Photo courtesy of Granger and Co.
The London Wellness Guide
The wellness industry in London has found its feet—its soft, beautiful, callus-free feet—with a host of entrepreneurial women taking the lead. Experts like nutritional therapist Amelia Freer, meditation guru Vanessa Kandiyoti, and spiralizing queens Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley are writing books, hosting workshops, and opening businesses faster than you can say “turmeric latte and acai bowl, please.” And there are new collaborative havens dedicated to wellness, including the Bamford Haybarn Spa in Brompton Cross, Bodyism in Notting Hill, and Yogarise in South London, that are also springing up across town.
We spend a lot of time in the UK capital these days, thanks to our own well-being mecca—the now-permanent London goop store. We’ve compiled a comprehensive wellness black book for your next visit, whether you’re looking for a medical-grade facial or the chicest cryotherapy chambers in Europe or just craving a perfect smoothie and a plate of organic veggies. London, in other words, is basically Southern California with a lilt.
Linda Meredith Salon36 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London | +44.20.7225.2755
OG skin whisperer Linda Meredith has worked on everyone from Farrah Fawcett to Kate Middleton, and she's one of the facialists local goop friends swear by. An appointment at her Knightsbridge salon is definitely worth the splurge. Her team identifies, treats, and eliminates skin conditions with restorative algae-oxygen therapy, plumping collagen treatments, and more.
Vaishaly51 Paddington St., Marylebone, London | +44.20.7224.6088
This studio was founded by superfacialist Vaishaly Patel, and the skin-care treatments are incredible. The signature facial combines Patel’s famous techniques (deep cleansing, extraction, microdermabrasion, and high-frequency treatment) to create a custom plan to improve your skin on the day of your appointment. All facials include a craniosacral massage to treat tense areas at the scalp, brows, and jaw—heaven.
Anastasia Achilleos at The Lanesborough Club & Spa2 Lanesborough Place, SW1X 7TA, London | +44.020.7333.7064
Unlike many aestheticians who rely solely on traditional lotions and potions to treat skin maladies, Anastasia Achilleos targets the facial structures, including the lymph nodes, fascia, and muscles. She offers a huge range of therapies, including deep cleansing, steam, extraction, and bespoke massages to lift, depuff, soften dark circles and hyperpigmentation, and reduce congestion in sinuses. Her sessions are relaxing, and she makes sure to teach her clients how to best manage their skin at home. Best of all, she incorporates goop by Juice Beauty products into various treatments, which you can often catch at In goop Health summits in the US.
Jackie Denholm-MooreChelsea | +44.777.571.5476
It's not surprising that editors, celebrities, and even royals trust their faces to Denholm-Moore. She spends three days a week in a mews house, taking appointments from early morning until late in the evening. Her clients stay with her for years, not only for her incredible facials but also for quality waxing, electrolysis, pedicures, manicures, brows, lashes, body treatments, massage, and peels—all done to perfection. It may take a while to get an appointment, but when it happens, you'll be thrilled with the results.
The Light SalonHarvey Nichols, 4th Floor, 109-125, Knightsbridge, London | +44.20.7201.9606
The ExpressLED facial is the draw here, a fantastically efficient fifteen minutes of collagen- and elastin-supporting light therapy. Most treatments consist of a combination of yellow and near-infrared light (longer wavelengths that penetrate skin more deeply and are shown to help stimulate healing and ease pain), but for clients with congestion, courses of bacteria-eliminating blue light are most effective. It's worth making a habit—results are said to be cumulative—and it doesn't hurt that the salon is located inside Harvey Nichols.
Pfeffer SalThe Stables, 10B Warren Mews, Fitzrovia | +44.20.3883.4702
Andrea Pfeffer’s passion for glowing, balanced skin led her to create this beautiful, intimate studio with a menu of novel, high-tech facials. They started a bit of a craze for collagen-supporting copper microneedling, but what really sets Pfeffer apart is that no matter how cutting-edge the treatment or how hard-core the extractions, needling, or vitamin infusion, there's an exquisitely relaxing facial massage built in to your session.
Henrik Gaardsdal at SjälCitywide | 203.717.1552
Danish skin-care brand Själ incorporates gemstones and high-quality minerals into its formulations, which are said to vibrate at high frequencies that cause cellular regeneration. When those properties are put into action in the form of chief facialist Henrik Gaardsal's facials, you're in for a treat. He uses rose quartz and amethyst wands for a head-to-toe gemstone massage that relaxes the body and stimulates lymphatic drainage, followed by the most soothing facial around. Some call it a bioregenerative treatment; others call it heaven. Book in advance, as London is just one of Gaardsdal's many international stops.
Marlene Method221 Westbourne Park Rd., Notting Hill, London | +44.78.4148.3516
Using a mix of acupuncture, LED light, and even tuning forks (the vibrations have soothing, stress-easing effects), the facials here leave clients with a serious glow, balanced skin, and an even deeper sense of calm. We’re especially in love with the Chi Rejuvenation Facial, fifty minutes of acupressure, gua sha, and jade rolling, all of which energize skin by supposedly stimulating the flow of chi. With her faithful following, Marlene Muñoz splits her time between her Notting Hill practice and the hallowed halls of the Bulgari Hotel.
Skin Matters222-224 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London | +44.77.1038.1438
Down a flight of stairs beneath a private wellness club is Joanne Evans’s Skin Matters. The air is oxygenated, the neutral-tone treatment rooms are immediately calming, and the facials are skin-changing. Evans has been tending to faces for over two decades, and her specialty is problematic and eczema-afflicted skin. She has a beautifully light touch and uses incredible active formulas, along with collagen-supporting microneedling therapy. Bespoke facials aside, there also are vitamin infusions, and you can grab a Bodyism shake or an acai bowl on your way out. Evans has a second location on Kensington High Street.
Dr. Nigma Talib11 Lambton Place, Notting Hill, London | +44.20.7792.8073
Dr. Nigma Talib is a bit of legend around West London, particularly among Notting Hill’s best-complexioned residents. Treatment starts with a consultation. Dr. Talib believes in a holistic approach and that the face is a map of what’s happening within—dairy-, wine-, and sugar-face are all diagnoses. Expect stool samples, blood tests, and a deep but gentle line of questioning before the naturopathic doctor works her magic. These are no ordinary facials, nor are they one-off treatments. Plan on leaving with lifestyle and dietary advice and a renewed sense of calm thanks to Dr. Talib’s soothing manner and cool expertise. She also works out of the Four Seasons in Los Angeles.
FaceGym352 King's Rd., Cheslea | +44.20.3167.6030
Former Spa Junkie columnist at the Financial Times Inge Theron is the founder of this enterprise. Which makes sense, as only someone who has experienced hundreds of spas, treatments, and Eastern and Western wellness philosophies could have come up with something so smart. FaceGym is not a facial; it’s a workout for the muscles, fascia, and lymph glands that make up your face. And it’s completely noninvasive. A therapist will knead, press, and gently slap your face for thirty minutes, and the result is kind of incredible. Your cheekbones look lifted, your eyes are less puffy, and the rush of blood to the face gives your complexion a healthy glow. The shorter appointment times and convenient locations mean you can squeeze this facial workout into a lunch break. We like the flagship on the King's Road, but the counter at Selfridges is just as good, as is the location across the pond at Saks in NYC.
Alexandra Soveral20 Upper Ground, Southbank | +44.203.747.1000
After a long, dehydrating flight or an intense week at work or really any other time, come to think of it, there are few things we love more than a massage at Aqua Spa in the Sea Containers hotel (formerly the Mondrian). Skin specialist Alexandra Soveral’s Signature Treatment is manna to your visage. A deep clean is followed by an intense lymphatic-drainage massage. Hot and cold stones are dipped in fragrant oils and rolled over the face, taking care of puffiness and smoothing out fatigue lines. Soveral’s organic, nontoxic products are made from botanicals grown on her family farm in Portugal—and they smell heavenly. Pick up a jar of Angel Balm, a miracle in a jar that you can cleanse with or smear on as a hydrating mask while up in the air or overnight in bed. You can also book in with Soveral herself at her Maida Vale London clinic.