Wednesday, 21 September 2011

My experience at Aqua Sheko aka the fish pedicure..

Way back in January of this year, I booked a MobDeal via Wahanda for a garra rufa fish pedicure at Aqua Sheko.

A few months down the line, I promised myself that I'd book myself in so I didn't forget before the voucher ran out.

To cut a long story short, I booked it and was late in arriving because I had a meeting which was planned on the day of my appointment and it's a nightmare getting to China Town (practically where Aqua Sheko is) from the Square Mile.

The guy at reception was quite rude actally which I felt was a bit offkey seeing as I'd emailed to TELL them I was going to be late and I'd apologised.  That's one point deducted from 10.  And why did I email instead of ringing?  Nobody had picked up the phone!  And I wasn't too impressed with the fact that I had to wait around for 10 minutes before he decided to talk to me.

I was instructed to go downstairs, had my feet washed and was told to dunk my feet in the "fish tank".  In went my legs and the fish got to work.  I declined any refreshments but I'm glad I was asked as the people who came in after me weren't asked. 

The venue is that it wasn't as glam and sleek as they make it look on the website.  It's not a total shithole but it's not half as nice as they make it look.  The music they were playing in there made me feel like I was in a Chinese takeaway waiting for my order.
It's not this dark inside.

The shop used to be a video shop (I had to Google map the directions and I found this to be the case).  I saw a doorway downstairs and knew immediately that that was where the adult section used to be.

Most of the decor is velvet which has been stapled onto MDF.  The massage area is curtained off by two pieces of fabric and some of the black and yellow hazard tape covers the step down.  And the photos on the website are angled so as to make the place look bigger than it is.  The actual massage area is two chairs and an air conditioner.  That alone doesn't make the actual treatment bad but don't go there believing it is a five star place because you will be disappointed.

I was on my Jack Jones in there until a really noisy group of girls came in.  Now I don't mind noise, that's fine but when you're screaming your head off about putting your feeet into a tank of fish WHEN YOU KNOW that's what you've gone to have done; that's a bit ridiculous.  And the sreams lasted the whole 30 minutes.  I'd understand if she was being subjected to electrotherapy but this was fish in water. 

That kind of ruined the experience for me a bit and I did half expect the staff to tell her to keep the noise down.  I don't think that's being too picky on my behalf.  If you go to a venue where they play calming music, you should have enough self awareness to realise how you're meant to behave but then some people clearly aren't civilised.
I sat with my trotters in the tank for longer than I should have done (win!) On any normal day, I'd be happy about this but as I was rushing to get back to work, I did hope they'd take more care about time.  But as I said, you get more bang for your buck that way.

The foot massage was very good but it would have been nice if they had asked me as I really needed the head, neck and shoulder massage.

I know you all want to see a photo of my porky little trotters in the tank so here you go you foot fetishists..
I don't know why I couldn't get a decent flash shot, it was bright enough in there..

So what did I think overall?
Would I go again? No
Would I pay full price? No...I don't think so.
Does it tickle as bad as the say? I think nearly anyone could take these pedicures.  You definitely don't need to scream like a twat.  It's only ever so slightly tickly at the start but that's it.  I have a few tattoos, if you can take a tattoo on a fleshy part of your body (arm, leg, upper back/lower back), you can take this.  If you have a tattoo on a bony part of your body (ankle bone for example) you can definitely take this.  That reminds me, the garra rufa fish pedicure is totally safe if you have tattoos on your feet/ankles/legs; there is no need to put a plaster on them or anything.
Do the fish remove the dry skin? Yes, they do.  My feet were quite dry and they felt really smooth afterwards.  Do be warned that the dry skin they take off floats around in the tank.  I thought they ate it but maybe they don't.
Why aren't you going again? The soles of my feet were never so dry before that skin was peeling off.  The same is true of my toes.  This is what has happened after going here.  It's not something that has dented my self esteem as my feet are in shoes most of the day and I have bigger fish to fry (puns are, as always, intended).  Just take that into consideration.  My issues could have occured because I was left in the tank for longer than I should have been.   Having said this, my feet were quite dry before anyway so if you have normal skin on your feet, or even greasy (is that possible?) then you might not have the same outcome.

Although this sounds like quite a scathing review, there was nothing about the experience that was so horrendous that would make me tell others to stay away.  However, if you do go, don't go expecting it to be as lavish as the photographs make out on the website.  Also, if you work anywhere in the Square Mile and decide to visit Aqua Sheko on your lunch-hour, be prepared to be away from your desk for two hours. 


  1. You sound how I felt about visiting the original one in Kensington. Like you I went some months after the blaze of glory opening and was unimpressed by the difference between the glossy shots and the peeling paint in the bathroom - reached via the staff area. My feet were fine after it - but seeing all the loose skin in the next tank along from the older lady sitting next to me was seriously off putting.
    I found the experience itself quite pleasent - but I saw enough not to want to go back.

  2. I feel exactly the same, I didn't think it would be some kind of treatment pedicure, I think most just do it because of the novelty factor and I went on a Thursday during the day and it was empty..I've been to other similar places and they've had at least one or two people there so that was a massive sign. Now I hear they've closed down?


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