I go to Cambridge and eat or freak at The Paddock

Paddock cafe, Cambridge

One might be quick to envision the main attraction for a lady of my particular interests (toilets) in the town of Cambridge would be the heavily documented “Superloo” in Victoria Square. The stately villa which houses the bathroom/shower complex sits on the edge of a leafy park near the center of townly attractions; cafes, bars, shops etc. However your reaction would not take into account an important facet of my personality when rating bathrooms; I am a total cheap cunt. I refuse to pay 50c to use a facility which should be free and accessible to all. Every human being needs to piss and shit. Being made to pay feels like a breach of my human rights. I have the right to shit and panic in peace and for free.

In silent protest, I decided to review the toilet at the nice, hipster-influenced cafe where we stopped for brunch and catch up with old friends. The Paddock Cafe is a small establishment near the roundabout corner of Victoria Street in the town center. It was chosen by our friend because she thought it might have a loo I could rate. Do we not have the best people in our lives?

The atmosphere was wonderful, my food was great (pork belly burger with coleslaw om nom nom though my boyfriend was sadly not so impressed with his bacon and eggs. His fault for bad food choosing) and the coffee was very good for an establishment away from a big city (sorry I know that makes me sound like an Auckland elitist dick but you have to admit many horrific coffee atrocities have been committed outside the confines of the Auckland/Wellington city limits.)

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As ever I’m not here to extol the virtues of food and culture, I’m here for toilets and toilet experience. Keeping in mind this little cafe was not built to be a cafe (I’m only guessing here) so the toilet out the back was likely just used by the staff in what ever shop it was originally designed to be. The signage wasn’t the best, the six year old we were with was confused about the “this way turn right” bit as to the right where the arrow points is a wall. It doesn’t say anything about leaving the cafe or opening the door. That may seem like a ‘duh’ statement but it isn’t very clear and kids, people with bad sight or people who don’t understand vernacular English may struggle. A simple alteration would be easy and effective.

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The toilet is a single unit built in what looks like a renovated shed or coal hole attached to the original shop.

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From the outside it looked like a freezer and my initial reaction was fear at the thought of being locked in by some dastardly baddie and die covered with icicles and frozen meat juice.

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The inside was quite well appointed with all the basics I would hope for in a customer bathroom; sink, soap, extra paper, air freshening devices, “lady-time” bin, ordinary bin etc.

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I do love me some random hand written signage. Something about it makes me smile.

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The view when you leave the bathroom wasn’t so nice. They have tried here and there with some hanging plants but I think there is plenty of room for improvement and pretty-making. A small amount of decoration, dressing  and putting away the industrial shit would make the courtyard area could look far more inviting and less like a place where the kitchen hands come to play dice and smoke crack between loads in the dishwasher. It felt a little dodgy and skeevy.

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Rating!!!

Cleanliness :  7/10  Clean in the ways it needed to be but it was obvious where improvements could be made. For example the way the floor had been left really uneven at the edges then covered over with lino which makes me think it was a bit of a rush job. These lumps and bumps will cause cracks which harbour dirty and grossness over time.

Interior :  7/10  The tap on the sink wasn’t attached so it felt like it may wobble off it’s hole and attack you while you washed your hands. But for the most part it had all the features you might require.

Exterior :  6/10  The privacy was good, no one could hear you scream out the back there other than any people slowly dying in the walk in freezer next door. The signage wasn’t great and I’m never a fan of a single toilet unit as I freak out that someone may need the loo and be waiting for me.

Safety :  6/10  To be fair Cambridge is not the kind of place one worries that we will be stabbed in the face during a Saturday brunch but the alleyway, freezer,  crack-possible hiddeness of the bathroom didn’t leave me with warm fuzzies.

Snugglitude : 5/10  It was a loo and they always help me feel a little calmer (as long as there isn’t a smell or obvious excretions left by earlier patrons) but it wasn’t one I would spend time in beyond what was required.

Total :  31/50

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