For the gentleman about town, there’s little else more enjoyable than an old-fashioned hot-shave. Traditional London barbers are a sanctuary of peace and golden solitude, where you can escape the hectic modern world and enjoy this luxury at the hands of the professionals. Just relax under the hot steamed towels and let the blade men do their business.
The Chesterfield Mayfair is located within easy reach of some of oldest and finest barbershops in London, and provides the perfect gentleman’s retreat. This refined luxury hotel is replete with old-world charm, from the leather chesterfield sofas in the library to the elegant pinstripes of the garden conservatory. And of course, you can expect nothing less than a gentleman’s service.
London comprises some of the most traditional barbershop establishments in the business, so we’ve selected the absolute crème de la crème for your next visit.
For the history:
Proud to be the oldest surviving veteran of the London trade, Truefitt & Hill was established in 1805 near Long Acre, and has since moved several times to its current location at 21 St. James’s Street. Needless to say, this place is recognised as one of the leading barbershops in the world, and specialises in world-famous shaving cream, aftershaves, and colognes.
Geo. F. Trumper can be found at nearby Curzon Street, where it has retained the same heritage location since it opened in 1875. The interior will take you back, lined as it is with mahogany booths and large, old-fashioned display cases of vintage grooming tools and paraphernalia. There are newer branches on Duke of York Street and St. James’s, which replicate the same traditional experience.
For old-school tradition:
For a conventional shave in time-honoured tradition, there’s no place for it but the Pall Mall Barbers, which has proudly retained its upmarket location since 1896. Formerly known as the Pall Mall Toilet Salon, it was recently updated by proprietor Richard Marshall to create a hybrid of contemporary décor and old-fashioned practices.
An establishment that shows no signs of modernisation is F. Flittner, which has not been altered since it opened near Moorgate in 1904. Frosted saloon doors lead through into a simple, handsome room, presided over by a few black coat-clad, no-nonsense barbers. A thoroughly authentic and dignified shave.
For a modern twist:
Not all of London’s traditional barbers are set in traditional surrounds; some have sprung up more recently in areas such as Soho and Shoreditch, to cater to a younger, often bearded clientele. The brilliant Murdock London opened on Old Street in 2006, but soon moved closer to Shoreditch High Street to get in on the action. Several other branches have since opened up, and business is booming with their winning combination of vintage shop fittings and retro-style grooming products.
Pankhurst London is located just off Carnaby Street in Soho, where it modulates between old-fashioned luxury and contemporary cool. Offering traditional shaves and hot towel facial massages, Pankhurst enjoys its reputation as a haven of masculinity for celebrities and sharp-suited businessmen alike.