In the episode “Confusing Things About British Homes” of Anglophenia (previously), new host Kate Arnell introduces herself by giving a tour around her London apartment, explaining the notable differences between British and American homes particularly when it comes to the lavatory.
This is worth getting right before you’re in too much of a hurry. Should you need to use the conveniences, ask for a bathroom and you may be directed to a room with a bath in it, but no toilet. The Brits are terribly literal like that. By all means, ask if you can use the toilet, or the lavatory, or the loo, and they will immediately direct you to the nearest room in which you can do your business. Due to a healthy fear of electrocution, British bathrooms don’t tend to be wired up for electricity, as it does not play nicely with water. …Some bathrooms don’t even have the light switch in the room: It’s out in the hall or landing, just by the door. It’s worth checking this before you find yourself feeling a wall in the middle of the night while busting for a pee.