London offers some of the world’s best salons and day spas, but if you don’t have time for a massage or facial, a manicure is the perfect pampering treat. London’s nail bars range from quirky retro-style to the ultimate in luxury and glamour. Whether you want to pop in for a quick file and polish on a shopping trip, or you’d rather settle in for an afternoon of pampering treatments, check out our recommendations for the best manicures London has to offer:
1. Hula Nails
You’ll start absorbing the atmosphere of retro-style beauty as soon as you step foot inside this Tiki-themed beauty salon. Think tropical Hawaiian-inspired décor, kitschy fruit cocktails and beauticians who look like they stepped out of a ‘50s movie set. There’s even a private area where girls on hen nights or pampering parties can have their nails done while watching old Hollywood movies.
Hula Nails, 203-205 Whitecross St, EC1Y 8QP
Cowshed day spas offer an anti-ageing hand treatment in the form of their Fruit Acid manicure. Cowshed’s branches include buzzing Carnaby, cosy Clarendon Cross, Shoreditch, Chiswick, and the original Somerset branch set in the gorgeous grounds of Babington House – perfect for a pampering retreat.
Cowshed – location various
3. Selfridges Paint Shop
The branch of Nails Inc. in London’s world famous department store offers the perfect treat for weary shoppers. On Saturdays, celebrity nail stylist, Sophie Harris-Green offers her skills in creating incredible bespoke nail art.
Selfridges & Co, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
4. MW Nails
MW Nails offers an airline-themed menu of manicures and services including the “Miami-Mani-Meeting” which allows you to combine your manicure with a breakfast meeting. The salon itself is constructed from a ‘70s American Airlines Boeing 747, complete with first-class plush seating and aeroplane-style ambient lighting. The beauticians, of course, are dressed as flight attendants.
MW Nails, Old Spitalfields Market, 111B Commercial Street, E1 6BG
5. Lost in Beauty
This plush salon in fashionable Primrose Hill offers an atmosphere of vintage luxury and a boutique selling top beauty brands. The Nail Parlour is open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with basic manicures starting from £15.
Lost in Beauty, 117 Regents Park Road, Primrose Hill, NW1 8UR
6. Urban Retreat Nail Loft at Harrods
The Urban Retreat spas are designed to look like a trendy New York loft and a full range of treatments are available, from basic polish to nail art and nail consultations.
Urban Retreat Nail Loft at Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7XL
The Colourcopia flagship store, located within the Westfield Shopping Centre, offers over 240 different nail polish shades for those who are obsessed with choosing exactly the right colour. The express manicure will see you out the door with glossy nails in only 30 minutes.
Colourcopia, Westfield, Ariel Way, W12 7GF
8. Lyttle Minx
This West Dulwich based nail bar offers great value for money in luxury surroundings, with a basic shape and polish starting at £7. Harassed mothers can take advantage of their mini-manicure service to enjoy a pampering mother-daughter manicure session for kids aged 3-12.
Lyttle Minx, West Dulwich, 251 Gipsy Road, SE27 9QY
9. Margaret Dabbs
The nail spa at Margaret Dabbs offers an immaculate manicure service from highly trained technicians. Margaret Dabbs is also a specialist foot clinic so you can enjoy a pedicure with celebrity-endorsed product at the same time as having your nails done.
Margaret Dabbs, 7 New Cavendish Street, W1G 8UU
10. Nail Girls
This trendy Islington nail salon offers a range of treatments and manicures using their own-brand formaldehyde-free polishes. While clients are waiting for their nails to dry, they can enjoy the use of iPods and complimentary fizz.
Nail Girls, 50 Cross St, Angel, N1 2BA