There are so many barbers in London to choose from that deciding where to go can be a tough decision. Last week Danny visited Gentlemen’s Tonic, here is how he got on…
Gentlemen’s Tonic is definitely not your average barbers, situated in the middle of Mayfair, it is more of a male grooming destination and is for the gentleman who is a fan of being groomed and enjoying a luxury lifestyle. Located in Bruton Place, you are not quite sure what to expect from the outside. There are big initialed doors and a flag waving in the wind. However when you enter you are greeted by a large reception with a backdrop of Gentlemen’s Tonic products and small glimpse of the barber shop.
After checking in with reception I was greeted by my barber, it is funny when you go somewhere new, you are never sure about the new salon and not knowing much about your new barber you can be anxious about getting your hair cut. I shouldn’t have worried though as the barber was very friendly and instantly put me at ease. He listened to what I was looking to do with my hair and genuinely wanted to know what I wanted done and how I would like to style it after the haircut. My last hair cut had been cut way too short, so it was good to explain I did not want too much off the top and wanted quite a high and short line taken on the sides.
One thing that stands out about Gentlemen’s Tonic is the private booths. Each barber has their own booth, complete with a curtain that can close over if you want slightly more privacy. In each booth there are the usual suspects; products, clippers, scissors and oh not so usual, a TV to keep you entertained. I feel this made the haircut more of my own personal appointment and gave you “an experience” rather than just another person hair cutting your hair, which it can sometimes feel like in a barbers.
I really liked the little touches around Gentlemen’s Tonic, there were 180 degree mirrors in the booth which enabled me to watch the hair cut from start to end. Which moves away from the typical solo mirror in front of you and then being shown the cliché mirror to see the back of your head.The flatscreen TV was another nice touch; if you aren’t very talkative or want to just chill having your hair cut you could control what was playing, typically most men flick between the news and music TV. The hair cut lasted just over 30 minutes but felt like a few minutes and was finished off with some of the Gentlemen’s Tonic own products. The barber asked me what products I liked to use and why I preferred them and offered some advice on what to use also. As a man with as many products as Paula it was good to hear you were using the right hair product for your hair type.
A couple of things that typically frustrate me about barbers is after a dry hair cut, they do not rinse or wash out the cut hair and so it often sticks on your head, your ears and not to mention on your clothes. At Gentlemen’s Tonic this was not the case and my hair was washed out afterwards, something that ticks more boxes for me. My second frustration with other barbers is as a bearded man who has a real love for his beard and is very particular about how I shape and shave, I was slightly worried when the barber recommended a reshape and a slightly higher neckline however it really was the right decision, it does complement the haircut and provides a better shape to my beard for my face shape. The slight panic was very short-lived and now happier with my beard, something I was not expecting to think or say pre visit.
Overall the experience at Gentlemen’s Tonic was very personable, enjoyable and I think it was a very high quality haircut. The barber seemed to love what he did, even with his second baby born last week and was openly looked forward to seeing his clients and to his day ahead (guys will know barbers rarely seem to enjoy life in the shop). I will definitely look to go back to Gentlemen’s Tonic and would recommend it to my friends. Gentlemen’s Tonic have branches all over the world in places such as Dubai and Hong Kong, plus have just recently opened a new branch in Moscow. If you are after barber shop services only, they also have an express version at King’s Cross St Pancras.
Prices for a haircut at Gentlemen’s Tonic start at £52. For more info or to book visit the website at www.gentlemenstonic.com.