firezza london
The Pizza Gods at Firezza embody everything I love about the food industry in London; quality flavour-focused ingredients, convenience, affordability, and good vibes. When I was asked to collaborate and experience their food and drink offerings prior to their new restaurant launch in Dean Street, I could hardly refuse.

The restaurant – which opens to the public April 12th – is the brand’s first fully-fledged restaurant and is set to showcase their “proper” by-the-metre pizza in true Soho style. They’ve even revamped their “Patate (fire-roasted sliced potato with creamy Taleggio cheese, mozzarella, fresh cream & red onion)pizza and offer gluten-free & vegan options to cater to the everyman.

My personal favourites include their hand-stretched and fire-baked Porcini Di Bosco pizza (white pizza with wild porcini mushrooms, fresh field mushrooms, Tartufata/truffle cream, Taleggio, mozzarella, Gran Milano shavings, cream & tarragon), Stone Brewing Craft Beer, and absolutely perfect cannoli (the chocolate chip version is, to be honest, kryptonite).

For the price point (pizzas start at £6), Firezza have done a commendable job not only hunting high and low for the best ingredients available (they fly Buffalo Mozzarella D.O.P. 1300 miles direct from Italy) but striving for a social space to enjoy fuss-free food and drink. I have even created a fist-pumping playlist for their restaurant to help them do so (which you can preview on Spotify here)!

Do your tum a favour and schedule in a Dean Street pizza party excursion with your nearest and dearest.

A post shared by Lela London (@lelalondon) on


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beauty favourites april 2017
Infuse My. Colour Wash (Shampoo) from Bespoke Brands
After returning to icier pale tresses and undergoing my first keratin treatment, I was widely advised to ensure all my hair products were sulphate-free. It seemed as long a time as any to start using my latest product of intrigue, Infuse My. Colour’s vegan and sulphate/silicone/paraben-free shampoo.

The new products were launched in five colour-enhancing shades to give customers ethical, clean, and environmentally-friendly hair care which maintains or enhances colour & hair health simultaneously. My chosen shade (Platinum) takes the form of a thin purple rinse which neutralises yellow, maintains brightness of greys & whites, and even adds shine.

For keratin and colour’s sake, I’m a lifelong convert.

The White Company‘s New Beauty Products
I was beyond intrigued to discover The White Company had partnered with DECIEM (“The Abornal Beauty Company”) to expand its already gargantuan inventory into advanced tech skincare, so picked up a few products just before I left for the US. Hoping they would last me the full two months (potentially naively), I am pleased to report the three that I suitcased have met all initial promises.

The first – their multi-purpose Super Serum – is superfine and sinks into skin at the speed of light to moisturise, defend against UV damage, even out skin tone, and generally perfect in skin. In the crazy Floridian humidity, I have been FOTD-ing the serum and Eye Revive under SPF and feeling as confident as I would with a face full of slap. In fact, moreso. The combination – all eye and skin brightening – leaves you with the most radiant, fresh and happy skin.

The trio of faves ends with the Super Balm – a cleanser which transforms from cream to non-greasy oil when rubbed into the skin, dissolving all of the day’s dirt, grime, and – if you’re that way inclined – cosmetics. It is also gentle and effective enough to suit all skin types and, with a sweet lemon scent, a real comfort to cleanse with.

Baby Lips in Cherry Me from Maybelline
What’s a monthly beauty favourites without a lip product, eh? This month, I have fallen for what I assume is the cheapest product in my entire beauty collection – Maybelline’s tinted Baby Lips in Cherry Me. Like their OG cult favourite, the tinted version of Baby Lips moisturises and smoothes as soon as it is applied, albeit this time with a translucent cherry hue. I find it really brightens the face and takes my naturally pink lips to a more neutral, pretty hue. A genuine handbag staple.

grey hair root smudge
For lack of a better explanation, my hair got roasted last year. Though I’m fortunate to be friends with some of the best hairdressers in the world, a root touch-up at an unfamiliar yet expensive hairdresser before my best friend’s wedding basically boiled my hairline to pieces.

It wasn’t the end of the world (TGF Elasticizer) but I certainly didn’t want to damage or bleach the broken hairs further so headed to Vinokurov Studio London for a little bit of tress taming.

Dmitry Vinokurov, you see, is one of the industry’s most creative talents (a renowned hair stylist, Wella trendsetter, multiple award winner, et al) and his his first UK salon – newly opened in Chelsea – boasts a team of care-focused stylists that have all been individually trained by him.

My favourite of which, Mauricio Dorneles, created the healthy root-smudged beauty on show, above.

The studio is luxe yet cosy and flooded with natural light, meaning you feel at home almost instantly. Over coffee, Mauricio and I discussed my woes (breakage), goals (keeping as much blonde as possible), and options before finally deciding to smudge my roots with nutritious semi-permanent colour (healing, rather than contributing to, the breakage) and toning the existing bleach to keep my locks as bright as possible.

As far as hair rehab is concerned, I could not have been more ecstatic with the results (seen above and below) so decided to return to Vinokurov a week later and kick breakage’s ass with a keratin treatment.

This, despite all Mauricio’s talents, I was a little dubious about. Keratin treatments are often PR-ed under miracle status; they promise smooth, sleek, shiny, “wash and go” hair of dreams and my natural hair (quasi-curly and erratic waves) has never been any of those things.

Two hours of treatment followed by 24 hours of unwashed “downtime” later, however, I’m sold. I was on planes for most of the time you’re supposed to keep your hair stick-straight and unwashed (this lets the keratin work its magic) and when I finally got to a shower, finally transported to Florida’s heavy humidity, my hair dried naturally like never before.

With the trade-offs for glossy keratin hair flicks amassing to 1) a trip to the hairdressers and 2) strict use of sulphate-free shampoo, I can’t believe I didn’t do it earlier.

Long live root smudges, keratiin, Mauricio Dorneles, and Vinokurov Studio London.

vinokurov london
vinokurov london
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cheese festival london 1
Attention fellow cheese lovers: Stratfords’s East Village is hosting a free Cheese and Wine Festival this weekend. Think samples, demonstrations, wines and cheese-spiration to the max.

The East Village Cheese and Wine Festival will not only play host to over 25 cheese-making/utilising stallholders but welcome wine expert Tim Atkin, chef Valentina Harris, chocolatier Paul Wayne Gregory, and Great British Bake Off contestant Tom Gilliford to host exclusive demos and tastings over the 1st and 2nd.

The former Athletes’ Village of the London 2012 Games could not have whipped up a better programme; cheese sculpting competitions, sparkling wine & cheese pairings, rarebit demonstrations, endless tastings, cheesy Churros Garcia, street food (from Arancini Brothers, Jacob’s Ladder & French Comte), a cheesy pop quiz, and more – all culminating in an exclusive three course “Cheese Feest: on Sunday at Tina We Salute You (a preview of which I was lucky to experience, as you can see here – don’t miss out)

Ahem, the diet starts Monday

cheese festival london
cheese festival london
cheese festival london rarebit

food blog Quinoa Fritters
As you know, I gave up eating meat at home as part of my do-gooding Lent vows.

It was terribly easy but I felt slightly, well, bored. Though I’ve eaten a primarily veggie diet naturally and can roast most vegetables to perfect, my most impressive dishes involved creative meat creations and I felt slightly dissatisfied without them. A woman can only face a certain amount of courgetti before she starts to lose her mind.

I looked for a solution and found it in Everdine. The box delivery business, which aims to facilitate meal plans with unique clean meals, makes “eating clean” idiot-proof for meat-eaters and veggies alike.

The vegetarian boxes, however, looked like my uninspired woman’s dream come true.

Whether your box comes with 8 or 12 meals, the rules are consistent: pop your fresh meal boxes in the freezer when they arrive and follow the accompanying cooking instructions when you fancy fuss-free, nutritious and unprocessed food porn.

I was dubious. I keep nothing but ice and vodka in the freezer. But Everdine’s Michelin-trained chefs freeze their gourmet meals as soon as they are put together, meaning the result is infinitely better than your average “freezer food”.

In my first box, I enjoyed vegetable gyozas, speckled lentil chilli, shiitake & tofu teriyaki, rainbow veg Pad Thai, parsnip & paneer curry, falafel Shawarma, courgette & feta quinoa cakes, and butternut squash spelt risotto, Everdine is quite literally as good (and inspirationally seasoned) as vegetarian food porn gets.

Want to try it out? I managed to nab you lovely folk a £30 off code for your first box! Simply pop IN1LELALDN in when you check out and get your prettiest plates at the ready!

food blog everdine
food blog Butternut Squash Risotto
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