After a tough week of coffee-fueled deadlines that merge into one another, come Friday, we’re crying out for downtime. But planning that much-needed drink, dinner at a swanky new restaurant or date night at the theatre can feel like just another chore in itself.
Beat the crowds of nine-to-fivers desperate to unwind and head to the comfiest place you know – home. Except, this time, you’re going to do it in style. You’re going to have the most luxurious night in, ever. We’ve researched London’s top luxury products and services and lined up everything you’ll need, just like your own little private concierge.
Set the scene. Lighting a candle is a quick way of injecting some spa-style serenity into your home. But for your luxury evening in, consider ditching your practical Ikea collection and opt for something special. And you can leave it to the experts – the oldest candle makers in the world Cire Trudon.
They’ve been creating candles with their top-secret formula since 1963. Although we have no idea what’s inside, we do know they smell divine. They look the part, too, with glass-sculpted holders inspired by the shape of a Champagne bucket.
Slip into head-to-toe luxury. For really premium-feeling PJs, look out for the pure Italian silk and French lace used by luxury British sleepwear brand Nui Ami. They’re just as great for good-looking lounging as they are for sleeping in.
Don’t forget your feet. You spend all day on your feet so treat them to some pure Pantherella Cashmere Socks made from silky soft cashmere. You can even get your initials hand-sewn into them. What’s more luxury than that?
Get a concierge to take care of everything. Why not hire Emyr Thomas, founder of the UK’s leading luxury travel concierge service Bon Vivant and arranger of absolutely anything for London’s elite, to arrange the whole evening for you? Emyr’s an expert on London’s best spots and will arrange absolutely anything you could want. He works with the best suppliers, from Michelin-starred private chefs to the top beauty therapists, private shoppers, and restaurant and event experts.
Buy a special bottle (or two). Because we didn’t want you wasting any precious minutes of ‘you-time’ bewildered in the alcohol aisle, luxury concierge Emyr Thomas put us in touch with his favourite wine bar in London, The Remedy. This ever-popular winery recommended the perfect reds, roses, whites and bubbles for your luxury night in – regardless of what you choose to eat:
- Red: 2007 Il Paradiso di Manfredi Brunello di Montalcino “This gem is from one of the best and only natural wine producers in Montalcino. Everything that Sangiovese should be.”
- White: 2012 François Cotat Sancerre ‘Caillottes’ “An amazing wine from the ‘Master of Sancerre’. This is one of our favourite vintages of recent years from him. The Remedy is one of the only places in London where you can still get it.”
- Rose: NV Jean Bourdy Crémant du Jura Rosé Trousseau “We have a soft spot for wines from the Jura and nothing could be more suitable for the a special occasion than Sparkling Rosé.”
- Champagne: NV Marie Noelle-Ledru Brut Grand Cru “This cult Champagne producer makes powerful, exquisite Champagnes which are nigh on impossible to come by, grab one whilst you can.”
And…because champagne and truffles go hand-in-hand. We’ve couldn’t resist including one of London’s finest chocolatiers.
A regular to our TV screens, previous Head Pastry Chef for Marco Pierre White and a winner of far too many awards to count (including Best Salted Caramel in the World), Paul A Young makes mouths water day after day with his unique chocolatey creations displayed in London. Paul and the team spend hours in the kitchen crafting their mini-masterpieces by hand in his central-based chocolate shops.
Hire a private chef. In our opinion, Keith Goddard, fixer-upper of luxury lunches for designer brands like Alexander McQueen, Harvey Nichols and Whistles, and private chef for hire, is quite honestly the only chef you should book for your luxury evening in.
And, if you hadn’t guessed it yet, he’s cooked for us too. Keith trained under chef Tom Aikens before he became Head Chef of 101 Pimlico Road in Chelsea. Now, he heads up his own company; Keith Goddard Catering. Thanks to Keith, gone are the days of soggy ham sandwiches and cocktail sausages and instead, he serves up unique canapés like smoked salmon mousses and mini croque monsieurs at home or away in his impressive dining space Arch 65. As well as the finest finger food on earth, Keith and his team will also create a personalised private dining experience in your own home.
He’ll design a bespoke five-course meal, from the canapés to the coffee, with wine and spirits included too. Inspired by his stateside travels and former training in the French Culinary Institute, Keith approaches food with an ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ mindset. He’s mastered the process of using simple, traditional cuisine and adding his own personal flair. The results? A carefully crafted, unforgettable dining experience that no one else will have ever experienced – literally.
Get a red carpet glow. London now has a handful of credible spa apps, including City Swish, who will provide deep tissue massages, blow drys and everything In between. All you need to do is pick up your mobile, book a slot, and you’ll have London’s best beauty therapists delivered to your door.
It’s also easy to re-create a DIY spa experience at home. Start by running a relaxing bath to wash away the woes of your daily commute. We recommend the ila Bath Oil for Glowing Radiance. Inside this little lifesaver is Rose Otto; a deeply regenerative oil sourced from a family in the Himalayas, as well as handmade Morrocan Argan Oil. Ila’s products are just about as pure as you’ll get, from the ingredients to the way they’re made; and that makes for some seriously strong healing powers.
Once you’ve cleansed your skin of any airborne nasties, it’s time to focus on your face. Skin guru Linda Meredith, a.k.a ‘the queen of facials’, has just released an at-home version of her famed Oxygen Facial; The Oxygen Mask. It’s a favourite amongst the celebrity crowd, with Gwyneth Paltrow, Stella McCartney and Madonna all huge fans. And now, you can enjoy it at home.
If you’re staying in with a partner, a massage should definitely be on the cards. Harness the detoxifying and soothing power of seaweed. Yes, seaweed. VOYAs Angelicus Serratus Body Oil makes for a great massage oil – and FYI it’s the world’s first organic seaweed body oil. Angelicus Serratus improves suppleness, slows down the signs of ageing and boosts skin renewal.
Arrange a personal trainer the morning after. After all that indulgence, you might find yourself feeling not so light on your feet the next day. A PT session is just what you need. Fabrice Le Physique, owner of www.munsterfit.com and one of Europe’s best personal trainers is available to hire at home. Fabrice has 12 years of PT experience under his well-toned belt and has created a unique training technique that burns calories four times faster than any method. His long list of clients include Olympians, Hollywood actors, Victoria Secret models and CEOs. We promise you’ll torch calories but we can’t promise it won’t hurt doing it.
Here are Fabrice’s top tips on how to detox after a night of indulgence:
- Drink plenty of water as soon as you get up to flush out all the toxins (1 to 2 litres).
- Have a 12 mins intensive workout. Think sprints, jumping jacks, squats, push ups, sit ups burpees, knee high jumps. Do as many as you can – This helps kick start your metabolism and promote endorphins (a hormone that helps make you feel happy).
- Go for a walk and take in the fresh air – This will provide you with much-needed oxygen for your lungs helping the blood flow.
- Feast on plenty of organic and mixed vegetables – The nutrients found in these will help with the digestion and make you feel lighter
About Leanne Kelsall