Life is pretty hardcore for modern men. With fit-to-bursting e-mail inboxes, relentless deadlines, and a new series of Orange Is The New Black to get through, sometimes we need a metaphorical pit stop. We need a place where we can walk in looking like Clarkson, and come out looking like Clooney and feeling like a victorious Leicester City footballer (that's feeling brilliant, not incredibly hungover). Is that too much to ask?
Well, if you live in London, no, it’s not. The capital city is home to all kinds of male grooming destinations, and kicking off with the newly-crowned winner of ShortList Grooming Awards 2016’s Best Male Grooming Destination, here are the ones you need to know about.
Striking the right balance between trusty traditional barbershop vibes and reassuringly expensive fixtures and furnishings, Gentlemen’s Tonic takes the top award this year thanks to a simple philosophy they act out so effectively – to make gents feel really, really good about themselves. Everything you need for a bodily MOT is here, from expert haircuts, invigorating wet shaves, energising massages, skin-fixing facials and more product than you can shake a wooden back brush at. A true male sanctuary in the hardcore hustle of the capital city, if ever we saw one.
Where find it: 31a Bruton Place, Mayfair W1J
House of Elemis
Elemis might be a name that you only associate with the sweet-smelling tonics and creams that creep onto your side of the bathroom cabinet from your girlfriend’s, but they’re perfectly geared up for men, too. From shaving to anti-aging, they’ve got every aspect of male grooming covered, and offer a huge amount of luxurious treatments, including one called a Biotec Super-Charger, which sounds a lot like an expensive muscle car. And we like it.
Where find it: 2 Lancashire Ct, Mayfair W1S
Jo Malone London
Another name that you should be just as clued-up on as your other half is, Jo Malone is scent royalty This is where you’ll want to come for manly candles (yep, they exist, and you need one), masculine colognes and more. If the idea of finding the right smell brings on a terminal panic attack, then fear not: in just ten minutes, the pros at this very chilled boutique will find you a singnature scent that perfectly fits your daily routine. Stress-free smells, right here.
Where to find it: 101 Regent St, W1B
Staffed by some of the most immaculately turned-out gents this side of London Fashion Week, Murdock London has built itself an envious reputation for helping you look your best, and smelling even better. We’d entrust our out-of-control beards with these experts any day of the week, and with such an inviting and relaxing environment to kick back in, we wish that could be every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…
Where to find it: 83 Brewer St, Soho W1F
Margaret Dabbs London
Every Londoner knows that Thayer Street in Marlyebone is a pretty lovely place to spend a weekend. With Daunt Books to pick up your next read, a number of grade-A pubs for a swift afternoon beer and enough high-end food shops to fill your boots in, it couldn’t be better. Well actually, it could. Just off the main drag is Margaret Dabbs – a specialist in making your feet feel fantastic. One of their Australian Emu Oil treatments at the end of a hard day of stomping around the shops on your new favourite London street is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Where to find it: 7 New Cavendish St, Marylebone W1G