I’ve become a big fan of the ‘multitasking catchup’, working my way through free trial sessions at various gyms across London as a slightly healthier and cheaper alternative to chatting over glasses of wine. But it’s not just gyms that are offering a way to balance a little self care with some kind of social life. My latest find (and now my answer to ‘where does the best manicure in London?’) DryBy is, they say, a ‘social space which caters for modern women’.
Designed to do away with beauty destinations that are either too much like a conveyer belt (though there’s much to be said for the brusque efficiency of the slightly divey place I tend to opt for when it comes to gel nails), or too stuffy and pretentious to make you feel at ease lingering over that second cup of coffee, sisters Krisztina van der Boom and Anita Puluczkai have created an open space that works as as both an hair and nail bar and social hub.
Offering a short but well executed menu of nail treatments and blow dries, DryBy is conveniently tucked away behind Oxford Circus (beside the fitness haunt of fashion-y types, Psycle) and its appeal is very much helped by the clean decor. From the putty coloured Anglepoise lamps to the blush chairs and gold lined foot bowls, the pared-back but welcoming femininity of the place makes you want to stay for hours and have every treatment going.
And those treatments don’t disappoint; I had the most precise manicure of my life courtesy of Emilia. DryBy use Soigné, Nailberry and Lauren B polishes, all 5 free and laid out in a range of beautiful shades. I opted for Nailberry ‘Mystere’, a light lilac-grey and as promised it looked perfect for 5 days – despite my weak nails. Starting at £21, the nail treatments aren’t the cheapest going in London but if (like me) you mostly DIY your manicures, they’re more than worth it for the end result and indulgent half hour in the lovely surroundings.
I have a feeling DryBy will be my go-to nail salon from now on and, with a few new engagements, I’ll no doubt suggesting this as a slightly more civilised Hen party hangout or pre-wedding treat.
DryBy, 74 Mortimer Street, London, W1W 7RZ