the chapel candle
I have a confession to make. Though I been doing the “feminist as f*ck” thing for a number of years – all “Girl Power!”, “Love yourself!”, “Equality and kindness for women!” – I am very rarely kind to myself.

Do I believe I deserve as much as anyone else? Sure. Believe I’m a good person? Absolutely. Ever take time out for myself? Uh…no.

And it wasn’t until I went to the launch event of The Chapel‘s new incredible product range that I realized as such.

Rather than inviting 300 members of the press to take Snapchats of her new products and shove as many overpriced canapes as possible down our throats, Amanda (Dicker, The Chapel Founder) asked a handful of us ’round to her Islington Salon, fed us from fresh sharing platters on her own china, poured us her favourite tipples, and led an all-empowering feminist pow-wow.

The entire logic behind expanding her award-winning hair, beauty and lifestyle business was to encourage people to take the brand’s renowned “haven” status home with them. To reclaim time outside of the salon (the only place most of us allow ourselves “me time”) and put themselves first.

“Too often these days we mistake a hectic schedule for a full life, yet the time thattruly belongs to us is the moment when we pause…” – Amanda Dicker, Founder of The Chapel and all-round Wonderwoman

It was a much needed wake-up call for me. As our makeshift circle of trust shared personal stories, I related with patterns my own sacrifice, insecurity, and societal pressure. “Me Time” is long overdue. And The Chapel’s products are the perfect gateway drug.

The three products – candles, hand cream & pulse point fragrances – come in three fragrances; Oparus (Bergamot, Geranium, Sandalwood, etc), Mellifera (Apple, Tuberose, Vanilla, etc), and Noctula (my favourite – Mandarin, Violet, Patchouli, etc).

Though I fell in lust with all three scents I, naturally, went for the “hot red lips” (Noctula) scented candle as when you complete the 80 hour burn time you can use the exquisite ceramic candle holder as a home accessory.

That has “me” written all over it.

cheers

A post shared by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

tank and paddle london
There is something bittersweet about promoting restaurants I love. Especially when they’re hidden gems. But Tank & Paddle is a little too brilliant to keep secret.

It lives up to (and yet somehow defies) every expectation of a “pizza and beer” place. Though it is situated in the centre of The City, it is virtually impossible to “stumble upon” (below ground in Minster Court) and is significantly more affordable than its surrounding banker-seducing restaurant alternatives.

Yet the food is just as good.

With an absence of the postcode’s notorious white tablecloths and sommeliers, you get bar service (perfect for large groups), cosy corners, killer cocktails, and outright feasts at the cost of a dessert somewhere else.

After a round of Porn Star Martinis (my #sorrynotsorry pizza companion of choice), my dinner date and I split a Billy Goat’s Stuffed pizza (Rosary Goat’s Cheese, spinach & red onion chutney), pepperoni & chilli filled mac and cheese (a gooey-as-they-come delight called “The Hot One”), a gargantuan Greek salad, and savoury dough sticks with Garlic & Herb Butter and Chilli Butter (they also do a Nutella-filled option for dessert – your skinny jeans are forewarned).

It was a banquet that took us all the way through our Martinis, a bottle of bubbles, and more than a handful of dance breaks.

For its location, food, drinks (everyone around me was cooing over their beers), pricing, vibes, and deals (ie “Any regular pizza for £5 on Mondays”!), Tank & Paddle might just be the City’s greatest hideout.

tank and paddle london
tank and paddle london
View Full Post

youtube mukbang eating show
Before visiting her family back in Italy, my beloved Alice and I got into a conversation about the ‘norms’ of our upbringings (in Italy and America, respectively) and – more specifically – their sweet treats.

Realising neither of us had tried any sweets across the seas that once separated us, we met up back in London and mukbanged them all on camera for your viewing pleasure.

From Warheads Extreme Sour Candy to Pocket Coffee, this fail of ‘Italian vs American Candy‘ is everything you could expect and so much more…watch here!

meem
I am usually – almost definitely – happy. Happy at a level that most people find confusing. It takes a lot to trigger anything other than happy…but something did, recently…

My phone got wiped.

Adulting 101: Back up your phone (before it’s too late!)
After sending my phone off to fix a cracked screen, the phone was returned to me completely wiped of all data. All photos. All videos. All contacts. All memories.

Honestly, I would have rather continued to fear the screen chipping off into my eardrums.

I decided to combat the loss by looking for a way to prevent this from ever happenning to me again and found solace in the discovery of MEEM

It is ingenius (if not a little too late for my personal story). MEEM is a phone charger cable that automatically backs everything on your phone to the cable itself every time you charge your Android or iPhone handset with the cable. Even if it’s by car charger, PC port, or power bank.

I never “got” cloud back-ups because it isn’t instinctive and often comes with third party access. On the contrary, MEEM has no third party access and I charge my phone at least once a day anyway.

I had to learn the hard way, but I’m happy I’ve learned at all.

As ‘adulting’ continues to force itself upon me, I wanted to include giveaways in each of these posts so will kick this one off with a chance for you to win your very own Meem memory cable, below:

Meem Giveaway!

Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below – giveaway ends on February 22nd, good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

last minute valentines gifts
On this happiest of days – Galentine’s Day – I thought I’d give a little bit of love to those among us who have either forgotten or struggled with tomorrow’s annual heart-filled gift-giving.

Valentine’s Day isn’t particularly “my thing”, but I do love the idea of celebrating love of all kinds so thought I’d round up a few last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts that slay.

For your bae of any kind…tickets to Dirty Great Love Story
This Edinburgh Fringe First award-winning show is an alcohol-laden masterpiece exploring modern dating through two relatably hopeless romantics. Is not so much ‘romantic comedy’ as it is ‘romantic catastrophe’; bringing poetic light (and constant lolz) to inescapable familiarities of timing, tousles, and terrible choices.

I enjoyed every cringe-worthy moment (thanks to delicious performances from Felix Scott and Ayesha Antoine) and could not imagine there being a type of human who wouldn’t feel the same.

For the blossoming romance…EatFirst
The award-winning online restaurant EatFirst has developed an incredible Italian tasting menu together with top antipodean chef, Benn Hodges, inspired by sultry summers on the Amalfi coast and the island of love, Capri.

The menu (which prepares everything and simply needs to be heated when ready to share) includes:

– Buffalo Burrata antipasti (with heirloom tomatoes, black olives, creamy buffalo burrata, micro Italian basil and rocket dressed with extra virgin olive oil infused with vanilla, lemon zest, and basil), grilled rosemary & sea salt focaccia

– Duck Ragu Pappardelle Primi Paitta (Devonshire ducks marinated in red wine, carrot, celery, bay leaves & garlic, then scented with juniper berries and star anise. All is braised overnight with virgin Sicilian green olives and eventually served with handmade pappardelle pastafinished with parmesan, parsley and green olives)

– Squash Salad (Butternut squash marinated in thyme & garlic – seared and roasted – with endives and tomato jam)

– Flat Iron Steak Secondi Paitta (Aged flat iron steak marinated in pepper & ginger, chargrilled, and served pink with fresh baby spinach, sesame salad and a mix of pickled vegetables)

– Flourless Chocolate Cake Dolci (70% dark chocolate cake served paired with a light vanilla custard)

Wine pairings are available (Chateaux Fayau Bordeaux & Chablis Domain du Colombier), and all. Talk about easy, refined intimacy!

For someone super special…a vacation
Be it a weekend away, a staycation, or a stay at an RCI timeshare, I have always believed the best presents are experiential or travel related. Thankfully, Airbnb can hit pretty much any wanderlusting nail on the head and allow you to find comfort in your very own romantic home from home(if you haven’t used it, you can also get £30 in travel credit by following this special link!).

Think about somewhere your partner has expressed interest in and give them the surprise of their life!

For yourself…Calmia yoga roller
If we’re forced to celebrate love we might as well celebrate loving ourselves, right? While this gift would actually work for anyone (especially someone who’s partner isn’t often at home or has recently decided to part ways), you’ve got to get one for yourself. By simply shifting your body around the roller, you can de-stress your mind & body, reduce soreness, aid muscle recovery, and even prevent injury (tense muscles are injury trigger points!). It can provide the cheapest and longest massage of your life, tailored to perfection. What could be better than that?!