London Grace manicures

With Christmas parties and numerous dinners with colleagues, work friends and housemates, it's the perfect time of year to actually make an effort with your appearance (if you're like me who tends to brush her hair only on a weekly basis). So with a friends birthday, I decided to test out London Grace, a cocktail-cum-nail bar for a bit of festive pre-Christmas pampering.

Located just up from Clapham Common, you're immediately welcomed into the cosy, brick walled salon by the small booths and a variety of cocktail options and alcohol choices. You can choose a manicure or pedicure, and go for a basic tidy-up to a full Shellac treatment which was what we decided to go for. They have an amazing selection of colours and at Christmas, you can pay a few pounds more for some festive stamps or glitter which we went slightly crazy over!

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The concept of the salon is a great one; the founder Kirsten was originally a student in New York who wanted beautiful nails, yet could afford it and go at any time in the day. I'm not the only one who struggles to get hair cuts and massages around a 9-5 job, so the thought of heading here with a few friends for a treat and a cocktail is the perfect excuse. I even noticed you can have bridal or hen dos there so will be looking into that for my sister's wedding in 2018.

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With a delicious prosecco and raspberry Rossini cocktails and half an hour later, we emerged with our suitably festive nails, having chatted to the team there who were friendly and informative about the whole experience.

They have branches in Putney and Leicester Square, as well as 15% off treatments between 11am and 3pm Mon-Wed or 2-for-1 cocktails between 5pm and 6pm. They even use formaldehyde-free nail lacquers, so there's really no excuse not to make a visit London Grace for an affordable treat after work.