Lab Tonica is challenging the stereotypes of herbalism…
Take control of your emotional wellbeing with Lab Tonica
By Layla Turner
As a Londoner, I think I can speak for 99% of the population when I say we are all guilty of taking life too seriously. Whilst the hustle and bustle of the city can be invigorating, it is essential that we take time out to reconnect and de-stress.
I visited Gazelli House, an oasis of tranquil in the heart of South Kensington, to visit the Lab Tonica tea bar and chat about all things wellbeing with Lab Tonica founder, Kitty McEntee. As I entered Gazelli house, situated inside a pastel pink townhouse on Walton Street, I was greeted by a plethora of wellness products: crystals, bath salts and supplements, oh my! Of course, the friendly team are happy to answer questions, particularly from keen wellness newbies like myself.
The Lab Tonica tea bar is tucked away towards the back of the store. The environment itself is beautifully tranquil, adorned with plants and foilage (there’s even lavender hanging from the ceiling). The Lab Tonica collection is on offer to purchase, including balms, teas and sprays.
I took a seat with founder Kitty McEntee, who talked me through the five teas on offer, each crafted with botanicals. I opted for Pow, an energising blend with ginger and yerba mate. As a coffee worshiper, I’m often left feeling jittery and anxious, so anything that promises to energise without the caffeine is a yes from me – plus, it tastes delicious.
The rest of the collection includes unplugged, a relaxing blend for fellow insomniacs, Fend, to strengthen the immune system, Breathe, to promote calm, and Saucy, described as ‘An arousing collection of botanical products to stimulate the senses and get you in the mood’.
As soon as I walked into Gazelli House, I immediately wanted to be best friends with Kitty. For a start, she was wearing the coolest outfit I have ever seen (featuring socks with hearts on courtesy of Glassworks London – need I say more?), and I discovered she one day hopes for her teas to be stocked in Soho House, London’s infamous members club. Her coolness translates into her packaging; as a millenial, I was instantly drawn in by the pastel coloured tea boxes (which are 100% recyclable) and dinky balms that are perfect handbag size.
‘Before deciding to pursue my passion for herbalism, I had a 15 year long career in advertising, so you can imagine how much caffeine I consumed. It got to the point where I was suffering really bad with anxiety and having panic attacks on the tube, so I switched to herbal tea. One thing I noticed was that the packaging was very outdated, and looked like it was marketed towards my grandma. This is something I really wanted to challenge with my products – I wanted them to look nice so that people would be proud to buy the products, and to encourage younger people to incorporate wellness into their everyday lives with my products’ explains Kitty.
After my tea and chat with Kitty, I was led to the gorgeous treatment rooms by resident wellbeing expert Alexandra. The rooms are decked out with floral tiles, gold taps and luxurious treatment beds. I got myself comfy on the heated bed and talked through my skin and wellbeing concerns with Alexandra, explaining that I suffered with hormonal breakouts and tension in my shoulders and jaw, as well as regular tension headaches. I opted for the Energising booster facial, which uses Gua Sha to plump the skin and boost circulation. Alexandra used the Gua Sha tool to massage the tension out of my jaw, as well as treating me to a shoulder massage to work on my stubborn knots.
Post facial, I felt glowy and rejuvinated. Gazelli House is the perfect place for Londoner’s to take some time out to recharge. Be sure to treat yourself to products from the Lab Tonica collection to continue your wellness journey at home. As Kitty says, ‘It can be hard to escape the hustle and bustle of the city whilst living in London. I hope my products can offer even five minutes of tranquil; when you are making one of my teas, or using one of my balms to promote calm, remember to breathe and take a moment to think about life and all you are grateful for’.
Browse the collection now at labtonica.co.uk