Style Seeker: Soho's SALON64 review
by Calum Donoghue
Release your lockdown locks, it’s time to book your post-pandemic spruce at Soho’s hottest hair salon.
As we all scramble to book a costal hotel in Cornwall and a seat at our favourite bar, it seems the holiest grail of post-lockdown bookings is a decent haircut and style. Enter Ricky Walters and his fabulous team at Soho’s SALON64, who cleverly combine an opulent hair salon with a vibrant members club.
It might be mid-day but the cocktail list calls and a trip to the hair salon is a reason to celebrate in my book. I tell Bar Manager Renaud what I like and in a flash I am presented with a rather delicious cocktail. I can’t resist taking a photo, but as I am readying to snap the dreaded ‘10% battery life’ notification pop-ups. Thankfully my fancy styling station comes kitted with USB ports, so I plug in and capture a pic for posterity. As I’m gleefully enjoying being back in a salon, Ricky talks me through the concept of SALON64 which is inspired by the very origins of the first hair salons in France in 1664. A place for beauty and conversing, the beginnings of a traditional salon has been brought up to date in the setting of this beautifully designed Soho hotspot.
Ricky has a strong pedigree having worked with Daniel Galvin and has style many A-Listers, but it is his independent venture which currently has everyone talking. Set over two floors, SALON64 is a work of beauty with art deco interiors by award winning architects JaK Studio, which give a sleek yet welcoming atmosphere. The hair washing stations are kept behind doors in a private all-white walled room, which encourages relaxation whilst a hair technician serenely massages your scalp. Ricky has a team of expertly trained and enthusiastic stylists to cater for your every need.
I walk into the salon on Soho’s Bateman Street to be immediately greeted by owner Ricky’s friendly smile, who swiftly takes me through to my overdue haircut. Taking a look around I am confused. Where are the typical alien pod shaped hairdryers? The plastic trollies with combs, hairspray and tin foils? Nowhere to be seen. To my left is an elegant reception-come-cocktail bar and straight ahead what looks like a sleekly designed fireplace. Not even a mirror in sight. Ricky sits me down ready for my consultation and within the blink of an eye he reveals, out of the marbled fireplace, a hidden vanity and hair styling workstation! A very clever, purpose built, design that was built to allow the salon to easily and smartly transform from hair salon to members only cocktail bar in seconds.
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When it comes to the cut, Ricky provides the perfect balance of listening to what you want and giving advice on what you need. Here at the salon, it’s clear that not only Ricky but his entire team build a trusted rapport with their clients to ensure they leave on cloud 9. As I gather my things to leave with a rather wonderful new haircut, I have a quick word with one of SALON64’s regulars and she not only was, like me, in desperate need of a hair fix, but also couldn’t wait to come back to see her hairdresser and friend.
In the evening, the blind comes down and SALON64 becomes CLUB64, a sleek and opulent bar. Bateman Street in Soho is BUSY. The best thing about having my haircut is that I am now a member of CLUB64. There are no extortionate membership fees or contracts – just a sexy atmosphere, expertly made cocktails and a vibe. Soho is really busy and at 10pm, this is where I want to be. Renaud knows what he is doing.
With a space perfectly suited to accommodate groups, parties, private hire and gatherings, SALON64 is a go-to for not only a new hair do but also an elegant soiree. With its 1664 namesake, SALON64 have set out to redefine the way we view salons today and are paving the way for innovative and unique design concepts, one step at a time.