Personal recommendation is always more reassuring when it comes to trying out a new service, especially when that service surrounds making your child’s 13th birthday party one they’ll never forget, or taking the plunge to design your dream kitchen, or even something as small as the perfect end-of-the-week hot stone massage – I think we would all feel more at ease knowing that the service has been tried and tested, and yields great results.

Luckily, there is a website that curates the best services that London has to offer, and tests them for you! Almost Essential, founded in 2014 by Caroline Frankel and Michelle de Boilley, currently features over 90 handpicked premium businesses to cater to your every need; from garden maintenance to florists to present ideas, Caroline and Michelle have personally tested each service to ensure that it meets a high standard.

Sign up to Almost Essential and you’ll save time that would have been spent trawling through internet search results and comparing businesses. At the click of a button you’ll be in direct communication with your selected business, safe in the knowledge that it has been selected with quality in mind. A member subscription is just £40 a year, which is redeemable upon a spend of £400 on services.

EAUX caught up with the founders to talk about the vision behind the Almost Essential website:

1.     How did you meet each other? What were you doing before you established Almost Essential?

       We met through mutual friends approximately 15 years ago. Caroline was then working as a strategic brand consultant and Michelle was in executive search.

2.     What boxes do businesses need to tick to become a part of your recommended services?

Efficiency, reliability, friendliness, good presentation and competitively priced.

3.     What’s the best part of your job?

Finding special people who are genuinely talented at what they do.

4.     What difficulties did you overcome when you started the business?

Finding a good a web designer was our biggest challenge. Then generating word of mouth, which always takes longer than one thinks.

5.     Most of your services are London-based; would you ever branch out to cover the rest of the UK?

Possibly, it would have to be around the UK’s larger cities. We are also considering expanding abroad; NY, Paris, LA etc…

6.     What do you do when you’re not running the business?

Caroline still does a bit of consultancy work and currently consults for a property developer. She also looks after her two boys and, Michelle keeps looking for new finds and organises her children and husband’s lives.

Visit Almost Essential at www.almostessential.com