In Review: Duck & Waffle, London

duck and waffle
Duck & Waffle is one of those rare, delightful restaurants ideal for tourists and Londoners alike.

For tourists, you have 24-hour availability and floor-to-ceiling, 40th floor views of London town. For Londoners, you have all that and some stellar British and European cuisine that won’t empty your new Burberry cardholder.

My latest visit was part of a project I filmed last month but I won’t give the game (or the views!) away just yet.

As you step past the ropes into Heron Tower and rush to the windows of the restaurant’s transparent elevator – even at 5am – it feels like you’re seeing London for the first time. With each floor ascended, the panorama slaps you in the face with an additional landmark. It is a true spectacle.

As is the food. After filming, our crew of eight ordered up a storm. A few of us went for their eponymous staple (a fried duck egg atop crispy duck leg confit atop a belgian waffle – mustard maple syrup optional), while the others picked out a variety of options that seemed a little less, well, ‘drunk food’.

My personal favourite came, unexpectedly, in a vegetarian dish – Duck egg en Cocotte (a soldier-dippable creation of wild mushrooms, Gruyère, truffle, and egg).

Not to say the Ox Cheek Benedict didn’t hold it’s own. Before my first forkful, I would have found it impossible to recommend a delicious plate of slow cooked organic hen’s eggs, ox cheek, hollandaise, and sriracha in this city.

Or a Full English (or House Breakfast as D&W call it) so sustainable and fresh. As ‘Fulls’ go, the House (pork and herb sausage, two organic eggs, dry cured bacon, grilled tomato, mushroom, hash brown, Scottish black pudding, and sourdough toast) is King.

As far as I’m concerned, Duck & Waffle is the only way to do a sunrise in London.

duck and waffle
duck and waffle
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Free May 2015 Playlist – Now on Youtube!


A happy May to you, my love!

As you can see, I’ve switched things up a bit. Since 2012, I have been curating free Spotify playlists to aid your musical discoveries but – as Spotify doesn’t have a huge number of unsigned artists – I thought it might be time to give Youtube a go.

I have even VJed for you. Watch my short introduction and listen to the full playlist via the video above! Enjoy!

How To Start A Blog: 5 Easy Steps

how to start a blog
It has to be said, we’re five years into LelaLondon.com’s lifespan and – without getting too mushy – blogging has truly been the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.

Because of this, I urge everyone with a passion for anything to start a blog. Not to ‘get rich’ (it took me sweat and years to gain a sustainable income), not to get freebies (you can put the same amount of effort into working to afford said freebies!), but to keep a record of the things they love. To invest in themselves regardless of results.

But you’re reading this blog, you get that already…let’s move on and start a blog, babe!

How To Start a Blog

1. Figure out what you want to blog about.
The blogosphere is jam-packed full of blogs. Daunting, I know, but this actually works in your favour. To focus on a certain niche or angle from the beginning means you stand out from the e-crowd. In the same mind, launching a beauty or fashion blog means you have a huge, readymade community waiting to enjoy your posts.

The key to figuring out what you want to blog about is following your passions. Though I started off as a fashion blogger while working as a stylist, my interests in food, beauty, travel, home interiors and more all found their way online and opened up many more doors.

Get a rough idea, make a rough blog schedule, and become a diamond in the rough.

2. Choose a blog name!
This can, strangely, be the most time-consuming task. My tips are simple; choose something timeless (not trendy), choose something personal (nicknames are always good!), and choose something you’re comfortable saying out loud.

If all else fails? Use your name (that’s what I did!).

3. Get your domain and web space.
A step you’ll be glad you did in the long haul. If you haven’t had a website before, don’t be intimidated by the idea of domains and web hosting – it’s a piece of cake. Affordable (about as much as an actual piece of cake) and gives you complete control of your blog and dot-com.

The best web hosting I’ve found is at Bluehost. They start at $3.99 (roughly £2.50) a month and offer unlimited domain hosting, unlimited hosting space, unlimited file transfer, unlimited email accounts, free domain name, free site builder with templates, free instant set-up, and very solid customer service for newbies. The ultimate!

4. Install WordPress.
Unless you’re wanting to code everything by hand – and I advise against that – you’re going to need a CMS (content management system) to make blogging as fun and easy as possible. There are a number of options you can choose from but WordPress will be my forever recommendation. WordPress is an easy install, an intuitive interface, the most SEO-friendly CMS, and comes with tonnes of free themes/layouts you can use and edit with little to no HTML knowledge.

5. Be a blogger!
You’re all set up! Now is the time to create some posts, interact with other bloggers you love, and tweet/Instagram to your little heart’s content!

Let me know if you start a blog so I can have a look and tweet me with any questions you may have.

Blog on!

What Beauty Products Should I Pack for a Cruise?

serum vegetal
When I started to think about packing for Anthem of The Seas, it hit me like a happy tonne of bricks: there are no airplane product limitations on cruise ships!

If there was ever a time to trial some potential Summer favourites, this was it. The result

What Beauty Products Should I Pack for a Cruise?

An eyeshadow that won’t move.
I found the ultimate eyeshadow hero product in NovaLash’s 24-hour Cream Shadow Triptych.

Thanks to being quite a high maintenance product, eyeshadow is rarely used in my beauty arsenal. The idea of an immovable version seemed too good to be true.

So I tested it. From dusk ’til dawn I filmed, ran, rollerskated, danced, ate, drank and even skydived with one of the ‘Garden of Eden’ eyeshadows on.

It didn’t move (Anthem of The Seas“>see for yourself!). Now I want them all.

Each kit comes with three smooth, creaseproof, waterproof eyeshadows, one long-wearing JETliner, and detailed instructions on the different looks you can create. Garden of Eden came with Purity (shimmer – light gold), Lust (matte – pink), Original Sin (matte – deep purple), and the Cardinal Sin (black) liner. Purity has been the only colour product in my everyday makeup since. That is how good these eyeshadows are.

An arsenal of Summer scents
As I am massively indecisive about fragrance, I never travel with perfume (imagine carrying 10 glass bottles around with laptops and SLRs!) but love Summer scents. The compromise? A huge product haul from Crabtree & Evelyn. To me, their award-winning products are synonymous with clean, warm fragrances.

On the boat, I brought the Caribbean Island Wild Flowers body polish (to scrub myself awake in the morning), La Source body wash (to cleanse the day away in the evening), the 60 Second Fix for Hands (the silkiest of night-time rituals), and the brand new Tarocco Orange body mist (for ad-hoc citrus pick-ups).

A recovery serum (or two!)
I may be covered in SPF 50 from head to toe every day but I still feel my skin needs some TLC if I’ve been spending some time in the sun. Since opening up my jars of Yves Rocher‘s Serum Vegetal day and night creams on the cruise, they’ve become my ultimate rescue products. The magic is in their botanical star ingredient – the super powerful mesembryanthemum crystallinum (aka crystalline ice). This baby stimulates the skin’s protein which reactivates the cellular mechanisms that fight wrinkles and hydrates to the core without feeling heavy.

NovaLash 24-hour Cream Shadow Triptych
crabtree and evelyn
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