Come for the food, stay for the fancy loo
Years ago, whenever we were about to leave home for dinner at a restaurant, one of my friends would utter the famous words: “Did you use the bathroom?”
Back then, the bathrooms at restaurants were grungy, smelly and only used in an emergency. Now, many customers are happy to highlight a restaurant for its “Insta-famous” bathroom.
If you are an Instagram user like me, you will have noticed many restaurant bathroom selfies, posted with a geotag.
“It provides the best lighting,” a friend told me.
“With innovative bathroom designs, we might as well conduct a photo-shoot right in that bathroom,” another said. Restaurants in the province are catering to the demand, adding top decor fixtures for their guests.
Here are some to check out in KwaZulu-Natal:
View of cows, Blueberry Cafe
Blueberry Cafe is in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Durban. Besides the alluring landscapes, many people visit to see the “loo with a view”.
Here, you can watch the cows graze as you answer nature’s call. Do not worry, as no one can peer inside. The bathroom cubicles are spacious so there’s plenty of room to capture those selfies.
What’s on the menu: For breakfast, try the breakfast stack with toasted homemade ciabatta, bacon, creamed spinach, balsamic roasted tomatoes and poached eggs. For lunch, try the beef fillet, or spinach and feta chicken.
Call 033 266 7132 or visit www.netherwoodfarm.com/food/
Classic greenhouse vibe, The Barn Owl
The Barn Owl on the picturesque Groundcover farm in the Midlands is chic and homely. The cafe’s bathroom gets many travellers talking – for all the right reasons.
Ryan Solomon designed the unisex bathroom to resemble an old greenhouse. He used bold colours and designs to make the bathroom “Instaworthy”.
He maintains that there’s no identifiable style to the bathroom, although he wanted a “homely feel”. Expect lots of flowers and an array of photo options.
What’s on the menu: If you visit during the weekend, try the canelé – a small French dessert packed with flavour. Other popular items on the menu include “Check-your-teeth” kale salad bowl, “Fancy-pants” beef parcel and smoothie bowls. Be sure to order a side portion of fries. You will thank us later.
Call 071 356 3221 or visit http://thebarnowl.co.za/
Gold inspired restrooms, Café La Plage
Umhlanga eateries are generally grand when it comes to its decor, but at Café La Plage, in the Pearls of Umhlanga, you will find the ladies’ and gents’ restrooms embellished with gold thrones.
Since its opening in November 2016, patrons have been raving about its grandiose and unique gold toilets. Designed around luxury with an opulent French Baroque theme, the bathrooms are styled with high-gloss onyx tiles, adorned with gold trimmings, classic French pearl furniture and crisp white hand towels.
The restaurant boasts the catchphrase “luxury restrooms… fit for a king” and it certainly lives up to that sentiment.
What’s on the menu: With a French-and Mediterranean-influenced menu, Café La Plage offers a wide selection of gourmet burgers, designer pizzas and pasta, fresh sushi, mouthwatering grills, and prides itself on their most popular dish – the whole line fish. Popular items also include fresh local oysters, fillet mignon and its famous tomahawk steak.
Call 031 561 9999 or visit www.cafelaplage.co.za/
Black and gold luxe, Wish on Florida
Wish on Florida took inspiration for its “Instaworthy” bathroom design from the colours on its logo. Director of Mad Design Studio Nqobile Mthembu said the key elements that went into the bathroom were large tiles to resemble the black Wish logo, two-tone gold and black oval basins and special velvet black paint with specks of gold glitter imported from Italy.
Also expect to see a customised round, gold-trimmed mirrors and other luxe items. The restaurant is still adding finishing touches to the bathroom.
What’s on the menu: Wish offers a diverse Italian menu, that is packed with flavour. Try the Ocean Fresh pasta with poached prawns, mussels and calamari, in a creamy tomato base and deep-fried calamari squid heads, or a Cranberry Chick with crispy chicken, with brie and cranberry sauce.
Call 031 205 9135.