“I think I’ve found my favourite bar in London, and it happens to be a hairdressers.”
It’s such a genius idea, I’m amazed nobody has thought of it before. Hairclubbing – a concept created at Blade Hair Club in Soho – is where you can enjoy a drink while you’re having your hair done.
Owned and run by Julia and Stroo, Blade is part salon, part bar, where clients come as much for the expertly curated drinks as they do for the treatments. Upstairs is a coffee bar and salon, and downstairs is a salon and licenced bar manned by Stroo, who makes mean cocktails and knows a thing or two about whiskey. It’s a small space but it runs like a well-oiled ship.
On the day I visited, Scottish brewery Harviestoun were in the house, bringing with them their popular beers – Broken Dial, Raspy Engine, Blade Engine Oil and Schiehallion craft lager on draught. I enjoyed a cold glass of Schiehallion while I had my hair tended to by Jade, and browsed through the in-chair iPads, which featured the all-important salon drinks menu. This isn’t just any drinks menu either – as well as craft ales, the wines are all biodynamic, and the cocktails range from classic Espresso Martinis to citrussy Byrrh & Twisted and refreshing IPA Elder Bombs.
You can watch Netflix while ordering matcha lattes, cold-pressed juices and flavoured raw chocolate from the comfort of your salon chair. Although I didn’t try one, I’m told the OMG Hot Chocolate (with or without alcohol) is the absolute bomb.
As if that’s not enough, Blade also has regular live jazz nights. When I was leaving, Kansas Smitty’s leader Giacomo Smith & The Hops struck up a gig upstairs and I had to tear myself away (note to reader: leave time to linger after your treatment).
But what I loved most was the atmosphere. This felt like stepping into the house of old friends. Normally my experience of going to the hairdresser is tinged with anxiety or, dare I say, boredom. I don’t always want to make small talk, but nor do I want to feel rude or unwelcome. I want the experience to be fun and enjoyable and relaxing. And that’s exactly how I felt at Blade.
Blade Soho, 26 Frith Street, London, 020 7734 4932, www.bladesoho.co.uk