WC is named after the former leaky establishment in which it’s housed: the 100-year-old public loos underneath Clapham Common Station. Today the initials stand for Wine and Charcuterie rather than Water Closet but the dimly lit interior reminds us where we are: Victorian glazed wall tiles and cracked floor mosaics remain intact, while wooden urinal doors have been repurposed as tabletops.
This south-London stop-in is always packed and while three banquette-lined booths can be booked, the rest of the tables go to walk-ins. In summer a white picket fence corners off an outdoor seating area, while in winter the tiny bar – partially lit by natural light creeping in through murky glass tiles in the pavement above – is a cosy refuge.
The wine list is ever-changing and complete with a clutch of craft beers and cocktails. When it comes to food, cheese and cured meats take centre stage, served on slates with freshly baked sourdough. But there’s more to the menu than the hams and sausages dangling over the bar: hot and cold sharing plates range from courgette-and-avocado salad to baked mozzarella wrapped in pork shoulder and rocket.
This public toilet turned wine bar was lovingly renovated by locals Andy Bell and Jayke Mangion – and don’t worry, they sanitised it too.
WC, Clapham Common South Side, London, SW4 7AA.