Travel

Chelsea

Establishment neighborhood
Vanessa Kandiyoti
[email protected]
Vanessa Kandiyoti is a polymath—which alone is reason to be fascinated by her. Born in Belgium, with Turkish origins, the former jewelry designer now resides in West London, where she teaches meditation, compassion, and deep calm. Kandiyoti leads group sessions, but is also available for one-on-ones. Aside from having the most calming voice and soothing manner, Kandiyoti is a fascinating and optimistic person, so whether you’re an experienced meditator or a novice, you’ll leave feeling centered and uplifted.
Estelle Bingham
104 Draycott Ave., Chelsea
There’s only one word for Estelle Bingham’s practice: transformative. Or maybe two: utterly transformative. Her particular combination of crystal healing and guided meditation melts away the anxieties of modern life. She’s done this for twenty years, and if you choose to surrender and commit some time to exploring her methods of holistic healing, the results can be remarkable. You can book sessions either at Bamford’s sparkling new well-being haven in Brompton Cross or at home.
Bamford Haybarn Spa
104 Draycott Ave., Chelsea
Carole Bamford’s latest London enterprise, the Bamford Haybarn Spa, is fast becoming our wellness home away from home in London. Tucked away on Draycott Avenue in Chelsea, the building looks like something straight off of Bamford’s own Gloucestershire farm, with its rustic white wood and signature green glass bottles full of nontoxic botanical oils, creams, and serums. Inside, you find a full wellness temple with a subterranean spa and first floor space offering yoga, Pilates, meditation, and fascinating workshops with holistic experts (like crystal healing and sound baths). The “sleep” treatment is our go-to after a long flight or a bout of insomnia. Each session starts with submerging your weary feet in Epsom-salted water while you pick your oil of choice and the music you want to drift off to. One hour is all you need to feel thoroughly depuffed and ready for bed. If you want dinner first, Daylesford Organic is blessedly around the corner, for vibrant, straight-off-the-farm food (straight off Bamford’s farm, that is).
11 Cadogan Gardens
11 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea
Near the posh shopping area of Sloane Square and occupying a series of Victorian townhouses, this small hotel in Chelsea offers some truly attractive communal areas. And you don’t have to be a guest to use them. There’s a small, clubby bar full of leather chairs and dark, moody lighting for an early-evening drink (or to escape the London drizzle). Our favorite spot, though, is the library. Dreamily quiet, its walls lined with old books and its tables stacked with newspapers, it’s a proper oasis for the freelancer or aspiring novelist—especially with a pot (and then another) of English breakfast tea. For those looking to sleepover, guestrooms are a lesson in English elegance, many with roomy, four-poster beds and picturesque views of the leafy park on the adjacent quiet square.
Baar & Bass
336 King's Rd., Chelsea
Fashion giants, like Dover Street Market, Matches, and Selfridges, may have every sartorial desire covered, but it’s the smaller, more intimate stores that are the backbone of London. Baar & Baas on the King's Road is the perfect example. Maddie Chesterton’s edit is arty and quirky: silky Rixo tea dresses, striped Bella Freud knits and flared pants, retro Terry de Havilland platforms, and the most sublime Sophie Lis jewelry are just a few of the special offerings. It’s all luxuriously bohemian and ’60s-inspired. And the selection of cookbooks, candles, and cards solves virtually every gift buying dilemma, every time.
FaceGym
352 Kings Rd., Chelsea
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.
Emma Cannon
15 Radnor Walk, Chelsea
Fertility expert Emma Cannon specializes in helping soon-to-be and new mothers at her offices in Chelsea and the West End. A registered acupuncturist and an expert in women’s health, her techniques sit between Eastern and Western healing traditions. The Fertility Rooms are her center of gravity, where she provides nutritional advice, acupuncture, and full-body diagnostics to support couples trying to get pregnant or women recovering from postpartum depression. She also runs an IVF support clinic.
The Organic Pharmacy Spa
396 King's Rd., Chelsea
In 2002, pharmacist Margo Marrone and her husband, Francesco, created a beautiful, wildly successful chain of wellness dispensaries in London devoted to their ever-expanding, luxurious, certified-organic line of homeopathic remedies, skin, hair, and body care. Their flagship store also has a gorgeous spa where all of the products are used. The facials are amazing: We especially love the vitamin C and papaya enzyme peel, the express thirty-minute facial with microcurrent, and the amazing Rose Diamond Facial, which combines a diamond exfoliation with an oxygen-infused mask and lifting massage for super glowy skin.
Ushvani
1 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea
Just walking into this serene, beautifully designed townhouse is calming, from the gorgeous wood-paneled interiors centered around an ornate staircase to incredible therapists who seem to move—and somehow communicate—practically soundlessly. The Malaysian-inspired treatments incorporate incredible spices and flowers. (The Nutmeg Flower Bath Ritual, a contemporary take on the traditional Malaysian mandi bath, combines 33 essential oils, reflex work, and metabolism-boosting massage. Arrive early to take advantage of the subterranean dip pool (complete with a softly-trickling waterfall) or a private yoga session inside the spa’s own studio.
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