Saturday, 27 March 2010
Make way for Murdock.
Next time you find your self clipping along the clean streets of Dover Street, Mayfair, take a turn down Stafford Street and you are sure to meet a treat. Nestled just around the corner from one of London's most infamous boutiques you will find 'Murdock', a far cry from the usual clinical barbers of modern London.
Murdock is a barbers and gentlemen's grooming salon offering a cocktail of services, just under the price you would expect.
The Murdock barbers are a subtle yet tangible force within the men's grooming market. The Liberty's branch is famed for it's shaving service and the original Shoreditch branch is almost an organic development carved from it's surroundings, it is also responsible for trimming the trendiest barnets in East London.
Yet, the Mayfair branch, [the newest egg to stroll out of the Murdock nest], holds a certain prestige in my mind. Situated in amongst the most exquisite boutiques of Mayfair, it infiltrates your senses with a with a warm, spiced musk as you enter, whilst the soft warbling of great singers from the past dispell of any dubious thoughts you had before entering.
It truly takes you back to a time when men were immaculate, women were exquisite and manners were essential. It seems more like the home of a British eccentric than that of a ,modern barbers.
Trinkets and treasures, haphazardly placed around the room bombard your eyes with nostalgic imagery and foreign uses. Images of enviable facial hair - photographed by the staff of Murdock, for the clients of Murdock - lead you up the polished, spiralling wooden staircase, where an imposing stags head greets you nonchalantly.
Bottles of shaving foam, cologne and aftershave from established and thoroughly English brands such as: Dr Harris & Co, line the dust free shelves. Photography books spill out over several surfaces, each with a Murdock bookmark stating a price, as yes, they are for sale. But try before you buy.
The employees are professional, efficient and enthusiastic: a forties style vixen and and a quirkily dandy fox, both knowledgable in the trade and passionate about their business. Conversation throughout your treatment is sure to delve into deeper depths than where you are holidaying this summer!
Although this time long tradition of visiting the barbers is perhaps a tad archaic in the present climate, it's places like Murdock that remind us all that the heritage of a well groomed male lies in the capable hands of others.
Let 2010 be a year of indulgence, make way for Murdock in your routine.
Prices start at about £34, Call Helen on 07875946704
All images by James Pinkie Terry