Before boarding the train to Boardmasters (England’s closest-to-Coachella idea of a surf and music festival on the Cornish coast) I hadn’t thought much about what I would be doing. In fact, having recently spent some time getting to know Cornwall, I thought it would all be a piece of clotted cream cake.

It wasn’t. By the end, I was entertained, delighted, horrified, surprised, and severely unshowered all the same. For your viewing pleasure, I now present…

Click here to watch my Boardmasters Festival Vlog!

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

little nans afternoon tea 9
Over the last few months, I have bored everyone to death with my constant praise of Little Nan’s Rio Bar (remember?).

The underground bar is the stuff of 90s childhood dreams and has proved to be endlessly fun every visit; teapot cocktails, a garish & prop-heavy photo booth room, the Millenial throwback playlist, free pick ‘n’ mix, popcorn…

…and now, afternoon tea.

The teas aren’t an everyday option (they announce them on their website/social and mostly occur on Saturdays) but are well worth keeping an eye out. Once cozied up in their unseemly lounge furniture (all part of the charm), £25 will afford you a selection of sandwiches (smoked salmon & cream cheese, egg mayo, ham & mustard, and jam & veggie), home-baked scones, and mini pastries before snapping your waistband with an enormous slice of Victoria Sponge. Teapot cocktails included.

If you are looking for an afternoon tea a little less “using the right spoon” and a little more “forming a conga line to My Heart Will Go On with anyone that will join” (true story), Little Nan’s is your girl.

little nans afternoon tea 4
little nans afternoon tea 7
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grain store london
Last month Maille hosted an incredible Fête de la Gastronomie celebration on the Thames which gave 150 foodies the opportunity to enjoy an eight-course tasting menu of mustard-infused delights from the likes of Grain Store, Fink’s Salt and Sweet, Bibendum, and more.

Because I had a conflict on the evening, I was severely bummed to miss out on the evening’s unique festivities so booked it down to Grain Store as soon as I was tipped off – they added their ricotta and Maille Wholegrain Mustard-stuffed courgette flowers to their specials menu!

Starting with a round of non-alcoholic French Blonde cocktails (Grape juice, elderflower cordial, lemongrass, and verjus), my lunch dates and I took longer than ever to make menu decisions. The offering is that unusual intrigue, to say the least…

During our lunch, we trialled the incredible courgette flowers (obvs), beetroot, ricotta & parmesan ravioli (with rocket, fried breadcrumbs, and sage), a hot seaweed sushi bowl (with glazed pak choi, black garlic purée, hake à la plancha, and vanilla butter), and my personal favourite – the mushroom & celeriac scotch egg (paired with fermented chilli & miso paste, asian greens, and master stock quail)

In hopes of every dish being as good, I have promised myself to make my way through the menu over the next few months. Grain Store is ambitious in both size and price point, but when London is rife with pulled pork hangovers, a restaurant where meat is an accessory to vegetables – and even condiments – might be just what our city has been looking for.

The Recipe

(Because there are very few dishes as spectacular…)
Grain Store’s Ricotta and Maille Wholegrain Mustard Stuffed Courgette Flowers with Potato and Parsley Velouté
Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 25 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes

Stuffed courgettes
4 tbsp good olive oil
60g shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
50g semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp black olives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to season
150g ricotta cheese
8 baby courgettes, with flowers attached
1 handful of parmesan, finely grated
2 tbsp Maille Wholegrain mustard

150g Desiree potatoes
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 handful flat parsley
100ml whole milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Edible flowers to garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/356F/gas mark 4.
2. Put 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and gently cook the shallots. After a minute, add the garlic, tomatoes, oregano and olives.
3. Season with pepper before cooking on a low heat for another minute, gently stirring.
4. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl to cool down. Once cool, add the ricotta, parmesan and Maille Wholegrain mustard and mix well.
5. Carefully separate the flowers from the courgettes, twisting lightly. Open the flowers and, with the help of scissors, snip off the stamen inside and discard.
6. Place the baby courgettes one by one on a chopping board. Use a thin sharp knife to make 3 cuts in the length leaving it attached at the top. The courgette should be fanned when cooked.
7. Fill a piping bag with the ricotta mixture and pipe equally into each courgette flower before tightly closing by twisting the end.
8. With a pastry brush, brush the bottom of a roasting tray with olive oil then lay out the courgettes and the flowers. Brush them with the olive oil on top.
9. Season the courgettes (not flowers) with salt and pepper.

1. Peel the potatoes and dice. Place in a small casserole dish and cover with water and a pinch of salt. Cook them on the stove until soft enough to mash.
2. Blanch the parsley in boiling, salted water for 20 seconds before draining. Refresh under cold water. Squeeze out the water, pat dry and cut finely.
3. Heat up the milk and butter in a mug in the microwave. Remove and add the parsley. Pour into a blender and mix to get a smooth texture.
4. Mash the potatoes and add to the blender. Give a quick blitz to blend it together – but not too long or it will make it gluey.
5. Bake the courgettes in the oven at 180C/356F/ gas mark 4 for 8-10 minutes or until they feel hot in the centre. Taste with a thin knife blade.
6. To dress, spoon the velouté equally on the middle of each plate.

Lay 2 flowers on each with the courgettes fanned the opposite way. Sprinkle some edible flowers and drizzle with olive oil.

grain store london 2
grain store london
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beauty favourites august 2016
I am beyond excited to share this month’s beauty favourites; game-changers, skin-savers, and all…

The Perfect 10 Ultimate Connock London Body Treatment
When I realised Perfect 10 delivered everything from blow dries to spray tans straight to your door, it made perfect sense to follow up a few 14-hour work days (the not-so-glamorous dark side of blogging!) with a little something something for myself.

I opted for ‘The Ultimate Connock London Body Treatment’ – a Hawaiian Kukui Oil massage – and it was 90 minutes of pure bliss. The natural oil is the perfect compliment to a Lomi Lomi massage as it offers intense hydration and skin protection. If I wasn’t so busy I could have easily spent the rest of the day soaking in the bath.

Knowing something this relaxing is only a few clicks away when I find myself with a spare 90 minutes makes those 14-hour-plus days fly by.

Embyolisse Micellar Lotion & Radiant Eye Cream Roll-On
For whatever reason, it has taken me ages to try the micellar lotion that kicked off the entire craze, but I am incredibly glad I finally did. Embryolisse’s ‘micellar water’ is the most gentle of its kind that I have used, yet removes every trace of make-up (including my water-resistant mascara).

When I began trialling the aforemtnioned, I also picked up Embryolisee’s roll-on Radiant Eye Cream and have to say it is probably my favourite of the two. Utilising aloe vera and glycerine, the stick is actually cool to the touch (which feels unbelievable on my permanently tired eyes). Though small, the dual-action stick not only brightens and moisturises the eye area but botanically depuffs and boosts circulation around it, as well! Game changer.

Nugg Lip Mask
This tiny little gold ball has not left my bedside table as packs a hydrating, plumping and softening punch. The mask – which I apply at night – is made up of 100% natural and vegan ingredients like circulation-boosting liquorice root (ideal for those looking for Kylie Jenner lips without the surgery). I haven’t managed to get to the end of my first ball yet but can’t wait to do so and build up a little gold ring-holder collection!

Su-Man Facial Glow Rejuvenating Masks
My favourite facialist, Su-Man, recently released her Facial Glow Rejuvenating Masks to the public and I couldn’t get my face in one fast enough. As a celebrity facialist, it will never be as easy to book in with her as it will be to throw on a mask on a flight so I split my pack open and hoped for the time-crunched best.

Thankully, they’re fantastic. Using advanced bio cellulose technology, orchid extract, seawater mineral concentrate, brown algae, peptides and more, the Rejuvenating Masks blend her Asian-influenced skincare know-how and comforting demeanor to hydrate, brighten, soothe, and plump for the youngest and freshest-looking skin imaginable. In 10 minutes. Seriously now.

Boutique Spa Manicure
Though I manage to get away with it here in Internetland, I get called up on my lack of nail care all the time in my daily life. Chipped nail polish and Lela London are practically synonymous. But I’m trying to make a change. Which is why I popped into Boutique Spa for a manicure the day before a photoshoot.

The spas are dotted all over London, have longer operating hours than any of their competitors (10am to 9.30pm), and give you a 10% discount if you book through their app, meaning they are the perfect option for even the most forgetful customer. Ahem.

If a 30 minute Shania Twain singalong with a manicurist is all it takes to take away my forgetful nail anxiety, I’d say a regular appointment is more than worth it.

Veet Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler
Like most women, I feel like I’m always on the brink of perfect eyebrows but never quite there. That was, in fact, until I went to the launch of Veet’s new Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler and learned that a few quick strokes could give me high definition-ready brows. The Styler – designed for use on our most sensitive areas (face, underarms and bikini) – is quick, gentle, and uses a selection of electric blades (there are two different trimming heads) to shape the areas to perfection. As the blades don’t touch the skin, these is also no risk of cuts. My brows couldn’t be happier.

Korres Wild Rose CC Cream SPF 30
Last but not least, my saviour of Boardmasters Festival: the Korres Wild Rose CC Cream. I had been trialling the product in lieu of foundation for a few weeks and loved the finish – even skin that still shows my freckles – but didn’t fall in love with it until its SPF factor got me through a few days in the sun having accidentally packed a dodgy body SPF product.

The cream corrects, smooths, brightens, and protects like no other CC cream in the market. It is everything you could want from ‘no-makeup makeup’ alongside long term skin benefits. I will never be without this in my makeup bag.

kipling blogger
It has been quite some time since since I owned a bag that complimented both style and workload. This crazy little job of mine means I have to carry around a DSLR, laptop, phone and chargers (plus all the ‘normal’ bits!) every day and be ready to hop on a flight at a moment’s notice.

I found Kipling‘s ‘Superwork’ and the rest was sartorial history.

At the same time of the aforementioned discovery, Kipling launched their gratitude-led #WeMakeHappy campaign and I couldn’t help but treat one of my favourite lady pals to a City Pack for her upcoming round the world trip. In exchange for photos we can swoon over when we’re old and crazy, obviously.

Having the bag over my arm now feels like much more than long-awaited practicality. It feels like friendship.

What I Wore:
Tie-front denim playsuit from ASOS
White Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra Trainers from Nika
The Superwork – in Plum Metal – from Kipling
(On Charlie: The Hot Red Perfo City Pack S KP from Kipling)

kipling blogger 3
kipling blogger