Started by dream team (and power couple), Sara Kardan and Jeff Armstrong, this elegantly decorated and Instagram-worthy bar/café-meets-beauty salon is doused in white marble and has everything you need for the perfect spa experience. Offering a number of services from nails, hair, and skin care, Her Majesty’s Pleasure has got it all — and she even lets you do it with champagne (or latte) in hand.
How did Her Majesty’s Pleasure come about? What gave you the idea?
We really wanted to create a business together. We have always appreciated the unique experiences created in so many amazing restaurants and hotels we have had the opportunity to visit in our travels and felt inspired. We felt there was a real gap in the beauty service industry, where design and social experience could play a big role in differentiation and success. Beyond that, we just wanted to create an amazing destination where women could do all of their favorite things in one place, together, with a cocktail or two.
How would you describe Her Majesty’s Pleasure to a stranger?
It’s a bar, boutique and beauty salon where people gather to celebrate, feel good and look great, all set in a beautiful space not dissimilar to a hotel lobby or a vacation destination.
What services do you offer besides manicure and pedicure? How is the experience here different than in a traditional spa?
We have a wonderful blow-dry bar and offer luxury hair treatments, along with traditional spa services including facials, hair removal and all-natural bronzing. We also offer make-up services and lashes to complete our one-stop service menu. We work hard to differentiate and please in a number of ways. We’ve designed our reception as a bustling café and cocktail bar great for meeting before or unwinding after appointments. Besides the obvious focus on high service standards we provide immense focus on the experience surrounding the service – interior design, curated music, scent and most importantly, a full service bar with talented craft cocktail connoisseurs who wait on our guests as they enjoy our services.
The interior of Her Majesty’s Pleasure is beautiful. Where did you get your inspiration for the design?
We have always collected images of our favorite places and things in the world. Before we started with our designer John Tong, we had all the walls of our home office covered from floor to ceiling with clippings and photos and memos. It was so rewarding to see so many of those things come to life in our own project. We really credit the final result to John and his unique ability to create spaces so unexpected and luxurious yet approachable and familiar.
What’s your favorite treatment at Her Majesty’s Pleasure? What should we get done when we come in?
Our facials and all-natural bronzing are amazing for keeping a year-round glow. But nothing beats an Ultimate Manicure complete with full massage and a custom cocktail designed just for you, sitting at our high-top manicure bar watching the bustle of King Street West and tapping your heels to some acid-jazz-house beats.
At the King West location, we are going to be launching a social calendar with unique events and experiences complementary to our amazing customers. Beyond King Street, we are keeping our eye on unique markets here in Canada and in the U.S. for expansion. We also have some exciting partnership opportunities coming up and goals to take the brand into other unexpected categories.
What is your favorite hidden gem in Toronto?
We love taking time out on Sunday to have brunch with our daughter. Gusto, Paralia, Clooney, and Tavoos are a few favorites. For date night, we love sitting at a beautiful bar, anywhere, enjoying new flavors and great conversation about what’s next in life. We find ourselves at Notte Benne and Blowfish when the opportunity comes to get out together.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Take risks, make lists and do everything you want to do and share it with someone you love.
What is the most memorable moment from your career?
Our first week of opening, for sure. We had the door unlocked for family and friends only and when we came out from the back office to check on things; our place was flooded with people walking by, walking in, ordering drinks, booking appointments and shopping in our boutique. It was really exciting. It was as if we were always here on King Street.