The Berkeley Hotel has had a makeover in the form of its brand new spa, The Bamford Haybarn. Kinvara Balfour explains why it's the best in the business
When it comes to preening and grooming, we all have our places of excellence. Mine? For hair, it’s Josh Wood Atelier , for facials, Alexandra Soveral, and threading queen Kamini Vaghela for pretty much everything else. And I’ll add The Bamford Haybarn to that list.
This place – which is an integral part of my friend Carole Bamford’s Daylesford Farmshop in Gloucestershire – is a treat on every level and takes one on a journey that many others do not. The simple, signature white-washed wooden layout instantly calms the soul. The staff know what they’re doing (some are rumoured to have trained at Thailand’s famous shrine to perfection, Chiva Som). And I forever yearn for the signature Bamford Body products - all organic and made in England - used and sold here.
I celebrate all of the above not just as a friend of the Bamfords but also as a customer - and a seriously picky one, at that. Carole Bamford strives to provide excellence. And anyone who has set foot inside one of her establishments will agree.
And so I (and many other loyal followers) am thrilled that Team Bamford has finally opened a spa in London - The Bamford Haybarn Spa on the top floor of The Berkeley Hotel , in the Health Club just beneath the sky-top swimming pool with retractable roof. This hotel spa needed a facelift; with Bamford, it lucked out. Its spa menu has also had an overhaul: current food on offer is beyond good.
Treatments incorporate Shiatsu, Meridian and Swedish massage techniques, and there’s an in-house nail salon and a mini shop selling Bamford Body beauty products and Bamford clothing. “I love the Haybarn being at The Berkeley,” says Bamford. “The management is exceptional, the place is well-run, fun, and, for me, it’s a real home away from home.”
At this London outpost, Bamford has invited British skincare brand Oskia to join in. Founded by husband-and-wife team George Gordon and Georgie Cleeve (also friends of mine, and whose products really deserve the attention they have been getting), Oskia is based in London, with a factory in the rolling hills of Wales. Oskia strives to rebuild skin cell health through topical nutrients as well as cutting edge scientific natural actives.
The Bamford Haybarn proffers treatments like the Oskia Glow Facial and Eye Wonder alongside products designed by an international team of doctors, nutritionists, cosmetic scientists and skin care specialists.
“The Haybarn Spa at The Berkeley is a unique environment with an emphasis on nature and a holistic approach,” says Cleeve. “That approach mirrors Oskia’s own ethos, as does our matching pride in our British heritage and commitment to using only the very best of nature.” It’s all very British, very high quality and very natural.
While we’re on the subject of best of British, look out for The Wild Rabbit in Kingham, Bamford’s new pub/restaurant venture. Her empire continues to grow, while her ethos remains consistently authentic.