Tucked in the corner of Ladbroke Grove, Sophie Gass is a delightful boutique home to large blooming bouquets and an open-plan space dominated by white marble nail desks. Endless smiles and conversation filled the boutique as I arrived in from the outside ready for 45 minutes of nail transformation.
A boutique nestled in the heart of Holland Park, first opening in October 2012, Sophie offers her guests one-off fashion pieces- that hang effortlessly on large wooden hangers- along with accessories for guests to buy. Manicures and pedicures that are the epitome of relaxation draw guests in from the busy Notting Hill streets, as they come eager for cappuccinos and a fresh gloss of colour.
Upon my arrival, I was offered English tea, a tour of the light, roomy space and the most recent issue of Tatler to peruse; it was all very ‘Notting Hill’. After choosing a deep-red Essie polish, from among her many on display, I sat back and watched as a technician began tackling my half-bitten, chipped nails without admitting to their state (far too kind). Sipping on tea, I watched as she massaged in between each finger, took time to cut back my cuticles and began apply the polish on with precision. A job I usually dedicate five minutes over my breakfast to, I’ve never been much of a manicure girl. Nail polishes I love buying yes, but actually taking time to get my nails done never seemed to secure my approval.
With the store donning a minimal, sleek approach, I was immediately drawn to its white interiors and totally began to understand why ‘getting your nails done’ garners such excitement (especially here). As I sat waiting for my newly cared-for nails to dry, I chatted with Sophie about her store, journalism and whether I’d like more tea. A friendly atmosphere filled with laughter, decor you can only dream of actually owning and guests eager for their weekly manicure, Sophie Gass is Notting Hill’s finest retreat— and I’ll be back.
By Lisa Walden
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