In the centre of Bloomsbury, is a beauty salon like no other. Opulently decorated, Iris Avenue, shuns the ‘clinical-dentist-chic’ so often associated with beauty treatments and instead embraces maximalism. With its relaxed cafe-style seating upholstered in peacock velvet, feathered wallpaper, gilt tiles and framed Celine scarves, Iris Avenue could easily be mistaken for one of those bouji members’ clubs aimed at female CEOs.
The salon describes itself as ‘the ultimate multi-sensory beauty destination’ because it’s not just nails on offer here. They also offer threading, lash lifts / extensions, waxing, massage, facials, spray tans and more. In addition to the treatments, Iris Avenue has a well-stocked bar with concoctions to suit every mood; cocktails, coffees, ambrosia lattes and smoothies with wellness add-ons such as CBD or MCT oil. It’s a unique destination in which to enjoy a bit of pampering whilst catching up with friends – because nothing says ‘self-care’ like a mani-pedi with a negroni on the side.
I opt for a gel polish and manicure, with a side order of ‘Green Goddess Smoothie’ because I’m over thirty and it’s Wednesday morning. As Rebekah begins shaping my nails, I warn her that I can be a little conservative when it comes to colour. Once in a moment of madness, I chose luminous slime green and regretted it.
Not only is Rebekah a deft hand with the tiny brush – she’s witty, charming and a great conversationalist. We cover everything from life in London to British beaches and hoarding husbands. And despite my reservations, Rebekah persuades me to choose the shinier of the two golds, ‘Cleopatra.’
Once the gel is dry. She produces a pair of steaming hot flannels and gently massages my fingers with lotion until my eyes begin to close. Whilst there’s no bath of goat’s milk (just as well really, I’m lactose intolerant) I leave feeling every bit as pampered as the eponymous Egyptian queen.
I love my gold sparkly nails. They’re in much better shape and feel healthy and strong. I’ll definitely be back soon, perhaps with a couple of girl friends and next time, there’ll be cocktails!
A gel polish and manicure at Iris Avenue starts from £50