Hats in the hamam

Tigger was on the late shift today so by the time we were on the way home, it felt like dinner time. We had nothing at home so it was a choice between popping into Marks & Spencer’s or…

Entrance to the Bath House
Entrance to the Bath House

We had for some time wanted to visit The Bath House in Bishopsgate. This is a Victorian imitation of a Turkish hamam, today a bar and restaurant.

The picture above shows the “kiosk”, a small building that is the above-ground entrance on the Bath House. Walking down a spiral staircase, one comes to the bar and restaurant.

Dining room
Dining room

Like Dr. Who’s police box, the Bath House is bigger inside than outside. The lights are low and there are lots of candles, some real, some electric. The decor is an intriguing mix of Gothic luxury and modern disco.

We found the staff friendly and efficient. The soup (leek and potato, accompanied by a slice of bread with melted cheese) was delicious. The pizza was not Italian but was still very enjoyable.

Shortly after we sat down, a group arrived. All were men but for one woman. The men, but not the woman, were all dressed in costumes that were vaguely Victorian or Edwardian, and all were wearing hats. This of course interested me greatly. It was an intriguing visitation.

The hats
The hats

The photo is not very clear because the light was low and I did not want to use flash. This is partly because when I am in a restaurant, people banging away with flash cameras annoy me greatly and I assume it annoys others too. So I avoid doing it myself. In this case it was also because you have to be discreet when photographing strangers and you don’t want to attract their attention by flashing.

Old and new
Old and new

As we left after our meal, I took this photo which captures the corner of the old and elegant Bath House and a façade of a huge and brash modern tower, the windows blazing with light in contrast to the candle-lit interior of the Victorian building.

In the street we spied a 205. Leaving the Victorian era behind us, we sprinted along the street and around the corner and made it to the stop just in time to board the bus which soon carried us back to the Angel.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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