Updates: For more additions regarding Manicures & Pedicures, see these posts:
Back home in LA, my Saturday morning ritual would be to grab a vanilla latte from Coffee Bean and get my weekly mani-pedi with one of my girlfriends. It’s a familiar one amongst many people – I know friends who do the same with their local manicurist services in the city of Toronto! One of the best parts of this ritual was that we could give ourselves a little pampering and preparation for the weekend without breaking the bank.
And then I moved to London! Why is it that getting a manicure and pedicure here feels like I have to (a) give up my first born to get an appointment and (b) skimp on the rest of my weekend plans because I just paid a small fortune to have one coat of Essie’s Mademoiselle painted on fingernails?
Furthermore, with the weather here-especially in winter-and the quality of the water-it’s an absolute must to have our cuticles and dry skin looked after. My friend actually told me about this Instant Pedicure Stick that looks amazing at keeping my feet hydrated and looked after in between those incredibly hard to find appointments over here. I think I’m definitely going to have to give it a try as I can’t go on like this!
The good news is that the Brits are starting to get the hang of it. Here are some places I have tried and my two cents about them:
I really do love Bliss as a general rule, but I tend to only go for nails if I have a friend in town and want to have a special treat. The nail treatments are great-especially the pedicures-and the technicians take their time ensuring your fingers and toes look fab. I also find that with a good topcoat, these manicures tend to last a fairly decent time! That being said, a Bliss basic pedicure is going to set you back £55!
Adamina is great. (Posting soon to come on my esthetician, Mariana who I love!) One afternoon while very pregnant I sat in the nail lounge and had the full works while watching For Weddings and a Funeral. The girls here are all really sweet, and you can sip tea while watching a wonderful selection of girly TV shows and movies. I would love to go back and do this with a girlfriend, however last time I checked they only had one nail technician, so not only do you need to make sure you book well in advance, you may not have the option of going with a friend. Overall a very lovely treatment!
The Nail Spa in South Kensington does a very nice manicure and pedicure. However, I tend to find them a little pricey for what it is-just the basics. I might as well find a clutch coffin nail collection for maybe less than that! That said, it was my go-to place for quite a while when I was in desperate need of a manicure-as it was less expensive than Bliss or another similar day spa. Additionally, it seems like a place that you should just be able to walk in to, but is always too busy to take you without an appointment.
The Chelsea Day Spa has added a nail bar, and is currently doing £5 off any treatments. The Chelsea Girl manicure runs for £30, but you can save some cash and time by going for the mini-manicure at £22.
The Nail Boutique
American Girls, this is my new spot! The Nail Boutique opened in the Chelsea Farmers Market on Sydney Street in spring of 2010. John and Kew, the two main technicians are really lovely and are desperately trying to hire more and more staff, as they are getting very popular with the local Chelsea women. The Nail Boutique has the good pedicure spa chairs, and they do a very nice job. A manicure and pedicure together will cost £40, but it’s one of the best deals I’ve found. The Nair Boutique doesn’t have a website up and running yet-but you can book and appointment by calling 020.7351.1166.
Harvey Nichols-Champagne Nail Bar
If you want to add a special treat to your day of shopping, enter HN on the ground floor and put your name on the waiting list to have your nails done while sipping a glass of champagne. There is also an eyebrow treading bar right next door if you want to kill two birds with one stone. HN’s main number is (0)201.235.5000 or you can find the Knightsbridge store at www.harveynichols.com.
Hands down one of American Girl’s favorite places in London, (and more postings to come soon in the shopping and eating section!) I had a nail emergency one Friday afternoon and needed a mani-pedi for a party that night. Bluebird was the only place I could get in-yes-if you didn’t know before you know now-there is a mini-spa tucked in the back of the boutique on the ground floor! The problem-a pedicure will cost you £50 and I find the whole laying on a massage table while someone does my nails is a tad awkward. The flip side-you can get an express mani for £20 and check out the new Marc Jacobs collection on your way out!
If you’ve found a great nail-spot, please do let American Girl know by e-mailing us at email@example.com.
Thank you for posting this! I was telling Mike how I miss the days of a $35 mani/pedi (which includes the soy latte). I'm glad that I'm not the only one searching for the elusive quality mani/pedi in London for less than it would cost for a plane ticket back to the States!
This is so helpful! I have been searching and scouring London for an appointment let alone an actual mani/pedi. I will be checking some of these out soon! I am missin my stateside luxuries!
It's not the most upscale place, but American Nails Design
on 393 Edgeware Road (close to Maida Vale) has much better prices than
anywhere else in London and always get a great looking mani/pedi
An American Girl in Chelsea says
Hey girls! Correction!! Adamina Day Spa now was multiple technicians working the weekends if you'd like to go with a fellow AG! Cheers! xx
Thank you AMG for the suggestion of the nail boutique. After I stumbled across you website this morning, I immediately made an appointment. My nails look amazing! Thank you
An American Girl in Chelsea says
One of my fellow AG's just turned me on to this spot up in Maida Vale… how cute is the site! http://www.tilliesnaillounge.com/
Someone check it out and report back! Cheers! xx
HI AG i im a New York City girl living in Chelsea and just found out about this site..it has been a challenge with the whole nail mani-pedi as you probably know in NYC there is nail spas on every block where you can just walk into!! So Chelsea has been a problem for me but i LOVE LOVE the Nail Boutique and the prices are great so thanks alot!!
When you get back you must check the new restaurant and bar around the corner from my flat on Oakley street called The Phene…you will love the garden
I got to Julie's Nails on Notting Hill Gate or on Kensington Church Street. £17 for a manicure.
An American Girl in Chelsea says
Hey Hallie, see my update: http://www.americangirlinchelsea.com/2010/09/manipedi-update.html
for a shout-out! Cheers! xx AG
Hey.. I realize this thread is really old but I thought I must tell everyone about Princess Nails! Its amazing and honestly the best and cheapest nail place in London a pedicure is about £20 and manicure £18 but they do an amazing job… you do have to book in advance for weekends and summer but you won't regret it! My fav and the only I go to is in fulham broadway:
131 Walham Green Court, Fulham, London SW6 2DG
020 7385 9288