Caroline Phillips unearths the people who really matter to the people who really matter. The doctors, practitioners, therapists and service providers who celebrities and folk with their finger truly on the pulse have on speed dial. An alphabetical guide to the country’s leaders in everything from psychotherapy to gut health. From who you should visit for semi-permanent make-up to hair removal. Not to mention the super-facialists and who to choose for acupuncture or to accompany you to buy your clothes….
GUDRUN JONSSON – For Gut Health And Emotional Release
Gudrun Jonsson is the hallowed healer of Holland Park. Some call her a modern-day white witch. She has a big following, from a Tibetan monk to actress Sian Phillips. You’ll find her through a shop selling eclectic health tomes, including her own bestselling books — Gut Reaction and Gut Reaction Eating Plan. Hers is a homely consultation room chokka with artefacts, cherubs and rugs. Gudrun combines traditional healing arts, biopathic treatments and the latest scientific advances. She’s versed in everything from acupuncture to Sukshma Marma Therapy — an Ayurvedic emotional release method. But she’s very grounded and commonsensical. She manages patients with a bespoke smorgasbord of treatments, aiming to rebalance the body’s energies and work naturally with the body’s own healing ability. She’s particularly big on gut health and diet tips. And keen on zapping you with positive vibes from her negative ion machine: It’s designed to impact on the body’s electrical charges and have an alkalising effect, thereby boosting the immune system and metabolic performance. (You just lie there relaxing with its infrared light focused on your soles while Gudrun does her own brand of foot massage). She’ll likely suggest life changes or a range of unusual but highly effective natural pills, lotions and potions too — including German homeopathic hormones, concentrated foods and supplements. That Gudrun is 74 and looks 60 is testimony to her methods.
£150 for first 90-minute appointment and thereafter £95 for hourly sessions, +44 (0)20 7603 1926 – www.gudrunjonsson.com .
SHERYL CLOSE – For Helping You To Address Your Issues And Heal Trauma
Sheryl Close is a therapist with a waiting list that goes round the block. She’s the person who anyone with addictions wants to see (and that’s most of us). Her approach is also ideal for those who have suffered from an accident, scary experience, physical or mental assault, sexual abuse or loss. All of us, in other words. She’s helpful with everything from depression to insomnia and unexplained physical pains. Her pioneering therapy includes an eclectic mix of psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing, massage therapy, addiction counselling and Gestalt therapy. (Sheryl has been practising as a psychotherapist for 20 years and as a Somatic Experiencing practitioner for five.) Somatic Experiencing and Trauma Therapy, did you say? Yes, the focus in her sessions is primarily on Somatic Experiencing — a therapy created in 1997 by Dr Peter Levine (read about it in his book, Waking The Tiger). Well, have you ever wondered why animals in the wild are rarely traumatised, despite routine threats to their lives? Somatic Experiencing therapy draws on observations of these animals and their fight/flight/freeze response — and how they spontaneously discharge this energy with involuntary movements such as shaking, trembling and deep breaths. Back in Close’s South Kensington clinic, you won’t be shaking or reliving the original trauma. You won’t even need to talk about it. But you will be guided to ‘track’ sensations in your body and discharge the frozen energy with movements, sounds and visualisations. Finally.
A one-hour session is £130 in London and £75 at her clinic in Bedfordshire – www.sherylclose.co.uk.
DR SHOMIT MITTTER – For Finding Your Inner Genie
Spiritual guru Dr Shomit Mitter is a hypnotherapist who delivers fast-track enlightenment in his homely consulting rooms in Chiswick. ‘He’s a heavy-hitting therapist to change your life,’ according to society Bible, Tatler. (Model Lisa Butcher is a big fan.) Aside from that, he also mentored Booker-prize winner Arundhati Roy; once ran a multi-million pound aviation business; has an M.Phil from Oxford and a PhD from Cambridge; has written two seminal books on theatre; comes from a famous line of yogis; and was inspired too by his mum’s (late) friend, Mother Teresa. Phew! Clearly, Dr Mitter is the ultimate Renaissance man – Leonardo (da Vinci) eat your heart out. He offers yogic hypnotherapy — Dr Mitter, that is – a pioneering therapy and his own creation that’s a combo of Indian meditation techniques and Western hypnotherapy. His methods help with everything from addiction and childhood trauma to helping you build a bigger business, increase your confidence or form lasting relationships. Said to put clients ‘in touch with their inner genies,’ he’s known for helping them create a state of flow in which the world they’d like to inhabit manifests around them effortlessly. For those seeking enlightenment from the comfort of their own armchairs, Mitter has just opened an online shop streaming his Magic of Manifestation videos — which allow viewers access to his magical methods for just £9 a session. You’ll find yourself smiling more than the Mona Lisa.
£140 an hour, +44 (0) 77717 66601 – www.shomitmitter.com.
KATIE WINTERBOURNE – For Intuitive Guidance And Clarity
A tour guide for your soul. And someone who loves the challenge of a sceptical client. That’s Katie Winterbourne, the professional intuitive who will meet you, a stranger, for the first time, and will then talk about your life with uncanny accuracy and thespian flourish. This model-pretty, one-time pupil of Deepak Chopra reads your unique energy ‘signature’ and uses her intuition to deliver energy healing and to give you a better understanding of your life. All this clarity and guidance happens in person, over the phone or by Skype. (Most opt for virtual consultations. But she’s just started offering appointments in a Marylebone mansion flat after years at Harrods Urban Retreat). She’s clairsentient, clairvoyant and just a little clairaudient. She’s also a Reiki Master (energy healing) and Vortex healer (healing on a soul level to clear Karma), and offers a smattering of talk therapy too. Sometimes all of the above within one session. She probably won’t tell you which shoes to buy or whether to dump your boyfriend. But she doesn’t balk at very specific questions. Plus anything she says can be fact checked afterwards using the download she records of the appointment. Whatever it is that she does, it works. A session will likely help you make shifts in your life – whether that be to do with decision-making, the dynamics of a relationship, a problem with your child or a job issue. It’s not for nothing that her loyal clients dub her a soul healer.
£170 for 30 minutes or £300 for 1 hour. Based in Marylebone every Friday, or via Skype or phone Monday – Thursday. Book online at www.katiewinterbourne.com.
ANNABEL HODIN – For Personal Styling And Wardrobe Cleansing
She’s the country’s numero uno Look Doctor. The premier Mistress of the Wardrobe. There’s (almost) nothing that personal stylist Annabel Hodin doesn’t know about clothes and how to make clients look better than their best. She handles the sartorial requirements of numerous celebrities — sprucing up their glossy mag and on-screen appearances — and also dresses City whizzes to Mayfair dames. She has an uncanny knack for knowing what works for you psychologically and physically – whether choosing a dress to give you extra confidence or recommending a dressmaker (to tweak that Celine sleeve). As plugged into Selfridges, Harvey Nicks and Harrods as cachet boutiques — from Westbourne Park Road to Marylebone — and the best of the high street, she finds you lasting investments as well as the chiconomies of life. Annabel’s own make-up is subtle and her clothes sophisticated, whether she’s garbed in Cos or Prada. First talent spotted by Anna Wintour, Annabel’s a role model for us all, and quite simply the best for going through your wardrobe, slimming it down and freshening it up.
From £350 for a wardrobe consultation – www.annabelhodin.com.
SOPHIE THORPE – For The Queen of Eyebrows
Sophie Thorpe is the High Priestess of Brows. Others call her London’s Empress of Eyebrows. And Nigella dubs her The Eyebrow Master. Whatever, Sophie is the capital’s specialist in semi-permanent eyebrows. If you’ve ever under or over-plucked your eyebrows, have badly shaped brows or ones with no natural arch, she’s your lady. Or if you’re post chemo or suffering from alopecia. She looks after you from her white-on-white studio in a Knightsbridge townhouse near Brompton Cross. After dabbing on numbing cream, and using a fine needle, Sophie tattoos the semi-permanent mineral pigment hair by painstaking hair onto the skin using feathery strokes and a superfine needle. Between two and four weeks after the treatment, you have a top-up appointment to ensure that the results are parfaito. Your new eyebrows usually last between one and two years, depending on skin type and age. Get your brows done by Sophie and you’ll get an arch more perfect than the Bridge of Sighs and it’ll take years off your appearance. Plus you’ll look more Nigella than Joan Crawford. More George Clooney than George Michael.
From £350 for eyebrow tattoos (micropigmentation), +44 (0)20 7589 5899 – www.sophiethorpe.co.uk.
ANDREA GROLLET – For Semi-Permanent Make-Up
When it comes to eyes and lips, Andrea Grollet is the Michelangelo of semi-permanent make-up. Have your lips defined or eyeliner drawn (known as micropigmentation to those techies among you) by Andrea and you’ll never again look as if you’ve just fallen out of bed — even if you have. It’s especially great if you tend to do wobbly eyeliner yourself (that’s all of us) or are big on sports. Using a fine needle, the semi-permanent mineral pigment (German, so it’s probably ‘gut’ for you, and of such high quality that you could probably eat it) is tattooed onto the skin by Andrea, a specialist of 15 years. The procedure is a tad uncomfortable (so pop a Paracetamol) but safe. The undisputed doyenne will ‘draw’ top eyeliner, bottom eyeliner, lip-liner or even full lip colour, making you look cover-girl perfect. Your lashes will appear thicker once that top line is applied. Thin, uneven, faint or even asymmetrical lips will be corrected by her sleight of hand. Your make-up-free face will never look unmade-up again — and the excellent results may last well over a year. No wonder there’s a steady stream of le tout fashionable Londres leaving her Knightsbridge rooms. Women with eyelids that are weapons of mass distraction. Very Audrey Hepburn. And lips that leave Julia Roberts’ in the shade.
Prices from £50 for a concept consultation at Neville Hair and Beauty in Knightsbridge – www.andreagrollet.com.
JOANNE EVANS – For Skin Matters
Former nurse Joanne Evans is one of London’s leading medical and beauty specialists. What she doesn’t know about skin isn’t worth knowing. She’s a tip-top facialist and also the Queen of Hair – hair removal, that is. She’ll pop you on a couch with a towel with ‘gratitude’ or ‘kindness’ or ‘love’ embroidered on it, and then deals with all your hirsute bits. She works her laser magic – on the boys with vintage Porsches and the coolest babes of London – in her calm, sage-coloured treatment room in Notting Hill. Sign her up too to make you younger — after all, you’re in the hands of someone who has more qualifications than a professor – think CIBTEC, BTEC, NVQ 3-4, IHBC, IIHHT, IIST, and BABTAC. Then let her and her team battle ageing with nutrition to hormones and cosmetic procedures. She’s a whizz at rejuvenation (micro-needling, anyone?), vein and pigmentation removal. She’ll fix you up with some Bro-tox (for him) and Botox (for her). Unsurprisingly, she has a waiting list that runs the length of Westbourne Grove. But if you can’t get an appointment with her, book one of her crack squad. She has a nurse who does infusions, an eyelash extension specialist, naturopath, and masseur. Afterwards, you can go to the Bodyism café for a low GI, organic, no gluten snack. Little wonder hers is the number on speed dial in all those Vogue employees’ iPhones.
+44 (0) 7710 381 438 – www.skin-matters.co.uk
DR TIM BRADSTOCK-SMITH – For A Smile Make-over
Need a smile make-over? Book Dr Tim Bradstock-Smith if you want excellent teeth. No self-respecting red carpet type would get out of bed without a perfect, pearly set. And he’s London’s go-to dentist and the only accredited member of the (world leading) American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in the UK. He’s at The London Smile Clinic, the UK’s centre of excellence for cosmetic dentistry. Imagine a purpose-built space with glass frontage, leather sofas, and glass partitions….a clinic that boasts the most advanced dental methods and the latest interactive computer imaging and laser techniques. Think tip-top gadgets like a CT scanner cum X-ray machine that does cool 3D X-rays — one of only three such machines in the country — and lots of computer simulation to fine-tune the smile you’re going to get. Plus iPads for you to fill in your medical history, a Nespresso coffee machine to play with while you wait and DVD goggles to watch in-chair movies (but no horror movies to make you jump). Get everything from gum re-shaping and white fillings to closing gaps, reconstructions and replacing missing teeth. From bonding to veneers to teeth straightening. Or a thorough Hygiene Clean and Phillips Zoom Whitening Treatment using LED light activation for optimised results. Catherine Zeta Jones has veneers and Beyonce and Britney Spears have whitened their teeth. Gwen Stefani and Kelly Brook have also used cosmetic dentistry to perfect their smiles. With The London Smile Clinic, you get to join this select club. With results natural-looking enough to make anyone smile. Broadly.
Hygiene Clean and Phillips Zoom Whitening Treatment is £995, +44 (0)207 225 2559 – www.londonsmile.co.uk.
DANIEL GALVIN JR – For The Snipper Who’ll Give You A Power Lunch
When time is money, the Daniel Galvin Jr. Power Lunch is the only way to go. It’s a double speed, double quality approach to hair and nails. Daniel colours your hair while — working like synchronised swimmers — his right-hand woman, Olivia, also colours your tresses. That way, you get a full head of highlights in half the time. Simultaneously, you eat your kale and pumpkin seed salad, quinoa porridge or buckwheat pancake delivered from Grace Belgravia, and refuel on a detox organic drink. Then you’ll have either a mani or pedi while the dynamic duo finish colouring your hair. Afterwards, they’ll use Daniel’s own award-winning organic products — saving you from carcinogens and other nasties. Then Oli ‘Harry’ Styles will cut your locks and give you what Lady Thatcher termed a ‘blow job.’ While you’re in your chair in the Dior-grey and white Belgravia boutique salon, Daniel (impossibly good looking and wearing his three-piece suit with pocket hanky) may regale with stories of his amateur boxing career. You’ll spy on Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie — not to mention Kelly Brook and Carol Vorderman — if they’re in there. Before you know it, your hair and nails will be finito. And boy, will they have made your tresses look good, getting the exact shade of ‘sun-kissed babe’ or ‘Duchess of Cambridge.’ Hair royalty, hair-raiser – Daniel has been called many things. He’s not just a Prince’s Trust Ambassador and fourth generation hairdresser — his great-grandfather snipped tresses in his tailcoat, his father coiffed the Beatles, Princess Diana and Twiggy, and he himself develops HRH’s signature range. More importantly, Daniel sure knows a thing or two about making a special lunch.
Available at the Belgravia salon and Lanesborough Hotel Mayfair salon by appointment only, £1500 for two hours – www.danielgalvinjunior.com.
VAISHALY – For The Super Facialist To The Superstars
Vaishaly — like Madonna and Brad, she’s known only by her first name — gives one of the best facials in town at her discreet clinic in Marylebone. She’s a practising Buddhist, who has always had a passion – even a calling – for her work. She’s facialist to the stars – or, rather, super facialist to the superstars. Elle McPherson, Nigella and Gwyneth are all regulars. Vaishaly ‘reads’ your energy and uses the face for diagnosis, much as reflexologists work with the feet. Each client’s facial is tailor-made on the day, factoring in everything from the season to a client’s hormonal state and general wellbeing. Then Vaishaly uses her intuition and magic hands — plus her own-brand organic products — to begin rejuvenating your skin. Her signature facial (which is also given by her excellent team of therapists) includes a facial massage, cranial techniques, Reiki and manual lymphatic drainage. It’s the world’s only facial to include cranial work. During the mask, Vaishaly focuses on your neck, shoulders, scalp and face – lightly releasing tensions and banishing stress. A holistic treatment that takes you to heaven and back several times – without moving from her Marylebone clinic with its flickering candles and serene Buddhas. Your face will look clearer, smoother and naturally radiant. And you’ll want to return within weeks to the clinic with its rose petals and French lemon grove and lavender field scents. Little surprise that she has a three-month waiting list and is known as the Skin Goddess.
The Signature Vaishaly Facial with Vaishaly herself is priced at £200, +44 (0)20 7224 6088 – www.vaishaly.com.
DR YU HAN – For Traditional Chinese Medicine To Balance Your Body
You’d be hard pressed to find a better pair of hands. After all, Dr Yu Han offers a holistic combo of acupuncture, traditional herbs, cupping and Chinese massage. Traditional Chinese Medicine, in other words. She was a protégée of the famous Professor Cheng Xin-Nong — author of the first modern acupuncture book and the man credited with teaching the West’s leading practitioners. Dr Han has been inserting needles since 1983, after training for eight years full time in Beijing University’s Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine – which is to TCM what academia is to Oxbridge. In Chinese massage, you’re fully clothed and she rubs your meridians and acupressure points — so she may massage your foot, say, if you have a headache. When cupping — the Chinese have been doing it for 3000 years — she’ll place a glass cup on your acupuncture points and meridians, and the vacuum releases stagnation, sucking out stress, and tension. She may pop needles lightly into your scalp (that relate to the ‘du’ meridian) to calm your over-active ‘monkey brain’ (that hops around like monkeys in trees). Or she may prescribe goji berries and stamen from peonies to nourish your liver. Not to mention that her wall is plastered with photos of babies born to those infertile before Dr Han wielded her cups and needles. She treats everything – from acne and asthma to high blood pressure. And her patients travel from as far afield as Scotland and France to her clinic in uber trendy Kensal Rise. But given all her money plants, tinkling wind chimes and jars of traditional herbs, you could easily be in mainland China. What bigger luxury in life than consulting the woman with the magic needles?
Chinese Health Care Centre, +44 (0)20 8964 2421 – www.chinesehealthcarecentre.co.uk.
TONI ADEROTOYE AT GIELLY GREEN BOUTIQUE SALON AND SPA – For Top Tresses
Toni is the snipper renowned for The Four-Stage Haircut. If you have long hair and are trying to dare yourself to go short, Toni is your woman. She’ll cut your tresses in (at least) four stages — each look beautiful and stylish — until you tell her to stop at the length and shape you want. You’ll seldom meet a hairdresser who takes so much trouble. ‘I can cut more off but I can’t put it back on,’ is her rationale. She’s also rare in that she’ll do your colour, cut and blow-dry. Think chic one-stop. After all, she’s worked at London Fashion Week and in TV and film. Now she’s Artistic Director and Artistic Colourist at Gielly Green Boutique Salon with its hair artists (a great team of style and colour professionals) and beauty therapists. As for the salon, ahhh – it boasts uber-comfy swivel chairs and recliners with squishy neck pillows to lie on when having a hair wash. Plus a tip-top range of own-brand holistic hair treatments: luxury products free from parabens, synthetic fragrance, SLS and carcinogens and with Neem, Argan and Buckthorn oils plus minerals from the Dead Sea. It’s open seven days a week. There’s even a coffee bar there. And it’s just moments from the Chiltern Firehouse, for a quick snack afterwards. It’s all so achingly cool, you’ll be begging Toni for a five or six-stage haircut….
A hair-cut and blow dry with Toni costs £130, +44 (0)20 7034 3060 – www.giellygreen.co.uk.
Caroline Phillips is an award-winning freelance journalist who contributes to publications from Sunday and daily newspapers to glossy magazines and various luxury websites. To see more of her work, go to www.carolinephillips.net.