You haven’t had a pedicure until you’ve had The Bastien Pedicure. Gonzalez is arguably the world’s best pedicurist, a career that began when he had a pair of orthotics fitted after a skiing accident at the age of 19. Thanks to them, that season he won all of his skiing races before promptly retiring to study podiatry and foot health.
Fast-forward two decades and a highly trained team perform his signature pedicure in multiple spas around the world. When celebrities and royalty aren’t flying him across continents to treat them, Gonzalez himself splits his time between London, New York and Dubai. While it’s been almost impossible for new clients to see him, excitingly in London, his new treatment rooms at the Mandarin Oriental mean he’ll be in residence on select days each month.
A pedicure with Gonzalez lasts “as long as it takes” and the experience is as informative as it is transformative. “For me, it’s about finding a cure for any ailments you might have. I want people coming back to me for my massages, not because of pain or calluses.” He begins by using a range of blades to remove every tiny trace of hard skin before tidying nails using drill tips made from diamond dust. This removes ridges, surface stains and signs of dehydration before a marble particle cream is applied and buffed in using chamois leather until nails reach a mirror-like shine (just watch and wait for when you go elsewhere for a pedicure and they keep trying to take off your clear “nail polish”). A wonderful foot, ankle and calf massage boosts blood flow, decreases any dreaded ankle puffiness and relieves tension.
“I make feet look like baby feet”, he explains in his wonderful French lilt – which probably explains why 95% of his clients don’t want to paint their nails afterwards and all of them keep coming back for more.