Penny at The Old Vic & The Lorax

penny at the old vic london 1
The highlight of 2016 may be a bit early to call, but it definitely stands as an impromptu trip to Penny at The Old Vic (the theatre’s underground Pit Bar which recently spruced up and rebranded as Penny).

Inspired by The Old Vic’s ‘Penny Lectures’ of the late 1800s (a creative forum for new thinking), the M1lk and Fields Café team have turned the all-day eatery into something ever so quintessentially London.

With The Lorax awaiting us on the evening’s stage, my friends and I ordered up a shareable storm from the all-day menu.

Wanting to try a little bit of everything, we split the pulled pork in brioche (with raw pickled vegetables), chicken croquette (with kale, beans & a side salad), honey-glazed salmon (with spiced lentils, and roasted beetroot & parsnip), and a cheese board (Stichelton, Old Ford, Bartlett, and TUnworth with homemade seasonal chutney) as well as a small salad comprised of beetroot, shredded vegetables, ricotta, soy cashews, and a pad thai dressing.

Very little in the culinary world can trump Bartlett, for me, but I would find it impossible to suggest forgoing any of the aforementioned dishes. The food is guilt-free, well-sourced, and welllllll tasty.

If The Lorax wasn’t enough to entice you towards Penny (you tough cookie, you!), it should help to know the restaurant donates a penny for each item sold at Penny to a charity inspired by the themes of the show on the main stage at the time.

penny at the old vic london 1
penny at the old vic london
View Full Post

Best of 2015: The Blog in Review

get it girl
2015 was a strange and wonderful year, altogether. Though it had its inevitable low, I honestly feel like it held some of the best experiences of my life and could not be happier to have most of it diarised by blog.

In the spirit of gratitude, let’s take a look at the best of the best from 2015…

Best Fashion Blog of 2015
This outfit – albeit a lazy attempt to match a beautiful car – has been the rough template of 80% of the ‘looks’ I’ve worn this year. Big skirts and heels fo’ lyfe.

Best Travel Blog of 2015
This was incredibly tough. The last twelve months have included excursions to Thailand, Morocco, Scarborough, Turin, the Anthem of the Seas cruise, Milan, Geneva, Wales, Qatar, Norwich, Paris, Edinburgh (twice!) and Norway (which is being blogged very soon!).

Nothing, however, surprised me like Amsterdam. It was a stunning, fun, and innovative city that I hope to get to know better for many years to come.

Best Beauty Blog of 2015
The Game of Thrones Khaleesi hair tutorial was definitely the most fun to make and the most Pinterest-ed beauty blog, to boot.

Best Beauty Products of 2015
Nude by Nature products. The discovery was a fateful one and I quite literally haven’t used any alternative products since this very video.

Best Quote of 2015
From The Weekend Wonder archives: “It’s also important to realize that it’s okay to be the first. If you constantly look for role models who look like you, then there won’t be any firsts. Sally Ride would not have been the first woman astronaut had she been looking for a woman to follow.” – Condoleezza Rice, The Woman’s Conference

Best London Restaurant of 2015
This year, I spent a number of lunchtimes in Maple & Fitz and had the best afternoon tea of my life at The Kensington Hotel but two restaurants reigned above the rest:
1) Hakkasan. Their Dim Sum Sundays menu is a feast of dreams, but every dish I’ve tried over the last twelve months (and that is almost all of them) has been incredible.
2) Bob Bob Ricard. The allure of the ‘Press for Champagne’ button and a modern British-Russian menu is never lost on me.

Best (Other) Restaurant of 2015
Hands down, Dining at The Pass in Edinburgh. I have never had so much fun with my food.

Best Recipe of 2015
The easiest cake pop recipe in the world is destined to go down in personal infamy.

Best Collaboration of 2015
My personal guide to London for the SPG Destination: London video. Without a doubt. I hope to share a lot more projects in this vein with you over 2016!

Best Instagram of 2015
According to your likes, this baby:

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

In Review: Pedler, London

pedler peckham rye
I’m not the type of Londoner who hops on the Overground after a day of meetings and heads in the opposite direction of home in search for food.

I love food, but I do not love food that much.

At least not most days. As 2015 drew to a close and the city’s wheels turned a little less frantically, I made an exception for Pedler in Peckham Rye.

With rumours of excellent seasonal & local faire, a daily changing menu, and Little Bird gin-infused cocktails, I hedged my bets and headed to the gentrified neighbourhood’s shiniest new bar and restaurant.

From the second I walked through the door, I was struck by a cosy electricity. What Pedler lacks in square-footage, it makes up for in style akin to that of a Gatsby/lumberjack coalition.

Sat in a snug arrangement of tables across from the bar while Portishead crooned from the speakers, I already knew Pedler was going to hit my ‘best of’ lists. With a pot of truffled mac & cheese flying past one ear and an unidentifiable arrangement of unique colours and aromas distracting me from the other, very little could feel more ‘me’.

Between two, we feasted on five ‘small’ dishes of envelope-pushing (but expertly-judged) flavour combinations – which included “frizzle chicken, salted slaw, pamresan, and attitude sauce” – before realising there was genuinely no conceivable way we could manage another bite.

The drinks menu may have also played a part (but I’ll let the photos speak for themselves).

A bewildering read, menu-wise, but a rewarding crapshoot nonetheless.

Pedler is adventurous with purpose and the carefully-imagined antithesis of its weave shop-littered postcode. I feel like 2016 is going to feature more Overground journeys than ever before.

pedler peckham rye
pedler peckham rye
View Full Post

Beauty Favourites – December 2015

beauty blog favourites
Dina Gohil
As far as health and beauty treatments are concerned, very few impress me to a state of repeated recommendation. Dina Gohil‘s ‘Medical Pedicure‘ is one of the chosen few. Nestled in a private practice on South Moulton Street (just off of Oxford Street), ‘DG Podiatrist’ is her eponymous specialist’s indisputable lovechild. From the second I went in for my appointment, Dina met me with an unshakeable passion and knowledge that took me from podiatry noob to, well, less of a podiatry noob (with perfect feet!) in only 45 minutes.

During the treatment, Dina takes the time to really understand your current state of health (all connected to your feet, I’ll have you know!) and combines podiatry, chiropody, and luxuriously healthy spa therapies to help you put your best foot forward.

Pun completely intended.

Lavera Eyeshadow Base
I’ve worn the Lavera Eyeshadow Base every time I’ve had to wear make-up this month and I am a complete convert. The organic and vegan gel formulation is both dermatologist & ophthalmologist tested and gives your eyeshadow all-day staying power. Offering the same creaseless, pigmented results as the chemical-filled primers loved by everyone and their mothers, I’ve thrown all other primers away.

Thesis Beauty
I am newly obsessed with the natural beauty brand in its entirety but two particular products knock many of my other ‘green beauty’ favourites out of the park. The first – Thesis’ Makeup Remover in Rosemary Citrus – removes heavy makeup with just a few swipes and hydrates skin as it cleanses. I have kept it by my bed for weeks and find it to be the best (and healthiest) product I have ever tried for lazy nighttime cleansing.

When I double-cleanse, however, I follow the Makeup Remover it with the Thesis Facial Cleanser in Tender as Petals. The powder formulation is 100% natural (therefore ideal for all skin types) but took me a week or so to fall in love with. Essentially, you mix the powder with a tiny bit of water in your hands to create a cleansing paste. It’s not very intuitive, but once you find the best way to do so (mine is a shower routine: I tap a little bit of powder into wet palms, pat that into my cheeks, and add more water as necessary to ‘wash’) you are left with the softest, cleanest skin imaginable.

Covent Garden Dental Spa
Beauty deal of the month goes to the Sparkling Smile package from the fantastic Covent Garden Dental Spa. For £99, you receive their Deluxe Diamond Sparkle Stain Removal Clean (including air-flow) and then jet around the corner to Station Spa for a luxurious Dermalogica Microzone facial (a £170 value). With both practices filled with the most lovely and talented staff, I could not think of a better way to feel fresh for the new year.

Proto-col Miracle Balm
I am an unfortunate combination of 1) incredibly slow healer and 2) clumsiest human alive. Looking for something that would keep a leg full of scratches from scarring after a particularly ruckus hike, I stumbled across proto-col’s miracle balm and haven’t turned back since. The tiny treatment tub uses the hydrating, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits of Collagen, hyaluronic acid and beeswax to aid everything from burns to stings. A medical cabinet must.

Heat Treat
In the never-ending pursuit of silky strands (#bleachproblems), I recently trialled Heat-Treat‘s reusable thermal hair conditioning cap and couldn’t finish this month’s ‘beauty favourites’ without it. The microwavable cap creates a salon-steam environment for any hair treatment you want to apply (though it comes with three fantastic samples), allowing any active ingredients to penetrate the hair shaft as deep as possible. The result? Intensely shiny, healthy hair in five minutes max.