Blades of Glory: London
A global guide to the world's hippest barbershops. Our first call: London, where tradition meets contemporary cool.
From Mayfair in the west to Shoreditch in the east, London is buzzing with nightlife and oozing with style.
The cool Londoner’s secret to looking good is the art of the perfect shave and trim. No matter how short your stay in the UK capital, it’s always worth making time for their world-class barbershops.
A sharp barbershop experience for the fashion-conscious beardsman. Murdock is stacked with style, with a fantastic range of interesting grooming products and a generous heaping of cool interiors.
They now have four shops in the city, in Shoreditch, Mayfair, Covent Garden and Soho, making them a must-visit destination for any man staying over in the capital. For a luxurious London experience, visit their Soho store, which is to be found inside Liberty’s: a half-timbered department store that’s synonymous with authentic British style.
With luxury wet shaves from £45, there’s also an option for sensitive skin using only natural, paraben-free products from the Jack Black grooming range. Just the job for when your night out demands that extra glow.
Murdock, Liberty, Great Marlborough Street, London W1B 5AH. Nearest tube: Oxford Circus.
Tel: +44 (0)203 393 7946
Officially recognized as the world’s oldest barbers, Truefitt and Hill began life as a wigmakers in 1805, and included Lord Nelson among its earliest patrons.
“We were recognized by the Guinness Book of Records back in 2000,” says assistant manager Andrew Parker, “With a history that goes back to the Battle of Trafalgar. Whether Lord Nelson required just a wig or a shave as well isn’t yet known.” The shop is designed to reflect the bridge of a traditional wooden ship, with nautical and military accents that add a degree of old-world gravitas to its services.
Currently the barber to the Duke of Edinburgh, their emphasis on quality and tradition extends to their shaving. A traditional hot towel wet shave lasting 30 minutes costs a stately £39, while eager students of the razor can pay £80 for a 60-minute cut-throat shaving class.
Truefitt & Hill, 71 St James’ St, SW1. Nearest tube: Green Park.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7493 2961
Run by the same family since 1875, Trumper is a London landmark. Now with branches in the illustrious Mayfair and St James’ areas, you’re still better heading for the original Curzon Street establishment, where individual wooden cubicles lend a sense of luxurious privacy to your grooming.
For more delicate matters of hair tinting – even hairpiece fitting – curtained cubicles guarantee absolute discretion. It’s the kind of feeling that Victorian gentlemen knew all about – and only the artisan barber can still remind us of.
In days past, men would visit the barbers twice a week for their wet shave – or get the servants to do it. Relive the glory and luxury from £30. And leave the servants at home.
Geo F Trumper, 9 Curzon St, W1. Nearest tube: Green Park.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7499 1850