Things To Do: London's Loveliest Beauty Destinations
A London establishment since it was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1908, the eponymous yellow and black of SELFRIDGES is recognisable world-over as the mark of the greatest department store in the UK. Selfridges sells just about anything and will make you want to buy just about all of it, but if your particular interest is in beauty, then you've most certainly come to the right place. Perfume has been one of the stores best-selling commodities since Mr Selfridge decided to move the entire department to the most prominent position possible at the shop's entrance on the ground floor.
AIRE ANCIENT BATHS, a luxuriously simple spa located on Robert Street in the very heart of central London, has recently made a splash with the opening of their wine-bathing room. It isn't cheap, at £450 a pop, but a heady submersion in the apparently antioxidant properties of that much Spanish Tempranillo sure does sound like a rather unforgettable experience. There are of course more conventional, accessible options available such as argan oil massages and holistic scrubs but the real reason most people head to Aire is not for the treatments themselves but for the atmosphere. Aire's cavernous underground vaults, steeped not only in wine but also history, are a world away from the hustle and bustle of the streets above and are instantly calming on arrival.
We know, we know! This is London, not Washington... but as it turns out DC is not the only capital city in the world to boast a White House and London is rightly proud of its luxurious Knightsbridge mansion of a beauty salon. With no less than five stories of former aristocratic townhouse, attending the URBAN RETREAT at The White House is like walking into a piece of London's history, but with cutting edge beauty treatments on offer. Here, you can have your hair, nails, lashes and brows done all in one, have lymphatic drainage or even get a tattoo before heading to their extremely chic vegan restaurant to fuel your extravaganza. Really, what more could a girl want?
Another stalwart of the London shopping scene, if you can't find it in HARVEY NICHOLS then it probably can't be found. Even older than Selfridges, having first been established in Knightsbridge in 1831, the colossal department store that is Harvey Nics not only has a similarly bounteous beauty counter but also its very own beauty lounge which has recently been refurbished. So finish off a long day of hard-core shopping with a bit of pre-bookable pampering for which the list of available treatments is quite astonishing. From LED light therapy to holistic acupuncture, rejuvenating cryotherapy chambers to vitamin-boosting IV wellness drips... Harvey Nichols really does have it all.
Contrastingly, one of London's hottest spa destinations of the moment, the verdant LINNAEAN located at the Embassy Gardens near Battersea , is a very recent addition to the city's beauty scene having been bravely opened in 2020. This beautifully curated wellness destination takes advantage of London's love affair with the fresh and the new, smoothly slotting its Skandi vibes into the melting pot of cultures that our capital is so renowned for embracing. If you're looking for a glamorous day of pampering with a focus on the natural, botanical elements of beautifying practices then this is the place for you.