Richard Ward Salon, Chelsea

Tucked away amongst Sloane Square’s most desirable shops is one of London’s best known hair salons, Richard Ward.

The slick salon is full of confident expert hairdressers who have studied under Richard Ward in the company’s rigorous four year training course, so it is no surprise that so many celebrities (including Kate Middleton) choose this venue as their salon of choice.

Richard Ward

I stopped by last Thursday afternoon for a summer refresh. First for a colour with Leon and then a trim with Ryan. Though the entrance is discreet, the first floor salon is huge with separate areas for colour, cut and other beauty treatments. I was particularly impressed with the colour department, which has bright natural-style lighting to ensure exacting standards are met. Things were a little slow to get going, but once Leon had found me he was attentive and enthusiastic, with the perfect recommendations for my hair type and colour. We decided to redo my roots, to cover any grey hairs, with subtle balayage through the lengths and round the face. He promised me this would look natural and summery, and he was completely right. Leon worked quickly and methodically through my hair ensuring the highlights were evenly spread.

Richard Ward

Next came my favourite part, the hair wash. At Richard Ward the sink area is fully kitted out with reclining massage chairs. I almost fell asleep as a student washed and massaged my hair and scalp (with Shu Uemura volume shampoo) and toned the colour.

The cut was much more speedy. Ryan, though young, seemed to have extensive knowledge about hair and styling. He answered every question I fired at him with ease and clarity, offering sensible solutions to my hair dilemmas. Keen to keep the length but remove the flyaway layering, Ryan gave me a striking blunt shoulder length cut, which suited my face shape and gave my hair more volume. After a natural wavy blow dry I was ready to go.

Richard Ward

Before visiting Richard Ward I was in a real hair rut… I always wore my hair up as I didn’t like how it looked down. The last few days however I’ve enjoyed wearing my hair down and showing off my new summery style!

More information and book an appointment at Richard Ward Salon here.

The Painted Lady, Redchurch Street

When I need a special hair-do or makeover there is only one place in London I head to. The Painted Lady, on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, is a vintage emporium run by the retro queen Belinda Hay. In this small but characterful salon they will transform your hair, face and nails so you walk out feeling and looking fabulous.

Painted Lady

A few weeks ago, on a grey and rainy Saturday I paid Belinda and her team of experts a visit for a new hair colour and style and a gel manicure. The Painted Lady is a welcoming salon, fun music murmurs in the background and everyone seems to be having a good time.

The Painted Lady

I was whisked off downstairs, offered a warming cup of tea and a lovely beautician got to work straight away on my winter worn nails. Working efficiently and neatly she transformed my nails, a clean white colour with a quirky little black dot for decoration.

Painted Lady

Next it was time for my hair transformation. I flicked through Belinda’s Style me Vintage book for inspiration on eras and styles. I soon settled on stylish 1950s pin curls. Belinda used ethical products to give depth and warmth to the brown colour of my hair, before adding in a few natural lighter highlights. She then washed my hair with enriching Davines products, treated me to an extra long head massage and loosely dried my hair.

Painted Lady

Using plenty of pins and clever techniques Belinda bended my hair into ripples across my head. It was amazing to watch her work her magic so skillfully. After a generous few sprays of hairspray I was off into the modern streets of Shoreditch, feeling like a million-dollar vintage star.

Modern beauty trends change so quickly but there is something enduring about the glamorous style of bygone eras. For special occasions The Painted Lady is a rare and wonderful place to go and get dolled up like you never have done before.

More information and book an appointment at The Painted Lady here.

Maradiva Villa Resort & Spa, Mauritius

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The property is sensitive to its surroundings, with natural materials and elegant design. We were welcomed through the giant main pavilion, offered a welcome drink and quickly checked in. There are 65 villas in total, each nestled amongst the 27 acres of tropical foliage. Some are lucky enough to have an ocean view, others look out to the gardens.

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The villas are spacious and each have their own private pool, patio area and sun bed. We were in villa 409, which sadly didn’t have a view of the sea. The bedrooms are decorated in a smart business-like style, with an emphasis on warm earthy hues. The bed was extremely comfortable and I was pleased to discover every amenity you could need in the room, from the coffee machine to international plug sockets.

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The indulgent bathroom was well considered, with a big bathtub, indoor & outdoor shower and expensive toiletries by Hermes.

Maradiva

There are three restaurants at Maradiva, Coast2Coast is the all day dining option by the beach, Teppanyaki serves Japanese cuisine, and Cilantro restaurant specialises in Indian tapas and dishes. We only had one evening at Maradiva so could only try one restaurant, but I was very pleased with our decision to sample Cilantro. The Indian food here was a real highlight of our stay, Executive Chef Ravi Gookoolah creates sensational fresh breads, rich and aromatic curries and indulgent desserts.

Maradiva also own the next door sister property Sands Suites Resort & Spa so longer stay guests may choose to also try the eateries in this hotel.

Maradiva

The award-winning Maradiva Holistic spa is a serene sanctuary offering Ayurvedic treatments by experienced therapists and consultations by the knowledgeable Doctor Praveen Nair. I had a 60min Abhyanga massage after a short consultation with the doctor. Praveen quickly established I was stressed and tired and formulated a massage that would benefit me the most. The treatment was entirely unique and completely tailored to my needs. An invigorating head and neck massage followed by a full body massage, and finally a exfoliating shrub under the rain shower. I left feeling relaxed and refreshed.

The spa also have a comprehensive gym and guests can book private yoga and meditation lessons.

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After a day of rain we were pleased to wake up to sunshine on our second day at Maradiva, and enjoyed a lavish breakfast in our villa surrounded by sweet songbirds. The quality was breakfast was impressive, the finest buttery croissants, freshest tropical fruits and wonderful farm eggs.

When there is sunshine on the west coast there is plenty to do. This side of the island is particularly advantageous for swimming with dolphins and whale watching. The Boat House at Maradiva is fully equipped for water sports and activities including: Waterskiing, wakeboarding, snorkelling, and glassboat trips, all of which are complimentary.

Maradiva provides a lovely luxury retreat for visitors to Mauritius wishing to enjoy the island at their own pace, whether you want to rest from the comfort of your own private villa or get involved with all the activities on the beach.

More information and book a room at Maradiva here.