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This year, The Times voted Leeds the number one cultural place to live in Britain above London, Manchester, Brighton, et-personal-al.

Though I hadn’t been back for almost two years, the year I spent living in the city centre left a lasting impression on me. The food, drink, and people are – in my opinion – second to almost none.

When asked to return to the city for work, I couldn’t help but turn business into pleasure and book myself in for a little staycation.

The second I booked in at the Crowne Plaza Leeds, I felt I was home.

Though the 135-room hotel is far from small, the high (and noticeably Northern) level or service made the stay feel rather intimate.

Arriving before our room was ready, we were welcomed into their beautiful club lounge (part of their recent Β£4.5 million refurbishment and a special hideaway for those in executive suites) for refreshments before being taken to our insanely affordable little suite.

After a few hours in bed (the novelty will never wear off), we headed out to luxuriate in Leeds’ electric landscape. The hotel is within walking distance of the First Direct Leeds Arena, Headingley Cricket Ground, Kirkstall Abbey, and my forever-beloved street food kitchen at Trinity Leeds – to name but a few.

We were out too long to get acquainted with the hotel’s Spirit Health and Leisure Club but I have already earmarked a full morning to enjoy the large indoor heated swimming pool, gym, and spa during our inevitable follow-up visit.

From king-sized bed to rainfall shower, I developed a hell of an appetite for breakfast so booked it for the hotel’s Bar & Kitchen @ LS1 for a locally-sourced Full English.

Or, as the bridal party across from us kept cooing, a “bloody grand Full Yorkshire”.

Not an attribution too different from the Crowne Plaza itself.

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I was more than ready to hang my passport out to dry for the year (you can see why) when an opportunity to exploreΒ Jersey presented itself.

A new Channel Island? Less than one aeronautic hour away? With French influence and – seemingly – the cuisine to match?

I made the time.

(Read the blog, watch the vlog, and plan your own island break – below!)

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As a travel blogger, I can often be stuck spending more time in airports than I do in air so was head-over-heels to find out that Heathrow Airport just launched “The World’s Most Connected Mirror” alongside their brand new Personal Shopping Lounge at Terminal 5.

Along with the help of your (complimentary and all rather adorable) personal shopping, the mirror allows you to connect with friends and social connections to get immediate feedback on desired purchases in real time.

I, naturally, got stuck in as soon as I could. Between sips of champagne, Vuitton-lusting, Harry Potter Store browsing, and cape-twirling in Harrods, I managed to scout the shade I had fallen in love with when trying blue lipsticks weeks beforehand, the MAC lipglass that has always reminded me of childhood, and even a massively discounted early Christmas present for myself (in the shape of a wine-coloured ostrich handbag from Kurt Geiger).

If you’re not going to indulge when it’s duty-free, when are you?

Shop My Heathrow Personal Shopping Buys Now (or wait ’til you get to the airport for the discount!)

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

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Edinburgh Fringe . The world’s biggest festival. And we’re talking big. This year alone there were 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows in 294 venues.

I went in with next to no preparation. Dummie style, if you will.

Over four days, I laughed ’til I cried, ate ’til I hurt, and walked ’til I genuinely broke my shoes.

All of that and more in my latest labour of love: Edinburgh Fringe For Dummies, below…

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#EdFringe. Where comedy comes to live and legs come to die. ??

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on


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