos and came to the conclusion that, yes, people do care about toilets. People started telling us stories about their lavatory experiences, one-way mirrors, toilets in eggs and embarrassing encounters. Straight away we knew this was something worth writing about, so we did.
We are an advertising creative team in our third year at University of Lincoln. We’re both originally from the south so know London pretty well and plan on moving back down once we’ve finished our degree.
Of course living in Lincoln does not exactly help when trying to review toilets in London so we decided to book a day out and visit as many toilets as humanly possible. A moment that stands out was; Look Mum No Hands in Shoreditch. We had planned just to run in, look at the loo and go but it was occupied for some time.
Eventually, when he emerged, the smell wafting from the toilet wasn’t pleasant. Josie took a deep breath and quickly dashed in to take a few photos. When she came out, a small queue had formed but the bad smell was still lingering. The smell hit the queue like a train (who were quite clearly under the impression that she had produced this awful smell). We left quickly and probably won’t be going back for some time. Unfortunately bad smells is an occupational hazard.
We are just at the start of our project so we intend on posting a review every week with a new and exciting bog adventure.
All the toilets we have visited have had their own quirks but one toilet that particularly sticks out is at a café called Scooters, a small little café near Waterloo. The toilet is pretty much underground and the only thing that separates you from the rest of the café is a red velvet curtain and a door with a more than dodgy lock. Despite all this (and the drippy ceiling) we actually loved it, there’s something very charming about dim lighting and fairy lights.