Category Archives: Lela loves London

I love London. I sign things London. London is the key to my heart – it deserves some writing.

What I Wore – Popcorn

popcorn handbag
Though the promise of sunshine had me wanting to run around Primrose Hill in stilettos and sundresses, I had quite a bit of ‘running around’ to do in London at the tail end of the week. Forgoing my ankle-breakers for a pair of sensible booties, this comfy/lazy outfit won me a few unexpected smiles from strangers. That, or everyone was juiced on sunshine.

(I hacked the handbag into a long strap instead of its ‘popcorn strap’ and it was the wisest decision of the weekend. #handsfree)

What I Wore:
Popcorn handbag from Kate Spade (DIY by me)
Floral jumper from Zara
Striped shirt from TM Lewin
Zipped skinnies from Zara
Cashmere socks (similar here)
Boots from Even & Odd (similar here)
Steampunk necklace (handmade gift)

popcorn handbag
popcorn handbag

Happy Towns

happy towns
This week, Twinings Infusions launched a  ‘Make Work Wonderful’ portal on The Huffington Post. With a few of my Northern friends sharing their opinions about one article in particular, I was quickly sucked into the Britain’s Happiest Workers: 10 Towns Where You’ll Find Them conversation.

Having spent the last four months enjoying the spoils of Leeds (and the surrounding areas), it was no surprise to see a few Northern towns on the list. What I did find surprising, however, was the absence of London. LONDON! Though places like Luton have the fastest broadband in the UK, the fourth-lowest pollution, and high scores in the job satisfaction and work equality stakes, it does not hold a candle to London in my eyes.

I think I brings up an interesting debate. Though I was born and half-raised in England’s capital city, London evokes complete Marmite reactions in people:

You have the lifers: Be they raised in London or not, they would never dream of leaving. They know every secret bar in Soho, their own personal Top 10 list of Best Burgers, and know how to convince a pedal-bike driver into giving them a free ride at 4am. Ahem.

You have the in-betweeners: They live in London but don’t care too much about it. The in-betweeners tend to live beyond Zone 3, will go for drinks ‘in the city’ once a month or less, and are likely to be saving up for ‘the future’ (aka the chance to move out of London).

You have the fearful: Bright lights, big city? It’s just not right for some people. I tend to forget that these people exist until I’m back in Indiana (where I went to high school). Corn fields, little city? It’s just not right for some people.

Until recently, I considered myself a lifer. Now splitting my time between London and Leeds, I suppose I’m an in-betweener. Just not an in-betweener that you’ll ever find living in Luton.

What factors do you believe contribute to making a ‘Happy’ location? Would you trade living in your favourite city for a bit more disposable income?

In Review: Wagamama

wagamama review
I am not really one for ‘fast food’…let alone reviewing it. I have friends who can praise the heavens for a golden french fry or fried chicken, but it’s just not my – fried – bag.

I had swept wagamama into the ‘fast food’ category until seeing their jazzy little Way of Wagamama recipe video (below). I mean…Thai freshness hasn’t really delivered in the UK the way it did on the streets of Bangkok, but I was willing to take a chance on my tickled tastebuds.

Fast food/chain-restaurant/mall-food or not, wagamama has my seal of approval.

Kicking things off with a tangy ‘Super Green Juice‘ (apple, mint, celery, lime juice, and a whole lot of healthy), The Manfriend and I ran through their astronomic list of fresh gastro delights and settled on a Chicken Katsu Curry and Prawn + Chicken Pad Thai (obvs), along with some sides.

If kimchi is ever on a menu, I order it on impulse. wagamama’s was perfectly spicy with just a slice of the sour fermentation, just the way I like it. To balance the spice we shared a plate of Duck Gyoza which – when paired will their spicy cherry hoi sin sauce – was deliciously moreish (if not a tad pastry-heavy).

Our mains were, unexpectedly, the real winners. The Manfriend’s Katsu was completely man-friendly; chicken breast deep-fried in panko breadcrumbs and covered in a honey-tinged curry sauce with sticky white rice, dressed mixed leaves and red pickles (sneaky veggies = my favourite). My own Prawn + Chicken Pad Thai was a perfect blend of lean proteins with ginger, peanuts, garlic, spring onion, red onion, amai sauce, chilli, and lime. Though most of my noodles were left behind (personal taste), the portions were also extremely generous.

The combination of editing these photos and re-watching the video has, in fact, resulted in mad hunger. See you in 10, wagamama.

wagamama review
wagamama review

London Town, meet the Nokia Lumia 1020

nokia lumia 1020 london
Would you believe me if I told you all these photos were taken on the Nokia Lumia 1020?

You should, because it’s true.

Over London Fashion Week, The Manfriend and I went around lovely ol’ London Town with our new friend and photographer, Sylvain Deleu. Initially wanting to spend our few spare hours to make a stop motion video, the weather decided it wasn’t going to work in our favour (things the camera didn’t capture? Blue fingers). Thankfully, wandering through the streets of Mayfair, gushing through the beauties in Rous Iland‘s showroom, and stopping off for a macaron refuel at Ladurée made for some pretty lovely photos, nonetheless.

Bonus round! This is the first time our ‘couple tattoos’ have appeared on the blog. Puke if you must.

nokia lumia 1020 london
nokia lumia 1020 london

In Review: Yauatcha, London

yauatcha london
Ten years and a Michelin star past its inception, Yauatcha in Soho finally made its way into my personal calendar.

With the restaurant’s fashionable reputation preceding itself, The Manfriend and I recently settled in to their vibrant basement dining space amped up by the promise of Haute Chinese.

Immediately taken with the long list of dim sum, we cautiously dipped a few slices of picked cucumber in chilli oil while restraining ourselves from screaming “EVERYTHING! GIVE US EVERYTHING!”.

Successful in said restraint, we were happy to have two crispy duck rolls sat down in what could be perceived as the blink of an eye. Though simple in its conception, the duck rolls were packed with tender meat and halved for dippable manageability. I could have easily managed a few more if not for the arrival of two more dim sum delights; the lobster dumpling with ginger, shallot, and tobiko caviar (as moreish as a dumpling could possibly be) followed by a trifecta of Wagyu beef puffs. The latter – a savoury spill of gravy-soaked beef with a light and flaky pastry casing – was the surprise highlight of the meal.

Though I would have been happy to make my way through the rest of the available dim sum, a brief pause was taken to cleanse the palate with a ‘lime and passion iced tea’ (passion fruit, lime, and apple juice with jasmine tea) before our mains arrived.

For The Man? Mongolian style venison with butter and black pepper sauce. For The Femme? A Szechuan seafood and tofu claypot with peanut – the kind that knocks your socks off and makes your partner see tofu in a new light. I enjoyed both dishes greatly but would opt to spend those 40-something pounds on a surplus of dim sum on future visits.

Forgoing a melange of macarons (my go-to) for dessert, we opted for sweet treats that has enticed us earlier in the evening; a green tea choux with hazelnuts, curd, and confit alongside the ‘Raspberry Delice‘ with chocolate brownie, lychee, and hazelnut. As the photography so rightly suggests, we were not disappointed.

Topped off with incredibly attentive and friendly service, it’s not hard to see why Yauatcha has made such a name for itself.

yauatcha london
yauatcha london