The Pre-Party Party with Chandon

chandon party
For over twenty years, I have been incredibly disheartened by the lack of Halloween spirit in London. Having spent my happiest childhood memories dressed up as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas for Orlando’s Horror Nights, the candy corn and trick or treat-less streets of the capital were a noticeable change during Halloweens spent in London.

As they say, life is what you make it.

This year, I celebrated my favourite holiday with two gargantuan parties, a plethora of candy corn, and an incredible pre-party party with an even greater amount of Chandon (Moet’s heritage sparkling wine).

The celebrations kicked off on Friday with Beauty, Bubbles, and Beats at Benefit‘s flagship Carnaby Street store. On the last Friday of every month, the brand get DJ Sophie Bond on deck, Chandon in hand, and brows on point for an evening of delightful girly fun. As it coincided so perfectly with Halloween, I brought my girl gang along to get dolled up before taking our sparkling Argentinian wine addiction to dinner.

One or two Dolly Parton dance-offs later, we walked down Regent Street and settled in to my appropriately-Argentinian favourite, Gaucho, for a feast.

Thankful to be in a group of fellow plate-sharers, we worked our collective way through spinach & stilton empanadas, seabream tiraditos and chorizo – my confit-topped kryptonite – before moving on to a medium-rare carousel of mains; the Lomo fillet (tender and delicate), Ancho rib-eye (marbled and flavourful), and seared seabass (for good measure).

With a table peppered in sides and Chandon, the evening also marked everyone’s first time trying humita salteña (a traditional dish of roasted pumpkin and sweetcorn served in a corn husk and a dish we haven’t stopped raving about for days).

Knowing we could squeeze in a few desserts over the final half-bottle, we then chose to nibble through Gaucho’s decadent chocolate tart (with kumquats and honeycomb), pan tres leches (a light sponge soaked in three milks), and a selection of Cryer & Stott cheeses before heading off into the Hallo’ed eve.

chandon party benefit
chandon party gaucho

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

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Welcome to Camden Market (+ Video!)

Good morning, loved ones! Today, I am very excited to unveil this wonderful video project with Camden Market and take you on an authentic cobblestoned tour through some of my favourite places to eat, shop, and play.

For a local look at one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, watch the video – above!

Places featured – in order:
Cereal Killer Cafe (Lucky Charms, Cinnabon cereal, and peanut butter drops with almond milk)
The Camden Watch Company
Lantana (soy flat white)
General Eyewear
Belly N’Bao (bao bun)
Chia (chicken and halloumi salad box)
Cookies and Scream (vegan ice cream sandwich)
Collectif Vintage
Half Hitch Gin Distillery

What I Wore:
Hair – Blow dry from Show Dry (their beautiful blow dries are some of very few which last 3+ days – even after running around and trying on multiple dresses!)
Clothes – Cape, boots and gloves from F&F / Vintage checked dress (similar here)

Videographer & Editing – Leanne Meurer

The (Slightly Healthy) Perfect Bloody Mary Brunch

perfect bloody mary recipe
I am the OG brunch glutton and – since reaching legal drinking age – something of a Bloody Mary connoisseur, to boot. When Ketel One asked if I wanted to participate in their World Class Brunch project, I could hardly miss out.

Come brunching hour, my American half makes a beeline towards visually-pleasing pancake options while my British half makes a meticulous habit of Bloody Mary specificity. A bizarre combination, on first impression, but a combination that has resulted in the curation of not only the best Bloody Mary in the world but delicious pink (!!) pancakes that are actually good for you.

Recipes, below – be sure to Instagram or Tweet me (@lelalondon) with your recreations!

The Perfect Bloody Mary Recipe

(One serving – multiply as necessary)
1 shot (50ml) of Ketel One vodka
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp cream sherry
Fill with fresh tomato juice
Sprinkle of celery salt
Sprinkle of fresh ground chilli pepper
Celery, to serve

The Perfect Healthy Pancakes Recipe

(Makes four small pancakes)
1 tbsp organic unsalted butter
1 medium-large banana
2 eggs
Natural pink food colouring (optional)
Pure maple syrup (optional, I prefer them without)

1. Warm butter over medium heat in a frying pan.
2. Blend the banana until smooth. Add the eggs and food colouring slowly and blend until combined (5 seconds or less – you don’t want to start to heat the eggs).
3. Pour the mixture into the pan in pancake-sized amounts. Cook each pancake for 30 seconds on each side.
4. Serve with your Bloody Mary and enjoy!

pink healthy pancakes
bloody mary ingredients

What to do in London in the Winter

Though London is fortunate enough to have micro-seasons (ie. never too warm or cold), I find many Londoners are altogether less inclined to be social once the sun starts to set before they leave work.

I get it, I do, but I also think very little beats the unusually tourist-free streets of London in the Winter.

For a worthy excuse to get out of your onesie, continue reading!

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