baby blues
Last week I was beyond fortunate to take a bit of tim off work so I could show one of my beloved American babes around my hometown for the first time. I was such a breath of fresh air – I haven’t really taken the time to look at London through bright eyes since I was, well, a baby with bright eyes.

We spent days eating everything we wanted, walking everywhere our heels could handle, and dressing up purely for thrills. Hence this jazzy little number in a heatwave.

No regrets.

What I Wore:
Brocade off the shoulder skater dress from ASOS
Two band mules from Next
Mint blue leather cross body handbag from Smith & Canova

baby blues
baby blues
View Post

freelance journalist london
Well ‘ello, loved ones. It’s been quite some time since I’ve just sat down in front of this battered old MacBook to chat you through general life happenings and your ‘where TF are you’ e-mails certainly suggest one is overdue!

As some of you know, I have been Lois Lane-ing my way through London’s biggest and best newsrooms behind the scenes of Blogland and the freelance grind has been busier than ever over the past couple of months.

We’re talking features on the misconceptions of Type 1 diabetes (followed by a highly requested ‘day in the life’), the damning effects of bisexual erasure, the hidden horrors of birth control, and much more.

Want me to cover something in your favourite paper, magazine, or website? I’m always a DM away (@lelalondon across all social media)!

heliot steakhouse london
Two years ago, I found the holy grail – the actual best steak in London.

Yet, thanks to a demanding schedule, I haven’t had time to return to the Hippodrome’s Heliot Steak House since. It is a bit of a culinary tragedy.

The restaurant, named after infamous 1900s lion-loving performer Claire Heliot, is famed for its prime USDA offering but offers a diverse menu as stimulating as the casino which props it up.

That very menu’s new additions (pan-fried champagne salmon, grilled halloumi with orange, et al) seemed the perfect excuse to reserve my long-awaited return.

While the steaks are simply too good to skip, I decided to be an open-minded little food writer and start with some seafood to share. Unsurprisingly, both the theatrically-smoked tuna tartare (bathed in a delectable ponzu sauce & bonito flakes with a somewhat innocuous liquid cucumber sphere) and grilled octopus (perfectly balanced with charcoal mayonnaise & crayfish) were fantastic.

When the plates were cleared, I began to worry that my Surf & Turf would underwhelm me after two years away.

A wildly futile thought, it turns out, as my medley of rare USDA fillet, scallops, and prawns was perfect. At an insane £22, the S&T beats out every other steak at its price point – and double – in London.

Not that I didn’t steal a bite or five of The Mr’s rare rib-eye and lobster tail dipped in dry aged sauce. Or more than a forkful of his satueed field mushrooms. You don’t pass opportunities like that up.

To finish things off we almost literally jumped into a bowl of sugar with a visual spectacle Heliot have dubbed ‘Fairy Land’. The dessert is a bizarre treasure trove of chocolate coffee, raspberry lollipops, liquid gold with Baileys, and more. I didn’t get it, but I didn’t care. I have yet to find a different steak to take Heliot’s crown.

heliot steakhouse london
heliot steakhouse london
View Post

how to set table
It’s no secret I take a lot of pleasure in food blogging my way around the world. I find joy in every little part of it – the unpredictable street stalls, the over-egged white tablecloth service, everything. For me, the experience is as vital as the food.

When we moved into our beautiful stone-walled home, I got incredibly excited to make the dining area something of an experience. To decorate a hella-investment of a reclaimed wood table in rectangular slate mats and a gorgeous arrangement of stainless steel cutlery (from my beloved Robert Welch, natch).

(In related news, I’ve been scouring this new site for affordable art and have to give it a shoutout – they have a delicious selection from emerging artists!)

Now, strap yourself in for some OCD realness:

How to set a table:

Dinner plates should sit in the centre of the place setting. Place your cutlery on the table in the order of use, starting from the outside and working inwards with each course.

Forks should be set to the left of the plate, with knives placed to the right, blade edges facing inwards. Soup spoons should be placed on the right of the knives.

Place the dessert fork and dessert spoon above the plate with the fork prongs facing right and the spoon bowl facing left.

Side plates always go on the left of the dinner plate.

Glassware should be set above and to the right of the dinner plate and should include a red wine glass, a white wine glass and a water glass.

Naturally, do as little or lot with what you have available – even beautiful basics will forgive the rest (and get you a tonne of compliments from dinner guests)!

how to set table
how to set table
View Post

summer beauty favouritesLush Powdered Sunshine
In Croatia, this quite literally saved my skin. Though I wore my beloved Frezyderm sunscreens I mentioned last month every day, the sun was fierce and I wanted to make sure I could top-up my SPF as and when needed. This little powdered sunscreen was ideal. It is all-natural, weighs next to nothing (so is super easy to carry around with a small buffing brush), and smells divine – almost like you’re dusting sweet limoncello across your body. It also doubles as an amazing protective dry shampoo; I didn’t wear a hat a single day for two weeks in the sun and didn’t burn my scalp at all.

Bed Head Beach Bound Protection Spray and Beach Freak
My curly hair becomes something of a temperamental desert in warm weather. While the heat encourages a big bounce, it also seems to zap its moisture within minutes. I knew I needed to pack a strong heat protector and rolled the dice on TIGI’s Bed Head Beach Bound Protection Spray for Coloured Hair. The leave-in heat protection treatment not only protects tresses against the frizz of humidity but creates a barrier against heat styling up to 230 degrees, making it a perfect beachside beauty buddy.

I would spritz it through my hair every time I took a break from the sun and followed up with Bed Head’s Beach Freak Moisturising Detangler Spray – a milky formula that works to soften, nourish and moisturise dry hair – in the evening to reduce breakage before washing my hair.

Intima Ziggy Cup
As far as I’m concerned, period cups are a ridiculous thing to find taboo. They’re simply another part of a woman’s beauty and well-being regime that can make a huge difference. And this one really has. Because it was designed for period sex.

Yes, actual fully-fledged, mess-free sex on your period. Intima’s flat-fit Ziggy Cup is petal-thin, reusable (like all of their period cups), and offers up to twelve hours of protection. As someone who is very passionate about advocating ownership of your womanhood, I cannot recommend it enough.

Flawless Eyeliner from Flawless Lashes by Loreta
This teeny tiny nib makes for the easiest and smoothest eyeliner application ever. Though I wasn’t sure what to expect of the lesser-known brand’s offering, this liquid eyeliner is now my go-to. It doesn’t budge once dried (heatwave or not!) and does so within seconds. When the weather is so hot ‘putting your face on’ feels like a losing game, the Flawless Eyeliner is a godsend.