Review: Edward James salon

There are relatively few universal truths, but I think we can probably all agree with the following:

  • Triangular sandwiches taste better than square ones
  • Putting kittens in the oven doesn't make them biscuits
  • It is impossible not to feel better after some good quality pampering/grooming

While I tend not to dabble in the baking of felines, at-home or salon maintenance is a non-negotiable for me, particularly when I'm busy. When work is hectic, life can feel as though it passes by in a haze of meetings and deadlines, punctuated by the occasional nap in front of Gardener's World or some other televisual tamazepam. Although taking time out can often seem like too great a luxury, treating yourself to a salon visit almost forces you to relax: there's nothing to do, nothing to think about. You can just be.

This was just the experience I had when I visited Edward James London salon in Clapham last week. After an immensely busy few weeks, and on the night before a big presentation, I stepped off a perishingly cold Northcote Road and into the warm, Aveda-scented glow of this small yet bustling salon. As soon as I'd made myself comfortable, restorative glass of prosecco in hand, I was greeted by Craig, the salon manager, who was to provide one of the bounciest blow dries I'd had for a long time. After a chat about my hair and the products I normally use, he gave me some excellent insights into my hair type that have been entirely absent from previous consultations. We agreed that a blow dry with some movement was the order of the day, and then I settled back to enjoy a wonderful head, shoulder and neck aromatherapy massage which is included with all treatments.

The stresses of the day already dispensed with, I was then seated in an incredible massage chair while my hair was washed and treatment applied. The chair creates the feeling of floating on a gently undulating sea - chairs which just enable you to have your feet up are now very much yesterday's news in my book! It was then back to Craig, via a chat with Edward, the salon's charming owner. I'd noticed Edward chatting to all of the salon's 'guests' (everyone in the salon uses this over the slightly seemy 'clients'!) and it all felt like we were at a rather laid back party; the ever-present host ensuring that we were all enjoying our experiences. I felt so welcome, something which I'd never really thought about when visiting a salon, but Edward's easy manner creates the most wonderful, friendly atmosphere, something that is extremely rare in salons of this standard. It feels very much part of the community, and it is easy to see why the salon recently won a Best New Business award. Being there really made me want to move to Clapham!

Finally, it was back to Craig to impart as much gloss and bounce into my hair as I've seen in a very long time whilst we swapped stories of being northerners in London, and I was subject to yet more relaxation in the form of a hand massage. If I wasn't sufficiently fond of him for giving me great hair, I will love him forever for telling me that he liked this hat!

After saying my goodbyes, I stepped back into the cold feeling altogether restored, and after looking at the time, I was shocked to see that little more than an hour had passed. It reminded me that it really doesn't take long to bring some balance back to your life, and when it leaves you coiffed and confident, so much the better.

Edward James London is at 18 Northcote Road, Clapham. Blow dries start from £28.


Life | Be Grateful

image source: pinterest.com
*Blows dust off blog*

2014 is 34 days old and yet here I am, only just putting finger tips to keyboard. It's taken some time to figure out, but I want this to be the year that my blog changes direction: less about things and more about things that matter. My passion for writing is stronger than ever, and that means exploring new subject matter, becoming inspired again, and feeling like I'm doing something that contributes more to the world than just recommending a new shade of lipstick (not that a new lipstick can't make you feel great: it's some of the best medicine there is).

So, today's post is about gratitude. Watching this TED talk earlier gave me an amazing insight: that in choosing to be grateful, we put ourselves on a fast track to happiness. Yet how many of us practice gratitude with any frequency (beyond saying 'thank you' for the things others do for us) and how often are we truly grateful for the things we have? I know that I spend a good portion of my time getting stressed about the things that concern me, or the things I haven't yet achieved, so my challenge is to start acknowledging where I am, and why it's a great place to be. Here are a few tips from a range of sensible people (only one of them is from me!) to help get you started:

1. Every day, write down something that you are grateful for. Read it after a month and realise that there are a lot of wonderful things in your life

2. Be mindful. Take a few moments every day to stop and appreciate what's going on, whether it be a peak of sunshine on an otherwise grey day, or the feeling of finishing work on a Friday evening

3. Stay in touch. Speak to your friends and loved ones often, and listen as much as you talk. Always send birthday cards: texts aren't nearly as much fun to receive

4. Do something good. Volunteer your time for a good cause, give to charity (even if it's just donating some old clothes), or go and help your friend put up their latest Ikea purchase

What are you grateful for today? 

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