Entry by Frank Barreca
Barber & Parlour
64-66 Redchurch St, London
E2 7DP (entrance on Club Row)
If you are a regular reader of the Dapper Chapper, you have probably spent time in the centre of east London ‘hipster’ cool, Shoreditch; so you can imagine the alternative and achingly cool chappers lining the pavement toward Barber & Parlour on Redchurch Street.
Housed in a converted three-story warehouse, Barber & Parlour is a place where all the style, grooming, and entertainment needs of the young London professional are met: not just a barber shop and salon, but a bar/restaurant and art-deco style electric cinema.
From the street follow the chorus of coffee grinders and rattling cocktail shakers up to the first floor, to discover what was later described to me as your “dream front room”: clusters of mismatched leather furniture are dotted around the open plan warehouse floor, divided by scaffold style shelving displaying all the bespoke products and stylish accessories any east London programmer could ask for. Laid back tunes fill the room, interrupted only by the sounds and stomach rumbling smells of the kitchen- churning out delicious, but healthy meals and snacks (The sight of the Mac ’n’ cheese nearly made me dribble). A perfect place to work, drink and relax.
But, being a Slightly-Overgrown Chapper, I was here to visit the grooming department of this east London cool superstore- Neville’s Barbers. Needing a restyle and beard trim, I was sat down in what has to be the coolest 1950’s barber shop chair I have ever seen, with a pint in hand. I was lucky enough to be guided through that awkward, “how would you like your hair ?” moment by Tom, the head barber. The forced conversation prompted by the unusual intimacy you share with your hairdresser is usually a real chore, but with Tom, a one hour appointment turned into a two hour chat about everything from holiday destinations, to whiskeys (which I obligingly sampled) and finally Neville’s amazing hair and beard products.
All of their shampoos, conditioners and styling products contain 100 % natural ingredients and go through a long period of formulation, trailing and testing to ensure they are spot on (an approach that Tom claims frustrates their buyers and retailers but not one they are willing compromise). A philosophy practiced in the meticulous care taken over my beard trim and hair cut: cooling balms were applied to my skin before and after shaving; sea salt primers applied to my hair to give the stylish wash and go look I was after and finished off with a spray of their signature Tobacco Musk cologne.
The refinement and attention to detail make a visit to Neville’s’ of Barber and Parlour a must for a bit of old fashioned Dapper the middle of London’s cutting edge.