International flair – and Paddington Bear – at Lawrence of London salon

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By Saturday, Dec 23 Trade and Commerce

Great Barrington — I love living in the Berkshires but I miss England a lot sometimes. Especially at this time of year. So imagine my delight when, walking down Main Street in Great Barrington during the holiday stroll – feeling a little peckish as I hadn’t had time for lunch – I see a sign for a new hair salon called Lawrence of London.

Lawrence of Arabia has been one of my favorite films and London will always feel like home. I make the connection immediately. And – wait – isn’t that Paddington Bear waving at me from the other side of the window?

While it is true that I was not “found” on a station platform with a sign around my neck saying “please look after this bear,” like Paddington, I was adopted by lovely English people, I’m awfully fond of marmalade, and I am capable of creating a gargantuan mess in any kitchen. So I head right in to say hallo.

The author with a Paddington Bear and Crunchie.

In addition to the famous bear from Darkest Peru, there’s a painting of Trafalgar Square on the wall, several Harrods pillows and a Very British Atmosphere. Next to the hair cutting stations there are jars of Quality Street and Sherbert Lemons and now a friendly blonde woman is coming towards me with a plate of Crunchies!

If you are American you might assume that a Crunchie is some sort of hair tie. If you are English you will know that a Crunchie is a particularly “moreish” English chocolate with a honeycomb center and bright, shiny golden wrapping with bold red lettering.

Denise Forbes, who with her husband Trevor, came up with the concept for Lawrence of London.

I allow my American self to wolf the Crunchie down in two bites while my British self says “Thank you so much” to Denise, who is now offering me a Curly Wurly, and I start asking questions about how this miracle came to be.

Lawrence of London is the brainchild of Trevor and Denise Forbes and their daughter and son-in-law Samantha and Luke Lawrence, two experienced hairdressers who have worked on both sides of the Atlantic.

Trevor (British) and Denise (American) moved to the Berkshires from the UK several years ago after bidding farewell to their high-flying financial careers in London. Flip forward several years, and Trevor now owns the Renaissance Investment Group, LLC which he bought out from Berkshire Bank and Denise runs a small British hostelrie in Housatonic.

Luke Lawrence with a customer.

However, when this happily married couple found out that 271 Main street was for sale, they called Luke and Samantha who were in Las Vegas cutting the locks of Celine Dion’s twins no less, and within days Luke and Samantha Lawrence were on a plane heading towards Great Barrington to start their own salon where Sims used to be. With the goal of bringing quality London hairdressing to the Berkshires at affordable prices.

They spent the next three months renovating and Lawrence of London opened last week.

Samantha Lawrence.

Luke still goes into NYC every week to do Kristaps Porzingis’s hair (for those of you who don’t know, he’s a New York Knick.) And the rest of the time Luke and Samantha treat the good people of Great Barrington to British hairdressing in the Berkshires!

In addition to delicious Cadburys chocolates and a nice cuppa tea, the prices are very reasonable indeed. At only $20 Lawrence of London has by far the best value blow dry in town.


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