I wasn’t expecting an authentic Turkish shaving experience in Covent Garden, but that’s exactly what I got when I visited Ted's Grooming Room on Great Queen Street for a Tommy ‘n’ Turkish beard and moustache trim.
Having let my beard grow out in recent weeks - it being summer and all - something suddenly clicked in me making me want to smarten myself up. Feeling like going a little further than just a trim, I turned up to Ted's Grooming Room in Covent Garden, located just across the road from Freemasons' Hall on Great Queen Street.
I love how you don't need to book an appointment - just turn up and the place is already a frenzy of activity. Trims and cuts going on all around you in a friendly but frenetic environment. Having never experienced a hot towel shave with a razor before, I didn't know what to expect.
Without spoiling the surprise - because there is something quite special about having a hot towel covering your face as you hear a series of unknown tools being prepared around you - there is a great ritual to the whole affair.
What struck me the most was how fast and painless it was. I've used all sorts of razors in the past, but nothing compares to the smooth glide of a naked blade by an expert. I felt completely at ease as the staff are so familiar with the curves and bumps of the human face that they could most likely do it with their eyes closed.
Incredibly quick, within minutes I went from having a reasonably thick beard to being completely clean shaven. Leaving the moustache with just a little trim of course, my friend Adam said I looked positively Dickensian.
Finishing with a surprising flame being flicked in my ears to singe any stray hairs, and a rather brisk pounding of my arms and shoulders to loosen up any tightness. I can't think of a better start to a day. And all washed down with incredibly strong Turkish coffee.
Usually £28 for the Tommy 'n' Turkish, there is a great half price offer if you go between 9-11am, so you can get the T 'n' T for just £14. The perfect way to try it out. I can assure you that you'll be a convert.
33 GREAT QUEEN STREET COVENT GARDEN WC2B 5AA