Squad Goals: How to Pamper with the Girls This WeekendBy Roberta Lister
Bored of that girly weekend brunch? Course you’re not. It’s good to mix things up though, so here are five brilliantly sociable weekend suggestions that blend that much-needed catch up with a little pampering. Read on for manicure meccas and cocktail hotspots where three is never a crowd…
What: When it comes to out-there beauty experiences, Benefit always takes the crown. Following on from previous hits – remember that blow-dry bus and all-pink-everything pub? This year sees the doors of the Good Ship Benefit open on the Victoria Embankment.
Why: The ship (previously known as the R.S. Hispaniola) is a sprawling beauty mecca comprising a series of typically kitsch themed rooms. Head to the Brow Lounge on the top deck for a shaping service and a glass of bubbles, have a gossip over lunch in the Lashitude restaurant, or search out the secret Porefessional Vault for a personalised complexion lesson and custom cocktail. There’s a host of brilliant events lined up for the summer, from charity comedy nights to wine tastings and fitness classes. Head to their website for the full event listing.
Where: Good Ship Benefit, Victoria Embankment, London WC2N 5DJ
What: When it comes to social beauty experiences, London Grace is one of the most welcoming we’ve ever come across. Housing both a nail and cocktail bar, this cosy hideaway is the perfect place for a proper manicure and a lengthy catch-up over a Sipsmith gin ‘n’ tonic. Reflecting the founder’s ‘social beauty’ concept, treatment tables can be booked for one, two, or a whole group, while coffee, cocktails and nibbles will be brought to you until 10pm. The brand uses its own nail lacquers, which boast a supreme shade range and are void of any chemical nasties, while pedicures are performed dry to stay kind to the planet and eliminate water-borne germs.
Why: For an extra-special occasion, book the private ‘Grace Space’ in the brand’s Putney location for a decadent afternoon tea or even a bottomless brunch. Don’t need your nails topping up? Just pop in for a slice of red velvet and a natter – these girls are always happy to see you.
Where: 26 Putney High Street, London SW15 1SL and 107 Clapham High St, SW4 7TB
What: Covent Garden’s famously decadent Balthazar has teamed up with beauty queen Bobbi Brown to offer a very special afternoon tea. Accompanying the restaurant’s fabled sandwiches and scones is a collection of beautitiful cakes and desserts inspired by the make-up artist’s most beloved creations: there’s a feather-light mousse inspired by the Vintage Red lipstick, a Foundation Stick of chocolate, praline and passionfruit, and even a redcurrant Pot Rouge macaroon, complete with lemon chantilly.
Why: Team all this with Bobbi’s Tequila Blanco cocktail and you’ve got a pretty perfect afternoon.
Where: Balthazar, 4-6 Russell St, London WC2B 5HZ
What: Chelsea’s shiny-new Beauty Block takes all the pain out of that pre-summer waxing treatment. This revolutionary lifestyle concept houses a Browhaus eyebrow salon, Ministry of Wax treatment rooms, and artisanal café A Wanted Man. There’s a Wild West theme to bring the fun factor, and a zero-awkwardness mantra that will ease those wax-phobics through the door.
Why: Book yourself in for those pre-beach treatments, then settle down in the café for a very length brunch – the sourdough waffle with salted peanut cream is not to be rushed.
Where: The Beauty Block Chelsea, 330 King’s Road, London SW3 5UR
What: If you don’t know the Mondrian’s stunning Agua spa, get to know now. The treatment list is loaded with innovative, super-fun offerings that shake up the usual massage and facial routine.
Why: Our top recommendation for a girly night is the Mud Party, which involves a deep-cleansing Glamglow mud mask for up to 15 friends, champagne cocktails all round, and even one of the brand’s cult facial products to take home.
Where: Mondrian London, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD