I travel around quite a bit. I’m usually not that bothered about my appearance but there are times I like to treat myself, usually before transatlantic flights. Normally a single pass with my trusty Edwin Jagger DB89L and a fresh Astra blade is enough to keep me presentable. However there are times I wish to treat myself, and booking a shave at Geo F Trumpers in London is one of those things I like.
The Trumpers Visit
I visited the Duke of York Street shop and found that personal shaves are by appointment. Since the waiting list is around two weeks, I guess they keep their customers happy. I also was not disappointed.
Sadly I have no pictures of the inside of the store. However it is “very” traditional. Wood panelling, old fashioned barber’s chairs, the barber’s all have a traditional style uniform but no “cut throat” razors. Due to EU rules on hygiene, Trumpers use a special handle that holds an ordinary DE blade. I just happened to notice it was a Wilkinson Sword blade, so I guess they like keeping it British.
Trumpers obviously use their own products from this point on. After hanging up my coat, I was shown to the chair and draped with a protective cloth. We exchanged pleasantries and the pre-prepared hot towels were applied to my face. You are reclining in the chair at this stage and the experience is incredibly relaxing. I’m told people often fall asleep at this point. I work in film and I.T. and caffeine was my friend here 😉
I learned quite a bit about what they consider the proper use of Trumper’s products. Five minutes of hot towels had moisturised my stubble but a pre-shave application of Skin Food was then applied. I found at this point that while many like myself keep consistently to one particular fragrance (Sandalwood is my preference), it’s possible to mix and match very successfully. My face isn’t great at the best of times so a sandalwood skin food was applied. The shaving lather itself was the almond shaving cream and the two fragrances compliment each other nicely.
Now began the shave itself. This was done with very short strokes, the blade being wiped on a cloth rather than washed in the sink water. We were able to discuss my technique and I was told that years of bad technique meant that my chin was “tougher” than it should be. Oh well. We discussed technique and the basic advise I received was to map and follow my own particular stubble grain.
I wasn’t able to converse much but that seemed ok. While the towels were on my face, I pretty much could only mumble but impressively the staff were able to understand this much! I guess they’ve plenty of practice.
At the end, warm towels were brought out to clean up my face of any soap residue. It’s at this point the cold towels came out. AAHHHHHHHH!
Yes they’re pretty cold and they do a damn good job of closing up your pores afterwards. An application of skin food afterwards, a splash of their cologne finishes the shave. I looked and felt a LOT better afterwards.
Personally there were places that weren’t particularly close but I blame years of my own bad technique on this. As an experience, it’s very relaxing and pretty therapeutic especially since I was on my lunch break at the time. I estimate the whole experience took 30 minutes.
At £35 per shave with a two week wait for an appointment, it’s not a cheap exercise but as the occasional treat it’s hard to beat. It’s a special experience and it’s not something you’d want to overdo in case you spoil it forever for yourself. I highly recommend getting this a couple times per year.