With an average of 106 rainy days a year and temperatures barely kissing the 70s even in the height of summer, London is perhaps not the most obvious place to mirror L.A’s sunny, outdoorsy attitude to wellness. The city is nicknamed “The Big Smoke” for crying out loud – not the Big Green Juice! But, in spite of the gloomy climate and cultural snobbery towards self-improvement (try? At anything? Not very British!), Londoners have embraced wellness in their own way. By cherry-picking the elements we like – speedy, results-driven, stress-busting, etc. – and utilising the multicultural threads that make London so brilliant, there’s a truly unique wellness and beauty scene to be enjoyed.
Nestled in the slightly unassuming, perennially under construction Battersea district, Linnaean is a veritable wellness one-stop-shop. With treatments from luxury brands like Susanne Kaufmann, Dr. Barbara Sturm and MZ Skin, their facial menu boasts a blend of botanical and sci-fi level treatments to suit every skin concern. Want an oxygen infusion or microcurrent with your vegan Orveda facial? No problem. You can add on any number of extra treatments from massage to make-up application, osteopathy to acupuncture, and nails to brows before heading downstairs to get your tresses seen to. With an all-star styling team who’ve racked up cred with the likes of Vogue and Dazed, you’re in safe hands. Finally, swing by the restaurant and enjoy a plant-based meal before you go. Total rejuvenation.
Wellness works from the inside out, and that includes your mouth. We all learn to clean our teeth as toddlers, but for many of us, that’s where the knowledge and curiosity stops – if you’re brushing twice a day, what could possibly be wrong? In reality, your mouth is something of a mirror of the rest of your health, with vitamin deficiencies and stress showing up on the tongue, gums and teeth. Book yourself in to see Dr. Uchenna Okoye of London Smiling for a truly holistic consultation. She’ll take a full history, explain every little thing that’s going on with your gnashers and work with you to help you create a really natural, beautiful smile. With little touches like an ever-changing array of lip balms on offer and movies shown during longer treatments, you’ll certainly have something to be smiling about.
“London is not the most obvious place to mirror LA’s sunny attitude to wellness.”
One of my long-held beliefs (and actually backed up by some science, thank you very much) is that a lack of stretching leads to many of life’s ills, from poor posture to low quality sleep and inflammation. Luckily here in London, we have an establishment dedicated to getting that lactic acid moving: StretchLAB. If you always skip stretching at the end of your workouts, or find that you’re always sore in one spot, the experts here can get you back to your most flexible self. Part PT, part masseuse, the “stretchers” will help guide you through a range of stretches, assisting you in certain holds to ensure you really work out those knots. Bonus: it all makes you feel five inches taller too.
No amount of alternative mylk or lunges can help you on your journey to inner spiritual wellness. If you’ve been feeling somewhat…off lately, a little sluggish, a little disconnected and out of touch spiritually, you need to see Giselle La Pompe Moore. A modern mystic and reiki practitioner, her background in beauty journalism prior to her pivot into wellness ensures her treatments are as luxurious as they are reviving. Depending on your needs, she might suggest tarot reading, guided meditation, and energy healing, as well as giving you space to talk about your anxieties and spiritual journey. She’ll send you off with homework too, but the good kind: a pack of helpful worksheets to make sense of your feelings, your own guided meditations, and other resources to help you hold onto that sense of peace and contentment.
Facials don’t have to be either relaxing or effective: just ask Pfeffer Sal. If you’re in need of an old-fashioned skin service but still want all the mod cons, this is the spot for you. For example; want a deep cleanse, extraction, and masks? Done, done, and done, with highly-trained hands that won’t exacerbate breakouts or stress the skin. Want to upgrade from there? There’s the option for DermaLux LED, laser, DermaPen, and peels. They also have a nifty NASA-approved air purification system that uses three kinds of filtration to remove airborne pathogens, which means you’re breathing some of London’s freshest air.