A post shared by Lela London (@lelalondon) on


St Pete and Clearwater are the peanut butter and jelly of Florida. My state-based childhood means I’m always asked for the so-called “best place to travel in Florida” and the combination is, without a doubt, going to be my answer for many years to come.

At just a 30-40 minute drive from St Petersburg, Clearwater (Beach and City) has everything a picture-perfect Florida vacation could promise; dolphins, boats, seafood, an atmosphere perfect for spring breakers & families alike, the best beach in America, and more.

Read on to get acquainted…

clearwater florida 4
clearwater florida
View Full Post

wisteria hysteria
I have spent a lot of time in and around Straub Park since arriving in St Pete. Lining the waterfront of the Vinoy Basin, it has proven to be as perfect for morning runs as it has for sun-drenched strolls along Beach Drive.

To compensate for the calorific intake of Easter lunch (which was so spectacular its inevitable blog is just around the corner), I decided to take a few laps in an outfit a little more ‘wysteria hysteria’-friendly than my typical activewear…

What I Wore:
Black vintage dress (similar here)
Gold heels from Heavenly Soles

wisteria hysteria
wisteria hysteria

sea salt st pete
It’s time to judge a book by its cover, my treasured foodie friends; Sea Salt is every bit as exquisite as its 22-foot tall wine tower, marble-topped raw bar, and general sweeping sumptuousity.

Naturally, I walked in skeptical. I have visited (and generally refused to review) a number of restaurants with a severe imbalance in style and substance. The meretricious disappointments are part and parcel of food writing.

Sea Salt is one of those glittering, infallible exceptions.

The chef and owner, Venice-native Fabrizio Aielli, is committed to excellence across the board – quality ingredients, quality staff, and quality menu curation that changes by the day.

It is perfection with a soul and – as the name would suggest – an international destination for all things sea and salt (the restaurant sells and serves 130 varieties of the latter).

Perusing the menu over a glass of Schramsberg Vineyard’s sparkling Chardonnay-based Blanc de Blanc, it almost felt rude to feign refusal of the oyster menu so my date and I kicked things off with the raw bar’s Tartufata (black truffle, burrata & leeks) and Kona Kampachi (avocado, red onion, capers & sweet chilli truffle sauce).

They were, without a doubt, the most flavourful oysters I have ever had and the start of a truly unforgettable culinary adventure.

Entrusting our uber knowledgable sommelier with all subsequent liquid decisions, we soaked up an inadvisable amount of Sriracha & truffle-infused salts into olive oil-soaked sourdough and settled in for the night.

Everything on the menu, defying logic and seeming possibility, tasted even better than it looked. From
Diver Sea Scallops (with cauliflower puree, apple, fennel, radichio & an incredible vandouvan curry nage), to Octopus (with smoked paprika, beluga lentils, chorizo & tomato marmalade), to Saffron Cavatelli (with Maine lobster, green peas & an ingenious mascarpone-prosecco sauce), to homemade ravioli (pack with tender braised veal and ricotta in a black truffle sauce), every flourish mattered.

By this point, the sommelier’s phenomenal choices (highlights of which included Delaporte Sancerre with the scallops and Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino with the Cavatelli) settled in and had me waxing lyrical – a tad too vehemently, perhaps – about my love of surf and turf.

Before I knew it, the chef had sent out an off-the-menu ode of his own; their yellowfin tuna (atop seared Hudson foie gras, black venere rice, wasabi pea aioli & a carrot-white soy emulsion) and the most unbelievably tender black Angus fillet mignon (cushioned by burrata-whipped potatoes and a Cabernet Bordelaise). Paired with a glass of Bootleg’s luscious Merlot/Petit Sirah/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah/Zinfande red blend, I reached ecstasy’s inevitable breaking point.

From start to finish – hostess to waitress – I could not have asked for more from Sea Salt.

But I suppose since my takeaway box of gourmet, silken chocolates from Norman Love (I live for the “Hot Dark”) lasted all of 24 hours, I’ll have to return at every opportunity over my final two weeks in St Pete to do exactly that…

YOLO and then some.

sea salt st pete
sea salt st pete
View Full Post

happy easter
Happy Easter, religious and non-religious chocolate egg lovers alike! As you may remember, I gave up negative thoughts, meat at home, and “almost” doing things roughly one month ago for Lent. With surprisingly great success.

It all flourished from my decision to take part in Christian Aid’s Give it up for Lent campaign. Which, truth be told, has not been a cakewalk. I have come away from this with, more than anything, the realisation that I am incredibly hard on myself. That most of my “negative thoughts” come from internal pressures that play no part in my actual or desired opinion of myself.

Thank Lent for that. I have come out the other side of my fasting experiment happier, healthier, and embracing every part of myself and the world around me in a way that is not only positive but beneficial.

With the charity continuing their efforts to end poverty, fight gender inequality, and responding to emergencies (all of which contribute to poverty), I have made the campaign-free vow to refuse the things I have given up for well beyond the forty days pledged.

Do continue to contribute to Christian Aid’s wonderful work if you can. Financially or personally – every little counts!

legally blonde
This is one of “those” dresses. The ones that sit in our closet and stare us down when we don’t feel confident enough to wear them (yay, womanhood). Which is always.

It’s bright. It’s tight (with beautiful draping at the top). And confident as I am, all of that paired with curves and blonde made me feel a little more Elle Woods than my own ridiculous standards of professional decorum would allow.

But I packed it for Florida. I packed it because I gave up negative thoughts and almost doing things. I packed it because pink is my secret power colour.

After all, what is the point in doing hundreds of squats a week if I’m not going to take the results out in a hot pink dress?

Grab your own versions of “those” dresses and get them out this weekend. You won’t regret it.

What I Wore:
Hot pink Ralph Lauren dress (similar here)
Gold flip-flops from Badgley Mischka

legally blonde
legally blonde
View Full Post