Curiouser and curiouser! Take a wee in Wonderland at this quirky restroom we found in a Belfast cafe.
We’ve raved before about Maggie Mays as a top breakfast and brunch spot in Northern Ireland’s capital, but this time we’re not here to talk about their food. No, we’re here to talk about their restroom. (Now that’s something we never thought we’d say.)
So why are we so excited about a public bathroom? Let’s be clear: There’s a lot more to this Belfast cafe than its toilet facility—for example, their epic menu (we highly recommend the “Belfast Bap”). But in addition to fantastic grub, Maggie Mays on Botanic Ave has the most magical loo we’ve ever used in Belfast, and possibly in all of Ireland.
Fans of Alice in Wonderland (both the Disney movie and the books that inspired it) and quirky things in general will love this hidden gem at the back of the cafe. We snapped some photos of the restroom during our last visit—we couldn’t resist—so here’s a wee peek, for those who are curious (and curiouser and curiouser).
A legendary foodie destination
First, before heading to the loo, we have to mention that Maggie Mays is one of the best cafe chains for foodies in Belfast and has three locations in the city: Castle Street, Malone Road, and Botanic Ave. Their menu across locations includes breakfast all day and a legendary full fry that’s been known to satisfy many a belly.
The restroom under discussion can be found at the Botanic Ave location, near Queen’s University Belfast. We’re sure that the restrooms at the other locations are very nice too, though we haven’t been, so we can’t speak for them!
Taking a wee in Wonderland
Ever wanted to take a wee in Wonderland? Yeah, that’s never something we specifically aspired to either, but it’s apparently possible at this Belfast cafe—and why not? To get to the restroom, head to the back of the restaurant, past the counter, and on your left you’ll find a wooden door with a picture of Alice inviting you in: “Hello…is that wee bog free?”
And on the wall, you’ll see an illustration of the Mad Hatter, along with another amusing message: “I am very sorry, however, you may ONLY enter if you are curiouser and curiouser and curiouser OR you are a customer!”
Pretty charming already, right? And we haven’t even opened the door yet.
Whimsical illustrations and quotes
Once inside, you’ll find a small room. Yes, this restroom we’re making such a fuss about is only for one person, and yet it packs in a lot of magic.
All four walls are decorated with whimsical illustrations and phrases, either from Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice books (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking-Glass) or inspired by it, to give you some food for thought while you relieve yourself.
You’ll meet the White Rabbit and also see more of the Mad Hatter. And you’ll find quotes from the books, including “Would you like an adventure now or shall we have tea first?” and “How long is forever? Sometimes just one second.” (Now there’s a profound thought for you—or maybe just nonsense? Hard to tell!)
The bathroom also offers users pieces of advice that take clear inspiration from Wonderland, such as: “Do clean up after yourself…otherwise I will go mad!” and “Drink me, then pee!” Tee-hee.
Oh, the quirkiness
As you’re finishing up your business in this storybook restroom, there’s even a whimsical rhyme instructing you on how to go about doing so: “Lid down, flush away, wash your hands, then on your way…”
We have to applaud the folks at Maggie Mays on Botanic Ave for making a normally mundane task (using the toilet) so magical. Customers who aren’t expecting the Wonderland theme (and even those who are) are in for a treat between treats.
Go to this Belfast cafe for the food first and foremost, but make sure to check out the restroom while you’re there—it’s a bonus. And remember, the restroom is for customers only, so don’t even think about using it unless you’re dining in!