London

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

spitalfields market london
Old Spitalfields Market really finds itself up against it. On one hand, you have neighbouring destinations of dreams for tourists and locals (Shoreditch, Boxpark, Old Street, et al). On the other hand, you have neighbouring destinations of dreams that mean you’re bypassed altogether.

What do you do to draw them in?

You get all the best hipster-loved culinary joints in London under one roof at The Kitchens – the market’s dynamic and developing street food hall curated by Nuno Mendes.

It’s a crowd-captivating concept in and of itself. One only heightened by the arrival of Summer’s seasonal wave of new traders.

The historic Victorian market now plays host to a phenomenal range of traders including High Mood Food – a health food concept with a unique focus on fermentation. Co-founder and chef Joey O’Hare makes the most insane, flavour-packed salads (and living dressings) which all prioritise gut health.

I genuinely had such a mind-blowing working lunch with them recently that I went back to pick something up for a dinner date. At the same time, I got so distracted by the signature shengjianbao (aka soup dumplings) from Dumpling Shack that I was temporarily diverted.

I mean, the Shack’s creators have spent three years perfecting their Shanghai-inspired dumpling recipes with regular immersive travel. It couldn’t be avoided.

My future trips (and yours!) will surely include Mazi Mas’ persian menu, Good Mood Matcha’s iced watermelon take on the frothy drink, Pleasant Lady Trading’s succulent Jian Bings, and the Insta-worthy Taiwanese treats from Wheelcake Island (for pancakes filled with everything from adzuki bean to Oreos).

spitalfields market london
spitalfields market london
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evening of meat london
It’s not often I find myself with a half naked woman feeding me pancetta, bent on all fours atop a dining table, but it does happen. Most recently at the literal feast of femininity known as An Evening of Meat.

The Evening, equal parts immersive theatre and supper club, first tickled my tastebuds with promising international reviews of a provocative feminist narrative. A narrative which tackled the concept of “being treated like a piece of meat” with no more than music and dance.

With an indulgent six-course menu, to boot.

As the tabletop dancers struggle to take up space, guests are brought Michelin-quality beef carpaccio, braised mutton, pig cheek, and more.

The choreography was powerful, the food was incredible, and the experience was definitively unique. Leaving a lot up to personal interpretation, the experience handled the complications, vulnerability, instability, power, and sexuality of female existence beautifully.

An Evening of Meat can be seen at The Vaults until June 2nd (Tuesday – Saturday).

evening of meat london
evening of meat london
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margarita rumble
I’m about to reveal the best margarita in London, y’all. Strap in.

This is a story about a woman (hey, there) who did all the ground work so your liver doesn’t have to.

Well, myself, Margarita Rumble, and Jose Cuervo.

The Rumble, now in its second year, is a day-long competition where expert mixologists from each respective city cocktail their way to claim prestige as creator’s of the Best Margarita. And the world’s number one tequila announced they would be sponsoring London’s grand ole fiesta. I could hardly miss out.

In three sessions, margarita lovers enjoyed two hours of bottomless 100% agave Jose Cuervo Tradicional-filled margaritas from the likes of Trapeze, Barrio Bars, Cabana Brixton, Whistling Shop, Benitos Hat, Little Bat, Eaton Square Bar, Zebrano, Simmons, The BootLegger, and title-defending Café Pacifico.

The space turned into a magical melee of margs. One with roasted pineapple and jalapeno puree, vanilla, and garnishes of pineapple crisps & candied jalapenos. One with rhubarb. One with Aperol foam. One flower-accented tipple spritzed with Laphroaig to finish.

Yet, after all votes were cast, Café Pacifico deservedly took the crown for the second year with a fruit-packed margarita; sweet and spicy rim, pipette-injected tequila watermelon, fragrant finishing spray, and all.

Realistically, when would Cuervo two-ways not get the gold?

‘Til next year!

cute mistake

A post shared by Lela London (@lelalondon) on


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galvin anthenaeum food blog
Let’s cut to the chase here; the under-appreciated Galvin at the Athenaeum may not have Michelin stars of its own, but it has knocked some of my more recent Michelin-starred meals out of the park.

The sophisticated hotel’s ground-floor Galvin is the brain child of chef brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin (who you may recognise for their own trademark French-inspired Michelin menus). At the Anthenaeum, however, the double act have dedicated their seasonal dishes to all things British.

We’re talking local produce and independent farm faire with a haute cuisine métier.

The doorman greeted my dinner date and I warmly on arrival, walking us over to a tragically deserted restaurant. I was intrigued but dubious. With such inherently hospitable service and the Galvin name behind it, why was no-one having dinner at their more affordable outpost?

Unless their bottomless brunch is keeping them afloat, I still can’t be sure.

Absolutely everything was perfect. The fresh Glastonbury farmhouse-buttered wheat bread and champagne (menu-perusing mates at their best). The lasagne of Dorset crab with Nantais butter sauce (an intoxicating cloud of seafood). The Galvin cured smoked salmon, Burford brown egg ‘dust’, sour cream , and caviar (the pinnacle of quality DIY starters). The Iron Bark pumpkin risotto with seared Orkney scallops (the most flavourful and balanced risotto I have enjoyed in any restaurant). The Rose county beef rib eye with green peppercorn butter and chunky chips (because what is a British menu without one?).

By the time we were half-way through our mains, we were in a cacophony of culinary coo-fare with our table neighbours. So much so I considered offering up a spoonful or two in exchange for theirs.

Nonetheless, I licked my own plate clean and geared up for a expertly-curated selection of English cheeses (served with grapes and celery) while my date cast an inquisitive line into the depths of a warm rice pudding (with macerated prunes and praline, respectively) like no other.

Galvin have done the Great British Menu and then some.



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California has, without a doubt, been one of the most consistent food destinations I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. My last trip to LA alone felt like a constant stream of fresh, innovative and health-conscious delights. When ‘neighbourhood’ restaurant Pomonas suggested their new menu could offer the same in its impossibility rich London postcode, I was dubious.

Nonetheless, executive chef Wolfe Conyngham‘s eclectic menu hinted at well-considered food play and I am not one to ignore the latency of culinary surprise.

My date and I settled into the restaurant’s uber West Coast (yet unfortunately empty) belly with open minds and a dish of smoky Salamanca olives.

Tf ‘Californian food’ doesn’t get you from the outset, Pomonas’ dedication to sustainable, nutritional and seasonal produce surely will. At the end of the day, Pomonas serves food that is as good for you as it is for the planet. With zero forfeit on flavour.

I perused the menu over a lovely little Ford Martini (gin, lillet blanc, benedictine) but felt so spoilt for choice I left the decisions up to Conyngham and co in their open kitchen.

Grilled halloumi with burnt salsa, goats cheese croquettes, and soft shell crab with guac arrived alongside a slim plate of cucumber bed crispy duck ‘rolls’ with plum sauce, spring onion, and sesame seeds that I haven’t stopped craving since.

We then split a perfectly-cooked welsh lamb rump, quinoa/avo/broccoli/pea/cucumber/mint/parsley salad, street-style South American pork, and Indonesian chicken curry which challenged every misconception I had about curries having to be sweat-spurring spicy to be worthwhile.

With a bottle of 2017 Schroeder Malbec ‘Alpataco’ for a healthy balance, natch.

By the time we broke the sponge of the chocolate fondant, my date and I were pawing through our calendars to find dates we could return for our second meal.

Pomonas is truly as California as London gets.


pomonas london
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