A day in the life of luxury London: Whether you’re planning a wedding, or just fancy spoiling yourself, then Yasmine Torab can recommend the finest industry suppliers, professionals, and one inimitable venue after spending an unforgettable day enjoying the capital’s finest “Come to bed at The Savoy” is not an invitation one gets often in life – and certainly isn’t one to turn down – but that’s how I ended up spending last Monday night in a dreamworld populated by neon ballerinas, contortionist cats, and the mad hatter.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here; hours before I arrived in the lobby of The Savoy wearing my dressing gown (and receiving a few strange looks, I can tell you) I decided to get well and truly primped and pampered in luxury.
An exclusive invitation to The Savoy is reason enough to indulge a little, so I took the opportunity to do something I’ve been meaning to do for ages – get my hair and make-up done professionally and have some photos taken.
I’ve met Michael Van Clarke partner Gustav Fouche at several wedding events and had been dying to visit his Marylebone headquarters for a new “do”.
Upon entering the spacious salon, I was presented with a food and drink menu, and led to a massage chair to begin my pampering experience. The speciality at Michael Van Clarke is diamond dry cutting, so my hair was washed (with obligatory head massage, of course) and dried before cutting in order for the style to be tailored to the natural movement and shape of my tresses. Unlike most salons, Michael Van Clarke provides a very calm and discreet space to relax while you undergo your make over.
I felt like I was in a private room while I had my hair done, without being positioned right next to another person. I loved what Gustav did with my hair and was thoroughly enjoying the most intensive “getting ready for bed” routine ever! I stayed in the salon to have my make up done beautifully by celebrity make up artist Karen Beadle, and by 6pm was feeling glamorous and gorgeous and ready to head to bed…
A quick dash through the rain and I reached The Savoy, where I was escorted in my cocktail dress and black robe to a fantasy dressing room. The wonderful Design in Scent had provided hot scented flannels, which was a godsend after rushing on the tube to arrive on time, and even some deliciously flavoured mouth sprays (I opted for chocolate) to help me feel fresh before heading through to the main event. My day so far had been luxuriously enjoyable, but it was about to get wonderfully, magically bizarre as I finally walked into The Savoy’s splendid interpretation of the land of nod… Amid low and dreamy blue lighting, enormous plush beds were dotted around, housing restless sleepers in silk pyjamas. Hotel porters with trolleys circulated the room offering “room service” in the form of canapes and cocktails.
Everyone had dressed up for the event, and the scene was one of ethereal comfort and elegance. I may never be able to attend another event without wishing there were beds provided for lounging on in style. Bruce Russell himself, the Savoy’s resident wedding expert, was stylishly playing host in his nicest blue silk pyjamas, and familiar industry pros – such as the brilliant Events Mill team who were responsible for the evening’s lavish nocturnal theme – were enjoying alternating between a boogie on the dance floor and a bounce on the bed.
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Top photographer John Nassari was on call to record the evening in pictures. It was John who I asked to do a few headshots of me, following my hair and make up treat, and I can see why so many brides and grooms are opting for a pre-wedding shoot these days; it is a lovely feeling to get dressed up, pampered and have some photos of you feeling and looking your best for posterity. But back to the night itself, and it wasn’t long before the first of many surprises appeared: the white rabbit and mad hatter (perhaps scouting out locations for Alice’s upcoming 150th birthday) made their entrance to the party!
Provided by the brilliant theatrical company Civilised Mess (who were also responsible for the sleeping characters on some of the beds) the wonderland residents got the ball rolling with the evening’s unbelievable entertainment. Soon behind them were ballerinas in Tutus up-lit by neon fairy lights, who danced a modern rendition of Swan Lake.
Contortionists in animal costumes lounged in unfathomable positions on the beds, and later – my favourite – a sort of surrealist Marie Antoinette figure in an enormous wig and even more enormous skirt joined us to sing an aria. Imagine my surprise when her voluminous costume suddenly opened up to reveal a puppeteer underneath! The creative minds behind the evening’s performances are second to none, and the overwhelming vibe to the whole evening was “nothing is impossible”.
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