LDN Experiences

Published on November 6th, 2015 | by Clarissa Waldron


Movember @ Ruffians, Covent Garden

Movember has officially begun and in preparation for the bearded bonanza, Covent Garden’s very own high-brow, swanky barbers, Ruffians, got busy last week ringing in the month-long mammoth event. Following on from their successful 2014 collaboration with their friends The Movember Foundation, the Scottish barbers invited in some new friends to help host their event.

So what gels perfectly with groomed handlebar moustaches and beehive beards? A boozy cocktail that’s only found beside one of the best steaks in the city of course. Yep, for the two nights, Smith and Wollensky donated their cocktail making services to lubricate lips while Ruffians turned fuzzy faces into born-again hairless wonders, dishing out their blade-blending services for free. So with a week’s worth of stubble to dispense of, we popped in to check out their skills and learn more.

The rustic barbers feels small on first entry with some reclining chairs and a reception desk, plus the pop-up cocktail bar on this occasion. Wooden interiors, large windowpanes and even larger beards on show made us feel like we’d just stepped into an Alaskan log cabin. Delving further in to Ruffians you can’t help but be captivated by the décor on display. Adding further to that cosy log cabin feel is the resident bar featuring a mini kitchenette with sink, which serves as a hosting point for other events and pop-ups. Two deep velvet armchairs are placed by a beautiful stove fire sitting below a skull and antlers and surrounded by stacks of dried out logs.

Smith 3

Venturing towards the back we encountered a private grooming nook as well as exposed red brick walls and a high ceiling, encompassing busy beaming barbers chatting breezily to clients, making this quite a lovely space to put it simply.

For our turn we were looked after by Sophie who talked us through what to expect advising that the session would be more attentive and thorough than the Turkish shaves our volunteer was used to. Things kicked off with a hot towel to open the pores followed by the application of hot shaving foam to stand the hairs straight. This ensures the cut-throat razor cleanly removes every strand and Sophie was consciously careful to avoid any moles – a far cry from the hurried, slap dash attempts of Turkish barbers.

A soothing oil balm was applied next followed by another hot towel, a massage and a cold towel to revitalise. The grooming was finished up with a coat of moisturiser and a towel fan to speed up the absorption process. Looking suitably baby-faced our model was delighted with the smoothness and close cut achieved. And all that relaxation surely requires a drink?

While all the personal grooming and pampering got under way, Smith and Wollensky’s Chief cocktail curator rustled up a neat but varied array of drinks: Hair of the Dog punch, a sweet and fruity treat topped with rhubarb candy, a citrusy Brown Derby and an Old Fashioned with chocolate bitters.

And quite frankly there was nowhere better in the city to create a blank canvas to kickstart your mo than at this grooming hotspot with a drink in hand. So whether you’re taking part in Movember or not, there’s always an opportunity to get down to Ruffians and experience a shaving session or haircut like no other. You can visit throughout November and donate to show your support for the cause, or wait patiently for Dec 1st to clear those itchy whiskers and raise a glass to yourself for all that dosh you generated to help kick cancer in the balls.


Ruffians, 27 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7JS

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