In Review: Jean-Jacques, London

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Most of my restaurant reviews earn their place on the blog by showing me something I haven’t seen before. Be it a dazzling display of culinary ingenuity or a street food concept that makes me smile, I revel in gastro-newness.

Jean-Jacques in Soho has made my heart pang in an entirely different way. The new kid on the block is situated as centrally and hipster-friendly as any new London restaurant could hope for, but offers fanciful French food in the coziest of atmospheres.

From the second I walked in, the restaurant took me on a journey to long childhood lunches in the South of France with my father. Visually, Jean-Jacques is rustic and warm with noticeably well-presented dishes scattered between bottles of well-selected reds.

As adult culinary adventures go, my friend and I ordered a few glasses of Malbec and went straight for the jugular: steak tartare and Scallops St. Jacques with salsa verde, tomato and olive fondue.

If a French restaurant can’t wow with these staples…are they really a French restaurant?

Passing our test with flag-flying colours, we moved onto the insanely moreish Barbary duck breast (with honey & rosemary glaze, heritage baby carrots and swiss chard) and Poussin (cooked perfectly alongside sweetcorn and) bacon before indulging in dessert; perfect little profiteroles (their dessert of the day) and a chocolate fondant with walnut praline and pistachio ice cream.

For a little slice of Nice in the heart of Soho, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

jean jacques london
jean jacques london
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London: For The Cool Kids, Foodies, and everyone in between…

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Solomon’s Yard, Camden Market

Though I have been on the proverbial road (slash sky) for an obscene slice of the last three months, each time I return to London I find myself as exhilarated and entertained as I am while travelling.

This is thanks – in large part – to the never-ending variety of ‘things to do’ in the city; the current highlights, of which, you’ll find below…

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

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Travel Blog: Edinburgh, Day One

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Edinburgh has been on my travel hitlist for longer than I’d care to share. Though I am fortunate to have a travel-friendly lifestyle, business-travelling everywhere from Amsterdam to Wales to Geneva to Qatar to Paris (and that’s only over the last three months!) leaves very little time to cross locations off my personal hitlist.

When Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa invited me to spend a few nights with them, I didn’t even look at the hotel. I was in.

Blessed with the impossibly gorgeous duo of Elle and Chiara by my side, our girl gang hopped on the train at King’s Cross and arrived in Scotland just four hours later…

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

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Paris, Je T’aime

Less than seven days since my last visit, Paris fell victim to terrorism.

Since the evening of Friday the 13th I have been in disbelief, scrolling through photos from my trip in tears, feeling my heart break with every new account of the attacks, and wondering how I could possibly put my emotions into words.

I adore Paris. My father and his partner live in the South of France and the capital has always felt very special to me. When two of my favourite ladies and I found out Garbage were stopping in the city as part of their very small 20 Years Queer tour, we couldn’t hop on the Eurostar fast enough.

Though we only had the weekend in the city, we planned to cover as much ground (and croissants) as we could handle. With this in mind, I decided to drag by lady loves over the beautiful hills of Sacre Coeur and surprised them with an incredible private tour of Montmartre via Trip4Real. Armed with a plethora of cultural, artistic, and drinkable challenges, Baptiste (a charming and enthusiastic local) accompanied us on an adrenaline-pumping set of tasks throughout the city, helping us not only discover Paris in an authentic way but treating us to three compassionate, hilarious, and unique hours in one of the most extraordinary cities in the world.

It was an experience like no other. One that now feels almost agonizing in its brilliance.

With less than seven days between peace and terror, I was able to watch one of my favourite bands play live while fans of Eagles of Death Metal were forced to ‘play dead’ amongst murdered loved ones. I was able to enjoy beautiful meals in Café des Deux Moulins (aka The Amelie Cafe) and the organic Hope Cafe while innocent patrons of La Belle Equipe, Casa Nostra, and numerous Right Bank restaurants were gunned down.

The events that have taken place between these photographs and this blog are inconceivable.

Paris, je t’aime. More than ever.

How to Help Paris

– You can donate money to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which directly supports the French Red Cross.
– If you’re in Paris, you can donate blood using this map and/or app and offer shelter using the #PorteOuverte hashtag..
– You can educate yourself. This is not the only terrorist attack that has happened this month, let alone this week. As unlikely as it seems, tragedy offers us an opportunity to band together and change the state of injustice, intolerance, and terror in our world. Start conversations, spread love, and give peace the authority.

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

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