“It’s alright, they don’t have teeth!”
Conveniently for those of us who want beautiful feet, Garra Rufa fish like nothing better than a diet of dead skin. Poised above their tank, my ‘well-used’ runner’s feet (this isn’t them, above) must have looked like the Garra Rufa equivalent of a slap-up dinner party at Nigella Lawson’s house. I’m pretty sure most of the 125 fish had tied their proverbial napkins in anticipation of a good feast before my feet had even hit the water.
But no, they don’t bite. Their tiny mouths are full of suction cups that are perfectly shaped to gently lift away dry, flaky bits and reveal the soft, supple and smooth skin beneath. Offering yourself up as supper ranges from feeling pleasantly ticklish to a (momentary) very ticklish indeed when one of larger fish grabs hold. Meanwhile, the tiny ones swim between your toes as a sort of Garra Rufa equivalent of licking the plate clean.
To be honest I’d had this treatment down as beauty novelty act before I tried it but my feet emerged super smooth and I’m told that the fish are even used elsewhere as a full body treatment for psoriasis. For immaculate results, it’s best to follow up with a quick foot file and nail paint on dry land. This is done by a Champneys’ therapist – as the fish keep dropping the brush (ha,ha).
Available at Champneys, Guildford From £25.