charlie chocolate factory afternoon tea
To mark the world premiere stage musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, our friends at One Aldwych have created an Afternoon Tea inspired by the story and kindly invited me along to be the first to sample their bouquet of contemporary sweet treats.

Kicking things off with a dry ice-smoking beaker of Cocktail Charlie (Dalmore whisky mixed with Grand Marnier Cherry, chocolate bitters, grapefruit juice, cherry syrup, and champagne), it took no time at all to be presented with the introductory plate of sandwiches and savouries. The personal highlight of the so-called starters came as a bountiful serving of cured smoked salmon and lemon mayonnaise on top of rye, though the roast beef and horseradish sandwich on onion bread and leek and stilton quiche thoroughly pleased my male companion.

Deciding to switch to tea before we Dalmore-d ourselves into oblivion, we requested a pot of Midsummer Mango (sunflower blossoms with real mango pieces) and Smooth Caramel (black tea with caramel chunks and a hint of vanilla) before taking on the beautifully arranged plate of confection you see above.

Like all good afternoon teas, One Aldwych’s features warm scones (served with summer berry jam, apple and meadowsweet compote, and Devonshire clotted cream). These arrive in a basket alongside an obsession-forming blueberry brioche and a Cocoa bean financier; the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory touch. On a tiered slab at the side you take possession of chocolate caramel milk, a mini Eton mess, and ‘Golden egg’ filled with vanilla cheesecake and mango puree which are all accented by multi-flavoured homemade candyfloss. The kind of gluttony even Veruca Salt would appreciate.

(The afternoon tea is £29.50 per person/£38.00 per person including a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne or a Cocktail Charlie. Click here to book!)

charlie chocolate factory afternoon tea
charlie chocolate factory afternoon tea
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rihanna concert
Without a doubt, there are some massive names in pop that control the charts and give new singers a heavy-hitting punch in the fight for star status. Rihanna is undoubtedly the queen of the female pop scene whilst boyband One Direction tantalise audiences with their infectious guilty pleasure pop hits. For those interested in catching these artists at their best, here is a guide to what’s on for both parties this summer:

Rihanna
Set to make her eagerly anticipated comeback to the UK music scene with a grand stadium tour during the summer of 2013, plenty of dates are scheduled across the UK in June and July.

Tickets to see Rihanna in concert are currently on sale from sites including Stub Hub and cover the following venues and dates:

  • 10 June: Millenium Stadium, Cardiff
  • 12-13 June: Manchester Arena
  • 15-16 June: Twickenham Stadium
  • 17 June: Birmingham LG Arena
  • 20 June: Sunderland’s Stadium of Light
  • 21 June: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
  • 11-12 July: T in the Park 2013, Balado Park, Kinross
  • 15-16 July: Manchester Arena
  • 17 July: Birmingham LG Arena

There are also other dates on sale across Europe as the chart topping star’s tour is named one of the hottest of the year. Superstar David Guetta will also be joining her for a number of the dates so there are plenty of reasons to get involved. The London gigs are sold out but you can still find tickets available on ticket reseller sites (prices start from £74,76 on StubHub)

One Direction
Hitting the UK on four occasions as part of their 2014 global Where We Are Tour, One Direction tickets flew off the shelves when they were released for sale on May 25th. Whilst they may be in a state of relative infancy in the pop world, the popular appeal of this band is impossible to ignore and has been universally acknowledged since they first joined forces on Britain’s hit talent show X Factor.

The UK venues and dates covered by their 2014 UK Stadium tour are:

  • May 28: Stadium of Light, Sunderland
  • May 31: Manchester’s Ethiad Stadium
  • June 3: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
  • June 7: Wembley Stadium, London

For the disappointed One Direction fans that have missed the opportunity to secure their tickets last Saturday, the only option now is to browse ticket reseller sites in the hope of finding tickets at reasonable prices.
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free spotify road trip playlist
It’s about time I threw another free Spotify playlist your way and it is also, conveniently, about time for me to go on my first road trip since I was a teenager.

Though this weekend’s trip is a little more EuroTrip than cornfields and 500-lane highways, my road trip playlist mantra doesn’t ever change based on destination; pepper the smooth roadie grooves with some offensive rap and tie things up with some old school Girl Talk.

It’s the recipe for musical success. Trust me.

Click here to listen!

(Download Spotify here. It’s free! )

city academy
After leaving theatre school in London I ‘graduated’ to Glee (the club, not the show) while I was in Grand Ole American high school. Post high school? My musical-loving, tap-dancing self has indulged only in a karaoke night or ten…

…until I discovered City Academy. What a jazz hand-worthy revelation. With over thirty locations across London, City Academy is London’s leading creative and performing arts academy and caters strictly to those over 18 years of age. Classes include every type of dance imaginable, acting, film making, singing, musical theatre, diva masterclasses (Beyonce, Pussycat Dolls, Rihanna etc), Comedy Classes, sitcom writing, screen writing, public speaking and more.

For me? Nothing made sense like their Improvers Musical Theatre Class. Designed to suit those with a bit of musical experience (ideally you will have completed a City Academy Beginners Musical Theatre Class), the 8-week class builds towards a showcase that features numbers will be chosen from all eras and styles of musical theatre. Though I have an unfortunate schedule that makes it impossible to commit to a full course, I was able to trial the class on Week One and completely fell in love. The goal being to nail one number per week, the class – led by the very talented Rebecca Wicking – is fast moving, inspiring, and a laugh a minute.

To spread the musical love, they have very kindly offered one of you the chance to win £250 worth of City Academy vouchers which you will be able to use on any class/classes of your choice! (Keep in mind: one Beyonce Diva Workshop is only £25. You can really have a blast with this prize!)

To enter you mustLike Lela London on Facebook and follow Lela London on Twitter (receive an extra entry for following Lela London on Bloglovin’!) through the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Competition ends May 10th, 2013.