Barbers Near St James Park, White Hall, Belgravia & Pimlico
Tucked away at 11 Palmer Street, just a stone’s throw away from St. James Park station is Pall Mall Barbers Westminster. Fittingly for an area so rich in history, Pall Mall is one of the oldest barber shops still remaining in London, with its original Trafalgar Square site dating back over 120 years. Every last detail of the shop has been carefully selected to evoke the feel of the traditional British barber shop era, from the candy-striped barber pole above the door, right down to the oak panelling and retro fittings.
If you leave St. James Park underground via the delightfully named “Petty France” exit, you’ll find yourself standing on a quiet street corner, a little oasis of calm bang in the centre of the Buckingham Palace – Westminster Abbey – Westminster Cathedral hubbub. Petty France is an Anglicised pronunciation of “Petite France”, the moniker given to the area in the 18th century when it was the favourite haunt of visiting French merchants. Make no mistake, though: this is a thoroughly British enclave of the capitol, steeped in tales of glories from days gone by. A nearby blue plaque proudly informs passers-by that “Sir Winston Churchill spoke here” on the former site of Caxton Hall and the stout Ministry of Justice office looms large overhead. There is barely a street in this postcode than cannot boast of some connection with a royal or statesman, past or present.
Standing proudly in the window alongside Pall Mall Barbers own smart looking tins of hair wax and sleek black bottles of shaving cream are two awards: one for Best Male Grooming Salon of 2017 from Salon Business Awards and a second from industry bible Hair Magazine for Best Men’s Product Range. This will come as no surprise to readers of the Evening Standard, the New York Times or GQ, whose journalists regularly call upon Pall Mall’s expert team of barbers and stylists for interviews and advice.
The Pall Mall Barbers team has over 350 years of experience between them and as you might expect, the Westminster shop offers a wide range of services – from quick cuts if you’ve only got a lunch break to spare, to the more modern skin fades, down to luxury take-the-afternoon-off grooming experiences. A traditional haircut takes only 30 minutes, but the popular 45 minute re-style service allows your barber that extra time to achieve the cut and style that suits you best. It starts with a thorough consultation, combining their expert knowledge with your own ideas to ensure that you both have a clear image of the cut you’d like before they even pick up the scissors. If you have a particular style in mind, the team encourage you to bring pictures along with you to help them understand exactly what it is you’re after. After your hair is cut and styled using the exclusive Pall Mall Barbers styling range, your barber will show you how to achieve your new style at home, explaining which product to use and how much you will need.
What really sets our Pall Mall Barbers Near Belgravia apart from the competition and keeps them on every style editor’s speed dial are their more traditional services, which hark back to a golden age of gentleman’s grooming. The 45 minute luxury wet shave, which starts at £45, is a perennial client favourite. Each shave begins with an in-depth consultation and analysis of your current shaving regime – examining the direction of hair growth, density of stubble, and skin sensitivity are all a part of prepping you for the most luxurious shaving experience in town. The face is prepared with a hot towel treatment, and application of the Pall Mall Barbers Sandalwood and Clove Pre-Shave Scrub, which is designed to soften hairs and prepare the skin for shaving. Finally skin is prepared with a generous application of Pall Mall’s Shave Oil to create an extra barrier of protection.
After this exacting preparation, the main event begins: two warm lathers of Pall Mall Barbers Shave Cream are applied with a stylish badger hair brush. Finally, the steady hands and watchful eyes of one of London’s finest barbers will complete your shave with expert precision.
Following the shave, each client is treated to an application of Cooling Gel to reduce any redness and irritation and kick start the skin’s own healing process. To round off the entire experience, your barber will apply Post Shave Balm (which you may have spotted on the GQ Grooming Awards shortlist) and an ice-cold towel to lock in moisture and tighten the pores.
To recreate the experience at home, Pall Mall Barbers near Belgravia also offer a dedicated one hour shaving lesson with one of its highly-trained barbers for £80. Think of it as an investment in your image – you’ll learn how to shave proficiently, ensuring you understand how to get the best and closest possible shave, with advice on how to optimise your grooming routine to keep your skin looking and feeling its best. You’ll leave the shop with a personal plan that includes pre and post shave techniques. It’s the perfect treat for any gentleman, and ideal for young men new to the art of shaving.
Since they first set up shop 120 years ago, Pall Mall have been famed for their grooming products. Up until the early part of the 20th century and the dawn of mass-produced consumer goods, every barber needed to produce their own lotions and preparations not only for use within their stores but also for regular clients to take away for their own daily routines. Despite the rise of Boots and Superdrug, Pall Mall have continued their research and development, working with the best barbers from around the globe to bring their original products back to life and adapt them to the demands of the modern lifestyle. There’s a full range to suit every need, from shaving and hair styling to beard maintenance, and kits to keep you looking sharp between appointments. They even sell Union Jack cufflinks and a handmade stainless steel and calf leather hip flask, should you be inclined to round off your new “man about town” look.
If you happen to arrive early for your appointment, there’s plenty in the area to keep you occupied while you wait. The surrounding streets once played host to a cast of history’s most feared and revered characters behind the facades of otherwise respectable buildings. Just around the corner you’ll find a parade of black cabs passing beneath the leafy archway of the St. Ermine’s Hotel, a favoured wartime meeting place for Britain’s top spies and government agents. Not far along sits the former Caxton Hall – the preferred site for clandestine celebrity weddings: Elizabeth Taylor, Ringo Starr and Sir Roger Moore all signed the registry here at some point. Perhaps even more thrillingly, it was the backdrop for occultist Aleister Crowley’s notorious 1910 “Rites of Eleusis” performances, denounced as blasphemous and immoral by the scandalised London press.
Once you step back out onto the streets of Westminster, you can indulge in a leisurely stroll over to the actual St. James Park. The former marshland was transformed into a deer park by Henry VIII in 1532 and was the favourite site of his daughter Elizabeth for royal displays of pageantry and pomp. Her successor James I had more unusual intentions for the space – he had the entire marshland drained and landscaped to house an exotic menagerie of camels, crocodiles and elephants. Thankfully you won’t have to dodge any hungry amphibians nestling in the park’s famed scarlet geraniums, but you can still catch a glimpse of some unexpected wildlife. You may think of pelicans as more seaside than city centre, but the park’s central lake has been home to the birds since 1664 when they were gifted by the Russian ambassador to King Charles II. The park’s royal legacy lives on to this day – it is still used for the annual Trooping of the Colour on the Queen’s official birthday in June.
If park life’s not your thing, the Adam and Eve sits just across the road, ready to help. This Greene King pub dating back to the 18th century was such a hot spot for thirsty ministers and government officials that a bell hung over the bar, ready to summon them back to Parliament when a vote was imminent. If you’re not in such a hurry though, you can sit back and relax with one of Greene King’s Suffolk-brewed cask ales or – even better for the true London gentleman – a classic gin and tonic.
Centrally located, you’ll find Pall Mall Barbers Westminster right next to St. James Park underground, or just a short walk away from Westminster, Green Park or Victoria stations and near Belgravia & Pimlico.
You can view and book the full list of services available at Pall Mall Barbers Westminster via their online booking system, or you can download the PMB app (available on iOS and Android).
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Westminster, St James, Victoria, Belgravia, Pimlico & Knightsbridge, Chelsea & Kensington.
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