Friends of Krispy Kreme (Get your FREE DOUGHNUT here!)

free krispy kreme
As nostalgic treats go, no brand beats Krispy Kreme. From backstage snacks during high school musicals to indulgent sleepover dozens with girlfriends, their doughnuts have been the sweet punctuation of some of my most cherished memories.

When they asked me to become an ambassador for Friends of Krispy Kreme, I could hardly refuse.

Since launching their first UK store in Harrods in 2003, the deliciously American brand has gained a colossal British following and chose to create Friends of Krispy Kreme to keep fans in the loop with new launches, exclusive promotions, competitions, and free doughnut offers.

Yes, free doughnuts. You get one just for signing up (it’s free and take roughly 10 seconds to do – no brainer!).

This month, my favourite doughnuts are the Original Glazed (never change!), the Lotus Cramelised Biscoff (I recently discovered the biscuit spread in Amsterdam and this partnership is pure food porn), the Reese’s Peanut Butter Crunch (no explanation needed), and the Strawberry Gloss (as you can see!). Be sure to tweet me yours!

Treat yo’ self!

Lela London social:
Twitter – @lelalondon
Instagram – @lelalondon
Facebook – LelaLondon
Snapchat – lelalondoB

Krispy Kreme social:
Twitter – @KrispyKremeUK
Facebook – KrispyKremeUK

free krispy kreme
free krispy kreme

Travel Blog: One Day in Doha, Qatar

doha qatar souq 21
With the best flight of my life as my sole frame of reference for Qatar, I showered the night flight away, changed into an ensemble more appropriate for 50-degree humidity, and set straight out for a day of exploration in Doha.

The loose itinerary was one of 24-hour perfection: a stop at The Pearl’s development centre for an immersive walk across to the Porto Arabia boardwalk, a meander through the maze of Souq Waqif’s alleyways for an authentic Arabic lunch, a trip to the stunning Museum of Islamic Art, a short drive back to the souq to see how it transforms in the evening, and – finally – dinner at the incredible Al Sufra in the Kempinski Marsa Malaz Hotel (Arabic foodie side note: more is more).

As the economic centre and capital of the richest country in the world, part of me felt I would find it difficult to take to Doha and its apparent hyper-affluence. I was mistaken. Over the full day of exploration, I fell in love with the city, citizens and a culture that has somehow endured in authenticity regardless of Western influence (unlike Dubai).

Almost no stretch of land from its four million square metre artificial island to the souq’s spice-scented falcon shops is untouched by construction and, rather than being material for Holidays From Hell, it is all surprisingly inspiring. The city purrs with anticipation over their turn as hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2022 (they will be the first Arab country to do so), almost overflowing with opportunity and excitement.

I cannot wait to return over the next seven years to see how the city develops.

doha qatar 8
doha qatar parisa 2
museum islamic art doha 4
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Recipe: Japanese Courgetti with Matcha Pesto

japanese courgetti
Since the life-changing moment my tastebuds were introduced to sushi, I have been obsessed with Japanese food. My issue, of course, is a lack of training and familiarity when it comes to preparing my own Japanese-inspired dishes. Though I stock up on Japan Centre‘s finest and have even tried my hand at sushi masterclasses (quickly learning that I should leave said skills to the maestros of Sticks N Sushi and beyond), many of Japan’s most delectable dishes are a Lela-disabling art form of their own.

As far as Japanese food is concerned, my sole culinary success has taken the form of new-age hipster health food; Japanese Courgetti with Matcha Pesto. The low-carb courgette spaghetti (or courgetti) experiment has become my favourite (and an incredibly simple) comfort food substitute full of vitamins, protein, and incredibly fresh flavours. Paired with a cup of warm Rose Sencha, it makes for one very special detox meal.

Ingredients (serves one, double/triple quantities as needed)
Spiralizer (I use the Mueller Spiral-Pro)
1 chicken breast, sliced
1 bottle of Sake (I used Gekkeikan Sake)
1 cup of water
1 courgette

For the pesto:
1 tablespoon of matcha powder (I used Fukujuen Uji-No-Tsuyu Seicha)
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of basil
1 bunch of mint
3 cups of spinach
8 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of olive oil
3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

1. Put the chicken in a pan or slow-cooker, cover with the water and a few splashes of sake, secure lid, and let cook for 1-2 hours. Set aside.
2. Blend pesto ingredients together. Set aside.
3. Cut the ends off of your courgette and secure it into place on the spiralizer. Using your preferred blade (I prefer a mix of blades to add texture to the dish, but the smallest blades are most spaghetti-like), spiralize!
4. Put the spiralized courgette into a pan with the pesto and stir over medium heat for 5-10 minutes (the longer, the smoother).
5. Remove from heat, place into a bowl and garnish with your sake-infused chicken.
6. Enjoy!

(Public service announcement: Visit Japan is currently running a competition to win a trip to Kyoto! Remember your favourite courgetti-loving blogger when you win…)

japanese courgetti
japanese courgetti
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In Review: Bombay Brasserie, London

bombay brasserie
If you consider yourself a fan of Indian food – even casually – I advocate an immediate call to make a reservation at Bombay Brasserie.

I recently had the unexpected pleasure of meeting the Brasserie’s passionate executive chef, Prahlad Hegde, and enjoying his introduction to the institution’s 20-plus year legacy. With a list of celebrity clientele as impressive as the space itself (Bombay Brasserie stretches across multiple high-ceilinged and expansively chic rooms), it became clear BB was restaurant I would need to ‘check off the list’.

Reservations made, I invited my personal Indian food connoisseur to moonlight as my dinner date and set off for a fully-fledged foodie affair.

From the second you enter their refurbished bar (a sexy blend of moody, retro glamour and Bollywood extravagance), you are encased in an air of expense that only thickens as you take your seats in the main dining area.

For us, the romance took a steep (albeit brief) dive when we asked our server to share a few recommendations. Explaining that we were wanting to try a variety of dishes, his only suggestion – made by placing it in front of me – was the tasting menu.

It was a peculiar exchange for such an otherwise impressive establishment, but we were far too indecisive to decide otherwise; tasting menu it was.

Settling in with a mango & chilli mojito (Havana White Rum, mango pulp, green chilli & soda water), we enjoyed the live pianist’s especially British set list before embarking on a feast like Mumbai has never seen.

The food is simply spectacular. Through multiple courses, the less-thrilling (like sev batata puri and Jackfruit palak) packed as impressive a punch as my anticipated highlights (like Khada masala scallops and the coriander-rich Patrani macchi). Even when surrounded by breads, curries and roasts, we found London’s Bombay Brasserie played with both city’s infamous diversities in beautifully unexpected ways (my personal highlight being the prawn hara pyaz – black tiger prawns, spring onions, scallions, tomatoes, and spices).

Service aside, Bombay Brasserie is the most incredible Indian experience a Londoner can get without a plane ticket.

bombay brasserie
bombay brasserie
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Beauty Favourites – October 2015

beauty favourites
Estee Lauder at BoxPark
Estee Lauder have opened a stunning little pop-up store in Shoreditch’s famous shipping-containers-turned-mall installation, BoxPark. Let’s pretend I wasn’t going to be obsessed.

The focus for the store was intended to be 3-minute beauty services for customers (focusing on skin, eyes and lips), but its accidental call to action has become the availability of the very exclusive (and very frequently sold out) Kendall Jenner Pure Colour Envy Lipstick, Restless.

On my first visit I left the pop-up with a brimming bag of tricks and have since fallen in love with two products, in particular – the New Dimension Shape & Sculpt Face Kit and Pure Color Envy Lip Volumizer. The former is a foolproof cream contour and highlight palette (with the most stunning sea blue casing) and the latter is a minty, hyaluronic sphere-utilising lipgloss which smooths and plumps while adapting itself to your own personal ‘rosy’ lip colour. No make-up bag should be without either.

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

Vichy Dermablend Foundation
When my super pale self saw that Vichy had recently expanded their range of Dermablend shades, I couldn’t help but nab myself a bottle of Fluid Corrective Foundation in Porcelain. Though I’m not a ‘foundation person’, Dermablend’s cult following (due to its high-coverage, lightweight formulation) was too enticing to ignore.

Trialled during my trip to the almost unbearably hot Qatar, the foundation not only kept my skin hydrated (thanks to its concentration of mineral-rich thermal spa water) but stayed put for hectic 16-hour days without demarcation or caking (see?).

Wild Mint, Watercress & Thyme Candle from Rathbornes
As a candle-loving beauty babe, I’m quasi ashamed that it has taken me this long to own a Rathbornes candle (they the oldest candle brand in the world). The hand-poured wax candles are renowned for their unique scent pairings, lengthy burn times, and are all infused with the highest quality natural essential oils. My current obsession is the invigorating Wild Mint, Watercress & Thyme candle – a sharp and sweet blend of lemon, eucalyptus, camphor, rosemary, ginger and pure scent seduction.