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The best pedi of my life. And I’ve had a few…

On a recent trip to Cape Town I was duped into going for a walk at the V&A Waterfront & next thing I’m at the One & Only Spa & there’s a reservation in my name! Yes, I squealed & yes it was really loud!

You can’t but relax from the moment you step inside the spa…

I was booked for the Bastien Gonzalez pedicure & with the promo they had running at the time it also included a complimentary foot massage (or foot refoundation as it’s called) – perfect for my tired, touristy feet. I was given a quick tour of the spa and then changed to take advantage of the spa facilities.

The facilities includes the vitality pool & ice foundation (I skipped the latter!)

I had heard a bit about this infamous treatment but I still wasn’t sure, so my therapist filled me in. Bastien Gonzalez, a French podiatrist with a passion for feet, designed this signature pedicure with the thinking of look after not just the appearance, but first & foremost the health of one’s feet. Bastien refers to the treatment as a ‘true pedicure’.

No, we’re not prepping for surgery, these are just some of the tools used during the treatment 🙂 Anwin, my therapist, really knew her stuff!

Scrap all notions of all pedicures you’ve ever had. For instance, the Bastien Gonzalez pedicure uses no water at any point!  It starts with reconditioning of the nails & includes a nail treatment (masque) & nails are gently buffed to restore its health. A scalpel/small blade is used to remove dead skin from the feet where after they too are buffed (like the buffer your dad has in the garage but prettier), leaving my skin silky & smooth. I hear you, this all sounds very ouch, but its 100% painless & the therapists very are highly skilled to do this. The treatment ends with an indulgent & relaxing foot massage where very particular techniques are used – I promise, no one has touched your feet like this before!


  • I loved that this treatment combined the best of beauty & science – seems logical.
  • The shiny, high gloss buff left on my nails after the treatment that was 100% natural – no lacquer (nail polish) at all.



I’m a sucker for attention to detail

  • Just how polished everything is from the staff to the facilities (which even includes a plush hairdresser). It’s easy to tell this is a spa belongs to The One&Only.
  • Instead of the communal mani/pedi station in traditional salons, this pedicure is done in a treatment room, one on one.


  • That I can’t get to Cape Town often enough to have this done!

If I ran the place

I would open in Jhb asap or this could become an expensive habit! There are whispers of a Jhb offering coming, location tbc.

Need to know

  • A similar service is available as a manicure (it’s gentler of course) but the same principles apply.
  • All the products used are available for purchase at the spa (Reverence de Bastien range) & are based on natural ingredients. Unfortunately a buffer at R2300 is just not within my reach!
  •  There are packages available where you can buy a set number of treatments upfront & enjoy a saving.
  • The Bastien Gonzalez treatments don’t include nail polish (i.e. a paint) as this isn’t really part of Gonzalez’s philosophy for the health of our feet & hands but the spa does offer a paint service with organic formaldehyde-free nail polish at an additional cost.
  • The Bastien Gonzalez pedicure costs R850 but catch your breath – it’s so effective that you only need it as infrequently as every 2-3 months, so this could actually be cheaper than your regular traditional pedi’s once you do the math.

I recently tweeted “there are toes that this world shouldn’t see” – don’t let yours be one them 🙂


One&Only Spa Cape Town

Dock Road, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town 8001, South Africa

+ 27 21 431 52

Rosemary.Read@oneandonlycapetown.com (spa manager)

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