After many years serving as commercial office space, The Old Trinity Church in central Marlow has finally been re-opened to the public, thanks to The Chapel’s co-founder Amanda and her talented team.
The Chapel folks waited a long time to find the right place for their sixth salon (they are already in Tunbridge Wells, Islington, Sevenoaks, Horsham and Verbier, Switzerland), and their search ended when they arrived in Marlow.
Amanda recognises the importance of respecting and preserving the building’s heritage, as she explains:
“We haven’t chosen it because it’s grand, what we do as a team we can do anywhere, we chose it because of the peacefulness and tranquillity. It’s not going to be a showcase of how beautiful we can make an interior. We’re going to grow into the building space as our team and the community evolves together over time.”
The building itself has been not transformed – that was never the intention – rather you could say it has been unveiled. The original features have been uncovered and, in some cases, highlighted by clever lighting, but they have not been changed. Friezes, script and stone carvings are on display once again, and look great just as they are. It is a magnificent building, but not excessively ornate or elaborate. It’s classy but not pretentious; you’d covet their soft furnishings for your own home!
I swooned at the fabulous giant light shade in the entrance porch – which is under the arch off Trinity Road, not opposite the school as I wrongly assumed! The welcome is warm, and you’re immediately enveloped in good music and rich scents, which have been developed by Amanda herself and are alternated to accompany the phases of the day. Mine was a morning appointment so it was ‘Oparus’: exotic florals, citrus blossom and warm earthy tones “to lift the spirit and let the imagination soar”… gorgeous.
As for the hairstyling: I’d had an informal chat with my stylist Jade at the same time as the obligatory colour patch test a couple of days earlier, so we already knew what we wanted to achieve. Jade had been very receptive to my ideas, was keen to see pictures I’d brought, and provided some balanced, realistic advice so as to manage expectations: for example, it’s not advisable to attempt to lift dark brown hair enough for pastel toners in one sitting, and the results you see on Instagram often aren’t realistic! I’d reacted to one of the three patch tests, which is not unusual, but it wasn’t overlooked – a plan B was created so that we could still achieve a good result without the risk of a puffy face.
The stylists aren’t incentivised by the number of clients they can see, meaning that they can pay as much attention to each guest for as long as is required. The colour and cut were done beautifully – no surprise there – but the experience itself felt private, relaxed and unhurried. There are no clocks, I had time to drink coffees and fruit-infused waters, and the hair wash basins are actually comfortable on the neck! Read more about Amanda’s vision and ethos here.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a completely immersive, peaceful salon experience – and who isn’t? – and you are happy to pay higher-end rates (albeit in line with many other salons in Marlow) , The Chapel will not disappoint. Highly recommended.
Amanda and the team are keen for Marlow folks to drop by any time for coffee (and amazing cake), to have a good look around and say hi. When you do, look out for that fabulous lampshade!
They are open Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-6pm except Wednesdays until 8pm and Saturdays until 5pm. Contact details here: www.thechapel.co.uk/marlow-hairdressers