Us women are used to being spoilt and pampered but what about the men!! I have had numerous emails recently from brides who are wanting to treat their future hubby to some well deserved pampering in the stressful lead-up to the big day! So, after much research, I found the cream of the crop when it comes to men’s grooming….
The Refinery is London’s one-stop grooming emporium for men. Established in January 2000 they offer an extensive list of treatments exclusively for men from their traditional wet shave to the luxurious Refinery One Day Package. They dedicate themselves to providing men with unparalleled service and level of attentiveness. Combining the comfort and atmosphere of a gentlemen’s club with the vitality and sense of well-being of a health spa, The Refinery provides an environment where their clients can relax, unwind and feel revitalised.
I went along with h2b to find out if it really is as good as it sounds…
When we arrived at their gorgeous Mayfair branch we were shown through to the trendy waiting area with big comfy chairs, a plasma tv and even a computer in the corner with internet access. After a couple of minutes our stylist Dan came through, introduced himself and took us through to the barbers area. The room was light and airy with a high ceiling and huge skylights and full of stylish sinks and grooming products. He sat h2b down and started the consultation for The Refinery Shaving Experience. Having never had a traditional shave before, h2b was a little nervous at the thought of having someone hold a blade that close to his throat but within seconds Dan had put him at ease and they were chatting away about his daily skin routine and their favorite movies!!
The shave was about 45 minutes long and began with a relaxing facial utilising a number of the Refinery’s own moisturisers and oils. A steaming hot towel was placed over the face to open the pores whilst a cleansing peppermint mask was applied to the eyes. The shave was then carefully and expertly carried out in sections with regular reapplications of the hot towel and the shaving oil. During this time, Dan was able to share with h2b some of the great skincare and shaving advice that he has picked up throughout his career. H2b really enjoyed the experience and the end result was fantastic, it was the smoothest, closest shave he had ever had!
If you are having the shave for the first time Dan advises coming in a couple of days in advance, as everyone’s skin is different and, if on the off chance you get any redness, it will give it a day to go down before the wedding! In my opinion I think a traditional shave would be a great way to start your stag day!
After the shave, they moved on to the haircut. This started with a consultation, the shampooing and conditioning of the hair and then a relaxing scalp massage carried out whilst h2b was draped with a hot towel infused with an aromatic scent. H2b was a little nervous about letting a new stylist cut his hair as he is very particular but he was really, really pleased with the end result. The final cut was sharp and stylish and required less product to maintain thanks to some clever ‘scaffolding hairs’ cut into the style.
Finally it was time for therapist Simran to take h2b up to the treatment room for the Deep Tissue Massage. This is an invigorating and deep pressure treatment that works on releasing muscle tension and knots. The massage increases blood and oxygen flow to the tissues in addition to keeping muscles supple, perfect to relieve some of that stress that builds up in the weeks before the wedding. There certainly were a few knots in h2b’s shoulders but these were coaxed free (with a little bit of pain but he was ever so brave!) and he was left a pleasing feeling of warmth and looseness.
By the end h2b was looking gorgeous and feeling completely relaxed and de-stressed. This being his first experience of being pampered and fussed over and he was definitely converted, I even overheard talk of him booking in some massages for the morning after his friends stag do next month!
The Refinery is exclusively for men and has a definite trendy, masculine vibe throughout. They offer many other treatments for the man about town including manicures, pedicures, facials, eyebrow shaping, several types of massage, reflexology, oceanmud and hot stone body treatments and hair removal. They also have package deals such as the ‘Groom’s day out’ package which includes a haircut, wet shave and maintenance manicure.
The Refinery have two luxury retreats, one in Mayfair and one in Harrods, Knightsbridge.
To find out more about the treatment on offer or to book an appointment visit: www.the-refinery.com