Place

Bermondsey Arts Club

Where?
102A Tower Bridge Road, SE1 4TP
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You’d think by now we’d be used to the concept of a repurposed public toilet. You’d think that after the wild success of The Attendant and others like it, we’d be able to approach such ventures with maturity and composure. You’d think wrong; brace yourself for some toilet humour. Thing is, Bermonsey Arts Club is unusually classy, not just for a toilet in Bermondsey; but for pretty much anywhere. There is a strange disconnect upon entering; for an art’s club there is very little art to be seen. Upon closer inspection (and us being told) it becomes clear that everything in this bar is artisan-produced. The original materials from the Victorian toilet have been reworked into tables and fittings by artists affiliated with the parent company. Put simply, the club is the art, the art is the club. The centrepiece and crowning glory is the skylight which creates an ethereal glow as the street lamps above shine dimly though it. The drinks are as well crafted as the fittings, although the conscious choice to place them on the marble service without coasters or napkins makes every spill a minor disaster, but you must suffer for beauty and the tables do look might fine. There are to be a broad selection of arts events hosted throughout the week. Our visit fell kindly on Wednesday and the weekly live jazz session. Due to the small size of the venue, live music is a volatile and tricky proposition, we needn’t have worried, the natural acoustics and tailored sound engineering were flawless, as was the performance. This is our new favourite Wednesday haunt but whatever night you visit, this is the perfect place to kick back and take a load off… you thought we’d forgotten didn’t you?