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Elisabeth Rushton enjoys a pampering podiatry session at Footopia in London

Walking on Air

Thanks to years of pounding the pavements and tottering around in stilettos, I have ended up with what I consider to be the feet of a hobbit.

 

‘Actually, they’re in quite good condition,’ Dipesh Raja, HCPC registered podiatrist, co-owner and founder of Footopia, reassures me. He spends the following 45 minutes discussing, and dealing with, my hard calluses, ‘small fissures and cracks’, as well as diagnosing fallen arches and the early stages of a bunion. If these trotters are in good condition, I can’t think what horrors he usually encounters.

 

Footopia foot scrubDipesh was the original ‘celebrity foot specialist’, long before such a concept existed. He established Footopia in 2003, which was previously located beside the beauty department in Peter Jones. So successful was the enterprise that it outgrew the confines of its premises, and in 2012 the decision was made to relocate to a larger space in Chelsea Manor Street. Unlike the typical nail bar with clients seated toe by toe, at Footopia, the medical pedicure takes place in the privacy of a separate treatment room. It is here that I recline in a plush leather armchair while Dipesh enthusiastically works through a system of clipping, filing, buffing, moisturising and oiling. My nails gleam – in a natural, way.

 

Next comes the more medical part of the session, which involves Dipesh talking a scalpel to the underside of my feet to remove layers of calluses (the type of work performed by a chiropodist). Although he is far too discreet to show me what has been carved off my feet, I manage to spot a pile of skin that fills me with equal measures of delight and disgust. The final process involves a micro sanding machine, which he uses to smooth the skin post the scalpel procedure. The process is pain-free, the results genuinely impressive. And the general foot-care advice given – from tips on moisturising (daily, but never between the toes) to swiping surgical spirit on the soles is also handy.

Pedicure-in-motionAfter my medicinal procedure, I am moved to the main part of the salon, where Gita Raja (Dipesh’s wife) works on the aesthetics of my feet. I have a Shellac pedicure, which involves a relaxing foot soak, cuticle treatment, Shellac application and a soothing foot and leg massage.

 

I leave the salon with baby soft soles and glowing toenails – exactly the outcome I was hoping for. I was interested to learn that in addition to foot treatments, Footopia offers the full gamut of beauty treatments, including massage, waxing and threading.

 

Weather permitting, by the time you read this I’ll be wearing sandals without exposing something that might cause mothers to shield their children’s eyes.

 

The Footopia podiatry treatment costs £60 and the Shellac Pedicure costs £57.50

Footopia, Chelsea Manor Street, London SW3 5QE

0207 259 0845

info@footopia-london.com


 

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