Free Spotify Playlist – September 2014

free spotify playlist
With the ridiculous amount of ‘back to school’ posts I’ve seen flitting around the blogosphere in the lead up to September, I figured a healthy dose of new school choons would be ideal for this month’s free Spotify playlist.

It’s a loose tie-in. I’m well aware most of the Lela London community hasn’t seen the insides of a classroom for a few years.

(Need to catch up on last month’s? Click here for August’s free Spotify playlist.)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

(Download Spotify here. It’s free!)

Track listing:
Move Like U Stole It by ZZ Ward
Figure It Out by Royal Blood
1957 by Milo Greene
Chandelier by Sia
Believer by American Authors
This Is How We Do by Katy Perry
Shake, Shake, Shake by Bronze Radio Return
Come With Me Now by KONGOS
New Love by Maroon 5
Waterfall by The Stone Roses
Changing by Sigma and Paloma Faith
MyType by Saint Motel
Happy Idiot by TV On The Radio
Dance Apocalyptic by Janelle Monae
Hit Me Down Sonny by The Ting Tings

Travel Blog: Postcards from Paris – a 48 Hour Vlog!

paris video vlog
I knew that the 48 hours Tiffani and I planned to spend in Paris were going to be all sorts of manic. Though I am by no means an expert, it was my chosen responsibility to deliver her an amazing weekend (after all, it was her first-ever visit to a language-diverse country).

After an eventful overnight coach trip from London, we arrived in Bercy and logged in to the Hotel Tonight app just in time to secure a fantastic deal for Hotel O (a gorgeous, central, and Pantone-hued design hotel).

The following two days were an unforgettable blizzard of adventure, carbohydrates, discovery, accidental seduction, Frenglish, and more.

But enough chat, there’s a vlog to watch…

In Review: The 15-course tasting menu at HKK, London

hkk london
I wasn’t expecting to discover my all-time favourite beef dish at a Chinese restaurant, but it happened. It happened at HKK.

At the helm, Michelin-starred Chef Tong Chee Hwee has turned the Hakkasan Group’s abbreviated sibling into a banquet-style celebration of Cantonese cuisine. While HKK does offer a la carte options, the tasting menus are the restaurant’s pride and glory.

Two SLR-strapped women and a 15-course tasting menu each? It had to be done.

Knowing we’d have to table our cocktail habit to make our way through all fifteen dishes, we decided to kick things off with the horrifically named (but truly scrumptious) ‘Washing Potatoes’ – a zesty blend of kiwi, ginger, coriander, lychee and apple juice – before sticking to some good ol’ H20.

Now, the feast.

Priced at £98 per head, I had very high expectations of the tasting menu but was blown away by the delivery of each course. Every bite is a careful and intricate selection of flavours and textures that far exceeds all preconceived ideas of ‘Chinese food’.

Verbally, the introduction to the 15-course tasting menu reads a bit like heaven: whelk salad with Shaoxing wine jelly, then roasted Poulet de Bresse, foie gras and mandarin confit, the ‘HKK supreme’ seafood soup (a truffle-infused life changer), cherry wood roasted Peking duck (hand-carved tender flesh, crispy skin, and a moreish blend of salad and pancake), a dim sum trilogy (some of the best in London, served with a paintbrush to ‘paint’ your soy sauce onto each ball), chargrilled quail and Mui Choi rice, then a light sugar snap, lotus root and water chestnut salad.

Seven down, eight to go.

Before moving on to Number Eight, HKK pause to serve a Da Hong Pao tea ceremony and light palate-cleansers. As China is currently celebrating its mid-Autumn festival, Chef Tong Chee Hwee has specially created two exquisite moon cakes – a sweet moon cake with a lotus seed and red date enveloped by delicate pastry and a savoury and sweet snow-skin moon cake with a nutty, lotus seed centre – to be served with the ceremony until September 13th.

After nibbles, sips, and the feeling that The Force might indeed Be With Us, we pushed through to the next stage of the tasting menu.

For the ‘mains’, we were presented with an incredible plate of grilled New Zealand scampi in truffle miso sauce, Hong Kong style steamed lotus leaf halibut, seared Wagyu beef with Enoki mushrooms (absolutely, definitely the best beef dish I’ve had anywhere, ever), and Chinese-spiced Rhug Farm organic lamb. Almost definitively, each course was a gastronomic work of art.

Unable to retrain ourselves from leaving a single morsel behind over two hours, we were feeling 100 types of exhausted by the time we reached dessert. Alas, beautiful layers of strawberry, verbena cream and almond brittle still preceded a raspberry and dark chocolate delice with cocoa nibs and, dutifully, we attempted to fork our way through to the very end.

Staring (defeated) at our selection of petits fours, we took a second to reflect on the meal and go through my standard review of noteworthy positives and negatives (aka The ‘Is It Blog-worthy? Test’).

There were no negatives. Not a single one. HKK’s food, service, and atmosphere is immaculate. To be quite honest, I might consider moving within walking distance.


hkk london
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What I Wore – Bleu

bleu
To satiate your international appetite before I share my video postcard from Paris, I think it might be time to pause for an outfit post.

Though I’d ideally be running around patisseries in a beret and stilettos, tackling miles upon miles of city streets in under 48 hours calls for a more practical ensemble. Casual pleats, bows, and tailoring it is.

What I Wore:
Blue tie-back pleated dress from Closet via House of Fraser
My trusty handbag
Bejewelled city sandals (old, similar here)

bleu
bleu

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