The SW London hair salon with an Ofsted nanny

The baby and I have a new morning activity: the Charlotte Cave spa experience.

It’s a genius invention… I get a blow dry and my nails done and he spends an hour hanging out with an Ofsted nanny in a play area with loads of toys.

The coffee is great, I read magazines (or reply to emails) and try out fancy new hair products (think Organic Way, Sisley, Smith & Cult) and there’s free parking in the Waitrose carpark opposite (if you buy something, which you inevitably need to anyway). There isn’t even a catch.

I’m making it sound like I do it all the time – I’ve actually only done it once as occasions that warrant this kind of self indulgence are slim on the ground.

But I sincerely recommend the Charlotte Cave experience to anyone with a baby and no formal childcare. Or anyone full stop.


Charlotte Cave, the owner, is a hair and makeup artist who has worked across the globe for music, film and editorial assignments. She opened her first salon in Clapham Old Town six years ago and this new branch in Balham launched earlier this year.

The Balham salon has a modern vibe, with a shop at the front (rather like Space NK), and a spa, kitchen, bar and cinema room on the lower ground floor which you can rent out for parties.

Last nights late night screening! #notjustasalon #privatescreening

A photo posted by Charlotte Cave (@charlotte_cave) on

Most relevant for mums, is the nanny service, which operates every morning. What could be better than a hair salon with a nanny?

On Thursday afternoons there is this thing called ‘Big Scream with Fringe Benefits’ where the young ones can watch a film with a nanny keeping tabs on them, while you get your appearance sorted out.

They also do mini manicures, first facials and make-up lessons if you’re crazy enough to introduce your kids to such things.


I emerged a new person with swishy hair and claret-coloured nails that stayed put for more than a fortnight (really!) thanks to my Evo Gel manicure, a new kind of semi-permanent polish, which is formulated to prevent dehydration and damage to the nail. (It’s 100 per cent vegan and not tested on animals.)

Did my husband notice? For once, yes.

After I’d stood in front of him, pointing at my head like a crazy person for about five minutes, he asked if I’d done something to my hair.

But then we don’t do these things for them, do we?

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