3 Apr 2014
Timing meetings to fit in with events and catching up with friends is definitely a perk working freelance. Living so far away from London can be a right pain, so when I do visit the city I try to arrange as many things as humanly possible. Here's where Ruffians stepped in. The guys at Ruffians Barbers invited me into their flagship store at Covent Garden, to show me around and sample their unique service.
Since visiting Murdock London I've been really getting into it the whole grooming thing, just shaving though, no eyebrow rearrangements! Ruffians' founder Andrew Cannon explained that they wanted to create a totally unique barbering experience (much more than a service), one that not only classes high quality service at the top of the list, but also considering all the finer details tend to get forgotten about. Sounds pretty sweet up to now right?
Within one minute of setting foot in their shop I knew this place was the for me. They've done an extremely good job of creating an environment that is both modern and masculine, but without creating a "gentleman's club". Wooden + steel furnishings, mixed with exposed brickwork and traditional home comforts creates a welcoming space that wouldn't intimidate regular blokes.
Before my treatment I enjoyed a strong drip coffee in branded Ruffians cups and a chinwag with the team by the log fire. It was lovely to hear about their first store in Edinburgh and how they won Best Designed Salon in the UK. My jacket + bag were also stowed away in a nifty wire locker, which never left my eye throughout my visit. Nice touch.
My treatment could be best described as the whole nine yards. Hair-cut, beard reshape, cut-throat shave, arm + hand massage and all the faces scrubs, hot towels (as well as cold towel for after!) and fragrances you could ever need. The chair layout wasn't your traditional all-in-a-line job either. Each chair separated by Belfast sinks and fold-down mirrors, facing one another, creating a shared and interactive social feel. This in turn eliminate the amount of time your having to stare at yourself in the mirror!
Ruffians' thoughtful and charming attention to detail was extremely refreshing and something which I'd love to experience again. This was displayed when my barber, Stephen, proceeded to use a folding technique which eliminated any lose hairs going down my shirt, but just in case any slipped through he finishing off with their unique integrated vacuum system (see above). Another detail which I was greatly appreciative of was the soft ceiling lighting, which prevented me from squinting like Mole Man from the Simpsons. This is the kind of detail that people remember.
Overall I had an amazing experience at Ruffians and I can't recommend their services enough. Andrew and the whole team have worked hard on building a store which offers something unique, memorable and of high quality. For me they've really achieved a level of service which most people wouldn't even dream of receiving. Did I mention their signature beer is from St. Peter's Brewery?!
For a full list of Ruffians' current services visit here. Ruffians Barbers - 27 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7JS.
Note - I was offered this service for review purposes, all options are 100% honest and based on my own experience.