Started by real life and business partners Oskar Pera and James Ollerenshaw, The Drawing Room offers top-notch hairstyling in – literally – homely surroundings. The handsome salon occupies the ground floor and basement of a meticulously restored Grade II listed Georgian townhouse just off Liverpool Street. Walking in is like stepping back in time in to a charming London past – think fireplaces, cornicing, and a distinct sense of peace (traffic noises don't impinge thanks to the tucked away location). There's even a salon hound – well, a Chihuahua – called Poquito, who may deign to sniff you on your visit if you're lucky.
The Drawing Room offers cuts from £42, colour from £60 and blow dries from £25, all overseen by Oskar, who still works as a session and editorial stylist for the likes of Dior, Vivienne Westwood, Vogue and Cara D in his spare time. Staff are charming and will go out of their way to ensure comfort – on my visit that meant whipping up coffees and even an elderflower martini, while patiently putting up with my dithering descriptions of what colour I wanted: 'sort of like my colour now, but a bit darker. But not too dark. And less red'.
The salon prides itself on its dedicated ‘the customer comes first’ philosophy – which means you won’t be palmed off with a haircut you didn’t sign up for or can’t manage. This even extends to them showing you on your visit how to manage the look when you get home, down to showing you how to comb it – anyone with curly hair and a new fringe will get how crucial this is.
The salon uses luxurious Oribe and Kevin Murphy products, which smell good enough to eat and are formulated without sulphates and parabens. I left a very happy house guest, with a soft, shiny barnet after two hours spent being thoroughly cared for. Highly recommended.