m restaurant london
After a wave of multiple foodgasms over M Restaurant’s brunch during my recent London staycation, I made a point to return to trial the restaurant’s night-time offerings.

Having already been wowed by the venue and its faultless service, my critique was focused on their expansive ‘world food’ menu (read: an unusual mix of Australian, Japanese, and everything in between). Because a menu that spans from bone marrow garnishings to Tim Tam desserts concerned me.

Without reason, of course. Every millisecond of the dinner was orchestrated to gluttonous perfection.

Beginning our evening at the bar, Victoria Street’s most secret-wielding mixologist created a carefully complex and science lab-worthy cocktail blending smoke, rum, and secrets. Literally. Homeboy will not part with his belt of unlabelled ingredients for anything.

It was, hands down, the best cocktail I’ve had in years. But that was only the beginning.

Taking to our dinner booth, I started experiencing an overwhelming sense of menu FOMO so was pleased to receive a spoon of kangaroo tartare (mixed with mushrooms, nasturtium and egg yolk) from the kitchen. One less inevitably great dish to choose between.

We ended up beginning with salmon sashimi (served with caviar, cucumbers & capers) and buttermilk fried chicken (a “posh KFC” – as our waitress described it – served with pickles, bread & ‘Firecracker’ sauce) before moving on to a beast of a main: the USDA prime T-bone from Kansas’ Creekstone Farms.

I am actually enviable of my former self.

We ordered it beneath black truffle (shaved fresh at the table), medium-rare, and paired with the world’s most delicious whole red cabbage & chips.

We opted to pair each course with its most appropriate grape – the best of which was the Alpasion 2012 Malbec which has potentially ruined all Alpasionless steaks for life.

Rounding an incredible evening off with their moreish white chocolate ice cream (a magical combination of olive oil sponge, meringue, lemon & cucumber) and an off-the-menu gourmet cheese board, M Restaurant secured itself as my go-to occasion restaurant.

smoke cocktail
m restaurant london
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lanzarote day two 3
There are work trips and there are werk trips. The following three day adventure in Lanzarote with Thomas Cook Airlines – a blogger trip alongside a pack of fellow talented digital types – proved to be the latter in no time at all.

Within three days, strangers became friends, standing on top of an active volcano became a reality, and my misconceptions of Lanzarote (as a ‘party destination’) became a distant thought.

But you’ll have to keep reading to find out why…

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on

lanzarote day one 3-1

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light and free
I’ve had a bit of a fitness epiphany.

After rediscovering my love for yoga in Puerto Vallarta, I returning to London with a real ‘do or die’ muscular yearning that resulted in me spending the last month sweating myself silly at Fierce Grace.

The “FG” brand has a well-deserved reputation for itself as the home of London’s sassiest hot yoga studios. From my very first session, I felt an equal, endorphin-heavy rush of self-importance and selflessness. Fierce Grace is not a ‘get fit’ programme. It’s a ‘get fierce’ programme. Every session leaves you stronger, more flexible, and – perhaps most importantly – more self-aware with a variety of classes lasting between 50 and 90 minutes (The Deep Core, 75 minutes of floor-based alignment and body-opening, takes my personal cake) for all skill levels: beginners to seasoned yogis.

It all came to a significant realisation when I was invited to celebrate the launch of Danone’s new Light & Free range last week. Though I was excited to try the brand’s new 0% added sugar and 0% fat Greek-style yogurts, spending a morning rebounding and trampolining had me feeling entirely fierce – even surrounded by beautiful fitness models and HD camera lenses.

My whole approach to my body has changed. Rather than being fitness-crazed and comparison-friendly, I found myself fueling up on high-protein, low-calorie Light & Free’s and rebound myself into a sweat with complete confidence, lightness, and – dare I say it – freedom.

That is an epiphany worth having.

light and free
light and free

birmingham travel blog
I haven’t done a lot of solo female travel in a while. Fortunate as I might be to travel for a living, the majority of my trips are experienced alongside similarly-careered journos or provide a wonderful opportunity to travel with my nearest and dearest.

When I realised my trip to Lanzarote left from Birmingham Airport and I had no business commitments past the morning beforehand, I hopped on a train and indulged in some pure and simple ‘me time.

In no time at all, I arrived at the Travelodge Central Newhall Street to uncharacteristically blue British skies and a dead phone battery.

Though I’m sure I simply overworked my phone as an on-the-go office during the journey up, I took it as a sign and set off to explore an unfamiliar side.of the city with nothing more than my camera and a bank card.

With no idea where I was going and no GPS to rely on, I stopped off at the front desk to rifle through a few local brochures and maps.

“Where are you off to?”
“…I actually have no idea.”(laughs)
“Well, there are a lot of award-winning curry houses nearby?
“I’m not that hungry. Where would be good to just…walk?”
“Ah!” *the friendly gentleman turns his hands into something of a temporary set of legs* “Go to the end of fhe road, cross the bridge and walk down to the canal. It’s beautiful on days like this! Lovely pubs and all.”

And it was. It was so beautiful I let my camera be my tour guide. I walked the sun-drenched waterside pathways for hours, led by nothing more than visual and mental aides. It reminded me how important it was to switch off. Switch off and talk to strangers. When I happened upon a red carpet premiere, I started chatting to the security guards rather than Googling what it might be (it was the Peaky Blinders premiere, or as the security guard said – “Perky Blinkers”).

Though solo female trekking with a smile invited an inevitable share of twattery (“Hey, baby! Come and sit with us!”), it was worth it. I discovered the most beautifully barren shopping development – The Mailbox – in a city of busy consumerism, treated myself to a glass of champagne, spent a bit too much money in their Harvey Nichols

After an unknown amount of time, I chased the sun back to the hotel, pausing for a quick stop at Rub Smokehouse to pick up a pulled BBQ chicken cobb salad. Because it doesn’t get much better than a night of working and eating in an enormous bed.

The next morning, I filled up on Travelodge’s lovely little breakfast selection and set off for the airport feeling completely calm and happy. I couldn’t think of a better way to travel to an out-of-city airport.

birmingham travel blog
birmingham travel blog 3
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rodial makeup
Whether you’ve seen me on Snapchat (lelalondoB), Instagram (lelalondon), or – however unlikely – in real life over the last month, you’ll have seen me in Rodial makeup.

After a brief beauty counter introduction to the brand’s extension from their incredible line of skincare, I knew I had to get my hands on some pieces so hauled a few expectant everyday items and recorded my first impressions

You can see that video, below.

In the month sense, I have accentuated my features with Rodial and nothing more. Their makeup is a faultless blend of skincare and cosmetic genius, ensuring natural-looking but nourishing product benefits. It also lasts. Really lasts. From London’s downpours to Mexico’s sweltering humidity, I have not stopped to touch up my Rodial morning face once and have felt just as perfected in the wee hours of the morning as I did the second I tapped the HD powder into my skin.

With Mario Dedivanovic using the Rodial contouring powder and Glamolash mascara on Kim Kardashian in her app’s ‘five minute min glam’ tutorial, I can only hope this product line earns enough love to expand for years to come.

Shop The Products:
Instaglam Airbrush Primer
Skin Tint + SPF 20 – Capri
Airbrush Concealer – Aspen
Sculpting Starter Set
Instaglam Compact Deluxe Translucent HD Powder
Glamobrow – Ash Brown
Smokey Eye Pen Black
Glamolash Mascara XXL – Black
XXL Lip Liner – Pink Espresso
Glamstick – Lust

rodial makeup 2