If you’re looking for a little pampering pick-me-up this spring, yes you could trawl the web for reviews to find your next appointment, but nothing is quite like a word of mouth recommendation. The choice of salons, spas and practitioners across London is vast and wide, with a treatment for every pocket. We’ve curated our team’s favourites into our own Little Black Beauty Book to share the ‘best in class’ destinations to primp and preen you from head to toe:

Nails: Dryby

Dryby bar on Mortimer Street has long had a loyal following amongst polished beauty editors and influencers for its immaculate BioSculpture manis and pedis. A longer lasting, vegan alternative to traditional gels that’s gentler on nails, the beautiful Fitzrovia salon is the perfect pit-stop for some pre-summer pampering. Make an appointment.

Hair: Gielly Green

Tucked away behind Oxford Street in the heart of Marylebone, Gielly Green’s flagship feels more like a fashion atelier than a wash-and-dry salon. The beauty haven houses its award-winning hair space, as well as a host of beauty services too. For a full day of indulgent treatments, you couldn’t be in better hands. Make an appointment.

At-Home Treatments: Ruuby

The Ruuby at-home beauty app allows you to book a full gamut of beauty treatments with leading practitioners coming to you in the comfort of your own home. Brilliant when you don’t want to undo your Zen after a massage by having to hop on the tube or venture out make-up free post-facial. Make an appointment.


Off Kensington’s bustling Church Street, shoulders immediately drop by a foot by simply stepping over the threshold of Ila Spa’s apothecary. Beyond the retail space is a treatment room where wrung-out Londoners can book in for tailored Ayurvedic massages, including our favourite: the Happy Hormone Equilibrium, the perfect tonic for anyone looking for a balancing reset to their hormonal health. Make an appointment.


Katie England’s bespoke two-hour facial treatment will leave you lifted, sculpted and glowing – which is no doubt why it’s a favourite with top models and actors alike. With a mix of lymphatic drainage massage and buccal techniques, you will leave her Covent Garden studio tucked away inside the Nomad Hotel walking on a cloud. Make an appointment.


Ross Barr flits around Central London’s chicest wellness outposts, from Westbourne Grove to Claridge’s, offering his ‘Five Element Acupuncture’ approach to treat a range of issues from fertility to back pain to burn-out to stress. Calm and oh-so capable, he focuses not on the symptom but the whole person to navigate them back to full health. Make an appointment.

Spray Tan

If you are worried about unleashing your pasty limbs from their winter hibernation, never fear: James Harknett is on standby at the W Hotel to deliver his sun-kissed tanning services. With expertly matched shades to your natural skin tone, his most subtle of streak-free tans leave limbs golden and glowing. Make an appointment.


If you are looking for a sensible, expert, light-touch approach to your facial ‘tweakments’, Harley Street Injectables offer discreet services with incredible results. Whether you want to be plumped, slimmed or sculpted, founder Alice Henshaw and her team can tailor a programme to help you reach your aesthetic goals. Make an appointment.


Shavata Singh can sculpt and shape statement brows out of even the sparsest of hairs, offering not just threading but micro blading and semi-permanent tints too. Make an appointment.

By Lydia Mansi
February 2024