I am about to have my first pedicure and I am apprehensive. Having your feet handled by a stranger is a disconcerting prospect, especially when the foot-man in question is a Cornish aristocrat, but that is what is about to happen. After entering through the Sharps barbershop in Fitzrovia, London, I am escorted through a secretive corridor to a dimly lit room at the back of the shop featuring an impressive chesterfield and an oak desk topped with bankers’ lamps. Apart from the MacBook that sits open on the desk, it feels like stepping back in time, and the vibe is country estate drawing room meets cosy speakeasy.
It’s here I meet Mr Aldwyn Boscawen, a businessman who has learned the craft and minutiae of what makes a good pedicure, and has successfully branded it for men in the form of Aldwyn & Sons. “It was in searching for somewhere to have a pedicure myself that a gap in the market was spotted – a nail salon really wasn’t for me and there was little else on the market to address my unsightly, coarse and, at times, uncomfortable feet,” he explains. “Footcare has never been accessible for gentlemen in a bespoke environment and tailored to their comfort. The feet are often overlooked, but can have a significant impact on a man’s overall wellbeing.” With that in his mind, Mr Boscawen launched the smartly named “The Modern Footman” treatment, and last year became the first and only place in Britain to create a dedicated place for men to have their feet taken care of.