Spa Studio at the Lanesborough
The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, SW1X 7TA. 020 7333 7700
THE SETTING: The Lanesborough is London’s last word in hotel luxury. The spa is a hidden chamber in the depths of the hotel appointed with perfect European luxury and taste.
THE PEDICURE: The Foot Loose and Fancy Free package (£85) begins with a foot treatment and ends in the Aspleys restaurant, where a tea sommelier ends your rejuvination with your brew of choice. Before that, peppermint and lemongrass oil are used to soothe the feet, which are then smoothed and pampered before one of polish-guru Leighton Denny’s colours are applied.
7 New Cavendish Street, W1G 8UU. 020 7487 5510
THE SETTING: Light, modern and airy, with an oxygen capsule in the nail room.
THE PEDICURE: The medical pedicure (£75-£120 for 45 minutes) is unlike anything else in London. Dabbs is a podiatrist, and uses dentist’s tools to cure feet of more serious problems than a chipped nail. The Dabbs operation attacks verrucas, corns, dry skin and ingrown (and overgrown) nails. Its straight to the point, with none of your soaks or creams. But the end result is feet that feel tingly and new, and look utterly immaculate. Next door the French girls will put boutique polish on the tootsies to round it all off.
60 Sloane Ave, SW3 3DD tel: 020 7590 6146.
THE SETTING: It may have its origins in New York, but this lone UK outpost of an American chain is a buzzy epicentre of Sloane ranger and yummy mummy activity in smartest West London. It’s cute, chic and just what the doctor ordered for tired feet, a tired mind or anything else requiring a boost.
THE PEDICURE: Bliss famously has a technique that leaves toes perfect for an outrageously long time and it does a world of good for the skin on your feet as well. The signature treatment is the Foot Softening Central (£60 for 60 minutes) – after an intense dry-buffing with a diamond-studded “callous fighter”, feet are soaked in steamed whole milk with moisturising almond oil, then scrubbed, primped to perfection, and painted. Up-beat, deeply popular and professional toe-and-foot love in a busy factory of pampering.
Pacifica Day Spa
1 Courtnell Street,W2 5BU. 0207 243 1718
THE SETTING: A jewel of a spa tucked away in Notting Hill, Pacifica is – you guessed it – Pacific themed, with bamboo, waterfalls and greenery. This is a holistic haven with a particular leaning towards yoga-themed relaxation.
THE PEDICURE: The Yoga Pedicure (£75 for 60 mins) is Pacifica’s trademark. First up is a warm soak with essential oils. Next, your nails are shaped and filed, before feet are scrubbed with a freshly grated coconut and almond oil. A hydrating mask is applied to feet before heated booties seal the deal. When removed, a reflexology massage will relax your whole body, increase circulation, eliminate toxins and balance energy. Slip into some Yoga Sandals, have your toes polished with Opi paint, and off you go with your pretty Yoga-licious feet. A holistic-style treatment perfect for anyone who fancies escape for a few hours in a posh, friendly hideaway.
The Spa at Brown’s Hotel
33 Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP. 020 7518 4009
THE SETTING: One of London’s smartest boutique hotels, in the heart of Mayfair. The spa is a little dark and small, but it’s comfortable and immaculate, with sweet and competent therapists.
THE PEDICURE: There are a couple of trademarks. The year-round favourite is the hot milk and honey foot facial (£75 for 90 minutes), an aromatic and effective way of leaving skin smooth as a baby’s bottom. First is a sugar and honey exfoliation to “prepare” your feet for a hot milk soak. Next up is a pressure point foot massage, then the paraffin wrap which, although hot and clingy, works wonders. This is a proper relaxation treatment as well as a pedicure. The other trademark is a seasonal pedicure (£85 for £90), which involves a seasonal fruit smoothie (or martini) and skin scrub – this summer it’s pina colada, with coconut oil and pineapple. Yum.
The Dorchester, Park Lane, W1A 2HJ. 0207 319 7109
THE SETTING: Brand new, spangly and completely unapologetic in its opulence, the relaxation room is a dark blue den of brash but wonderful velvet and mirrors, and there’s a “spatisserie” serving all manner of treats – naughty and otherwise.
THE PEDICURE: Reclining in your big leather seat, you’re given a warm neck wrap which is remarkably lovely and soothing. They take nail health very seriously here: Nailtiques Protein Formula is applied first to ward off peeling, splitting and chipping. Go for the Caviar Pedicure £95 (1 hour and 10 minutes): feet are wrapped in a caviar mask before receiving a eucalyptus-laden Turkish salt scrub and massage using a caviar-based firming complex. A fibreglass file – in the hands of one of the chatty, competent girls – will leave your nails in impeccable condition, along with the usual buffing and shaping.