This toilet was built for Queen Victoria to use when she visited the Victoria and Albert Museum. The museum gained its current name in 1899, when she laid the foundation stone of a new building designed to give the Museum a grand façade and main entrance, in memory of the enthusiastic support Prince Albert had given to its foundation.
Unlike most museum pieces that can only be seen, you can actually walk in and use the (mixed) toilet! All this is hidden behind a modern door (see photo below). Ever since I worked my first toilet design package, I have a passion about toilets. I get excited about modern mirrored ones at Nopi and I feel lucky that I discovered an old one like this. I can share the ‘toilet experience’ with the Queen.
When the modern timber door is opened, visitors can see the original Victorian style corridor. The original tiles are kept in great condition. You can touch and inspect all the details of the intricate tiling.
By the way, the cafe is white and modern. The food is supplied by Benugo and it does not offer good value for money. As a regular attendant of lectures at the museum, I have tried quite a lot of dishes for covenience. It is canteen quality food but with a deli mark-up.
I do, however, recommend, getting a cup of tea/ coffee and take a seat in one of the three original V & A refreshment rooms- the Morris, Gamble and Poynter Rooms. They formed the first museum restaurant in the world and were intended as a showpiece of modern design, craftsmanship and manufacturing. The space was wonderful with amazing tiles, columns and ceilings. Too bad about the basic modern furniture though. On Friday evenings, there is live piano music played on grand piano- nice!