winter coat
This pink-hooded parka of snowtime ideals has caused quite an unexpected stir.

Though the thought rarely crosses my mind, I thought it might be a bit…well…extra. But snow needs must.

When I opened my windows to an unlikely flurry of southern snow, it was – quite frankly – the best sartorial decision I could make. And the numerous Instagram requests to buy the coat off me have only affirmed the decision.

‘Tis the season to be extra, after all.

What I Wore:
That parka from Miss Pap
A fluffy pink skirt (vintage – similar here)
Black scoop neck top
Studded ankle boots (similar here)

A post shared by Lela London (@lelalondon) on


winter coat
winter coat

beer afternoon tea
As far as London’s prosecco postcodes are concerned, Hyde Park is at the top of chain. It would have been the last place I expected to find a beer afternoon tea.

Truth be told, the idea filled me with dread. Afternoon tea has always held a place in my heart as an opportunity to sip bubbles and feast on crustless finger sandwiches. An afternoon on beer, on the other hand, has always become a meal in itself. The combination hardly seemed a peanut butter and jelly kind of match

Nonetheless, I put faith in the inclinations of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park and headed for some weekend indulgence in their Rosebery Lounge. Can an afternoon tea ever be had?

No. Not really. But it can be unexpectedly wonderful. As it was here.

The hotel restau’s new offering pairs unique beers from the UK, US and Belgium with their prestigious afternoon tea treats.

We’re talking sushi-style sandwiches (slow-roasted turkey with cranberries & sage butter, Cotswold egg & black truffle, confit tuna with sweet piquillo peppers, black olives & oregano, et al) with Thornbridge Chiron (a spicy and balanced Pale Ale with a deliciously juicy malt). We’re talking hand-made maple snow balls and Mandarin mont blancs with Kriek Boon (a Lambic almond-tinged beer fermented with 400g of whole cherries per litre of beer). We’re talking infallible freshly-baked scones (plain & cranberry with Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam and rose petal jam) with Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar (a moreish Brown Ale made with Rogue Farms hazelnuts).

Struggling to find a last-minute Christmas gift for a beer enthusiast? It doesn’t get much better.

beer afternoon tea

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diy coffee liqueur
Whether you’re hosting or guesting this Christmas, sharing an interesting bottle or two with your loved ones will never go unappreciated. This festive season, I’ve been conducting a little alco-haul to sample and select something for everyone’s tastes. A handy little Christmas Drinks Guide, if you will…

For the gin loverGin Mare.
A herbaceous Mediterranean gin with a noticeably unique flavour profile, contrary to many gins on the market. It’s a gin worth Hendricks’ notoriety and destined to become a big-hitter as the years go by. It is also Amazon Prime-able, which is excellent for last minute shopping.

For something that will blow everyone’s mind1800 Tequila.
This silky little number is, hands down, the tequila that turns the wary into the obsessed. Not only that, but they’ve released a beautiful limited edition bottle featuring the ‘Gherkin’ for Christmas (designed by Enoc Perez and available to purchase exclusively from the London branch of Selfridges while stocks last).

For the cocktail aficionadoSolerno Blood Orange Liqueur.
A citrus sensation for those Winter warmers. Solerno’s blood oranges are hand-picked from the sun-drenched slopes of Sicily’s Mount Etna and make for a delicious addition to a Negroni or Old Fashioned. Get yours at The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt.

For a toast with the most…Echo Falls Summer Berries Vodka.
I am relatively averse to anything vodka-related, but this new arrival received rave reviews when I taste-tested my colleagues. It also adds great balance to cheaper (read: far too sweet) Prosecco, which would be ideal for a pocket-conscious Christmas toast.

For a bottle of wine that will impress everyone…Borough Wines & Beers.
Though it’s not a particular bottle, I respect wine and diverse palates too much to suggest only one. Instead, head to Borough Wines with an open mind and their insanely passionate staff will guide you to something special for your desired budget. If you can’t get to their physical shops, their website features the best of the best.

For bonus pointshomemade coffee liqueur.
While it normally takes a couple of weeks to brew your own booze, this delicious coffee liqueur only takes three days ’til perfection! With your coffee cold-brewed into 1 1/4 cups of water (I’d give it around 12 hours), you simply create a syrup (with the sugar and 1 cup of water), let it cool, then add it to the coffee with the rum and vanilla bean.

After three days, all you have to do it remove the vanilla bean and your liqueur is ready to be served!

1/4 cup fine ground espresso (I used Starbucks’ Christmas blend, natch)
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups light rum (you can go cheap as chips here, but a great rum will offer more complexity to the final liqueur)

Happy drinking and Merry Christmas, gang!

oxford street shopping
Nothing beats Christmas on Oxford Street. It is beautifully chaotic. The hundreds – maybe thousands – of shoppers dashing throughout the 200+ shops, the glistening lights, the tourists carefully choosing presents for their loved ones from the greatest city in the world – it is all so wonderfully London.

It also happens to be the only place in the city guaranteed to meet holiday party dressing needs so, for all intensive festive purposes, I decided to treat myself to a personal shopping excursion with the wonderful Style Doctors team in the one spare hour I had this month.

With nothing but a few sparkle-loving pointers, the ‘Power Hour’ session (an Oxford Street exclusive service that employs a Style Doctors’ stylist to a perfect outfit in one hour) left me with a new ensemble of dreams for less than £100. In under 45 minutes.

If only that saved time and money could be spared come the January sales…

(Outfit details: Long Sleeve Pearl Embellished Body, Eyelet Detail Mini Skirt, and Julian Hakes Mojito heels)

oxford street shopping

oxford street shopping
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la soiree
The first ‘non-essential’ I bought myself when I moved back to London as an adult was a ticket to La Soiree. Trading a week of caffeine-dependent sanity for nose-bleed seats to a modern circus no-one had ever heard of felt like a risk at the time.

Eight years later, it has become an essential annual ritual.

Be it from laughter that has you clutching the seat in front of you or the physical reaction required when seeing act after act defy death, La Soiree simply takes your breath away. Each act – be it this year’s raucously inappropriate Daredevil Chicken Club or blindfolded cradle act from The Chilly Brothers – is mischievous and magical by equal measure and only heightened by their well-deserved arrival at the West End’s Aldwych Theatre.

The Olivier Award-winning phenomenon is neither circus nor variety show nor dive bar nor burlesque act. Yet all of them, all the same. Though their cast changes annual, the show always feel like home. A home where people fly through the air, strip, and sing the most politically incorrect songs you’ll enjoy all year.

So, you know, normal Christmas vibes.

Do not miss out this year. But do watch out for the bananas.