21 September, 2012

Pumpkin Pedi at The Mandarin Salon – a treatment with a twist

21 September, 2012

Feet just aren’t sexy, are they?

…Which is why, given the choice between all the spa treatments in the world, the humble pedicure is always last on my list. However, throw a scrumptious smoothie in the mix, and now you’re talking! My feet may always remain unattractive, but I simply cannot resist a treatment with a twist.

So I was in like a shot for the new seasonal Spiced Pumpkin Pedicure at The Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. The treatment takes place in a side-room of The Mandarin Salon, more business-like and perfunctory than the main spa, with a view over the harbour and IFC – well, if you go on a less pollution-filled day than I did! The room itself is rather basic (I’d have preferred some music rather than the salon noises and chatter coming from outside) but the armchairs are pretty comfy; the room seats three and although I was lucky enough to enjoy most of the treatment on my own, once the room fills up, it feels a little less private than I would like.

Having settled down with a collection of the UK’s finest gossip magazines (give me my Wills & Kate fix stat!), my beaming therapist May began the process of rejuvenating my perennially unloved feet. First up, a relaxing soak in warm water, filled with aromatic oils and sea salt; then, out came the toolbox to start trimming, cutting, buffing and filing my feet into submission! Nasty cuticles were trimmed and pushed back, tough nails cut away neatly (perhaps a little too close to the quick for comfort) and buffed into shininess, dry gnarly skin scraped off… thankfully without the trigger-happy approach of my local salon! My feet felt softer and more loved than they have in years.

At some point, my delish spiced pumpkin smoothie was delivered; a perfect blend of pumpkin, yoghurt, cinnamon and lime juice, this was both refreshingly invigorating and comfortingly autumnal (and actually quite filling!). I sipped away happily whilst May started the next phase of the treatment – a spiced pumpkin sugar scrub to exfoliate my feet and legs, then a soothing but all too short massage using a delicious-smelling ginger and pumpkin shea butter.

Finally, I picked my nail polish of choice from the dizzying wall of OPI (be cleverer than me and scan these during your treatment, as I spent a good 10 minutes umming and ahhing!) and May expertly and quickly applied two coats of ‘Austin-tatious Turquoise’ to my tootsies (which has lasted an impressive two weeks without chipping or fading). Having noticed that I’d failed to think ahead and wear flip-flops, May popped my shoes into a swish Mandarin Salon bag and instead dispatched me in a pair of complimentary black bamboo flip-flops so I didn’t ruin my pedi – an example of the great attention-to-detail and quality service that always sets the MO apart.

The Spiced Pumpkin Pedicure is a nice little pick-me-up for the autumn blues and the addition of a yummy smoothie (you could also opt for a Spiced Martini) makes it feel that little bit extra special. If you know anyone with birthdays over the next few months – the theme switches to winter fruits and spices for Christmas (mulled wine ahoy!) and chocolate and roses for Valentine’s – these little treatments with a twist would make the perfect gift. It’s time to give your feet some love… however unsexy they may be!

The Spiced Pumpkin Pedicure costs $525 for 75 minutes and is available until 1 November, 2012

The Mandarin Salon, The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2825 4800

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