108 brasserie london
I have found it difficult to refuse 108 Brasserie‘s aesthetic intrigue, passing the restaurant at least once a week since it opened. I have spent paltry pockets of time people-watching through the windows and appreciating the sun-soaked smiles, burgundy lounges, and modest chandeliers behind the glass.

I finally crossed the border in schedule-friendly favour of the Dish of The Month – Executive Chef Russell Ford’s monthly carousel of modern British specials. This month, it is his new Yorkshire Rhubarb and Custard dessert…

…but we’ll get to that.

Our first priority was a glass of Perrier-Jouët chased with their glutton-provoking homemade soda bread and Guinness brown bread (genuinely so moreish I could have had a few more servings and called it a dinner).

Refraining from carb-laden penitence, we moved on to two faultless mains – seared Isle of Skye scallops (served with spiced lentils & coriander) and Merrifield Farm free-range duck (set atop a bed of five-spiced radicchio, endive & honey). Dishes so well-arranged and flavourful that my soda bread slight became a distant memory.

Having never found ourselves fond of rhubarb, my dinner date and I then chanced our final requests with the ‘Yorkshire Rhubarb and Custard’ – a creative construction of each ingredient – jellies, pastries, crisps, et al. The expert execution couldn’t make a rhubarb fan out of us, but the experiment was relatively doomed from its inception (does anyone else find rhubarb always tastes like sour celery?!).

Until the next Dish of The Month!

108 brasserie london
108 brasserie london
View Post

angel wing tattoo

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Tattoo

1) Can I commit to this design for life? Both of my tattoos have very important meanings to me and were designs I thought about for a long time, considering their permanence, designs I decided I would be happy to have on my body at 97 years old. They are easy to conceal (should I be in an environment that asked for it), black and white (because I wear a lot of colour), and represent nothing ‘fleeting’ – just an artistic expression of my happiness.
2) What is my pain tolerance? Tattoos are no cake walk. You are essentially, scarring your skin with ink and that doesn’t come without pain. If you have a low pain tolerance, you may want to start small.
3) Will this tattoo improve my life? Tattoos are expensive, painful and permanent. There are many other ways to express yourself (fashion, art, etc) if your concept doesn’t seem to be ‘worth’ the aforementioned!

If you’re still game…

Find a tattoo artist!

Hands down the most important part. At 18, I went to the most renowned tattoo parlour in my local town and looked through their portfolios for hours before choosing my artist. I actually loved my artist so much I returned to America – six years later – to get my second tattoo done by her. Since my last tattoo, Instagram has become an absolute haven for discovering tattoo artists (showing real time portfolio updates) – I recommend researching for at least a few weeks to decide who is best for you and who might be able to bring your concept to life in the way that makes you happiest. The right artist, regardless of style, will always be open to any questions or queries you have beforehand. Including design work-shopping. Don’t settle for anything less.

Test your tattoo out!

Before the final step, it is absolutely worth testing your tattoo design on your body. While this can be done with henna or temporary tattoo pens, Londoner’s are in for an absolute treat this weekend when Lenovo launches its Illuminated Ink Tattoo Parlour in Soho. From the 22nd to 23rd of April (11am-5pm), Lenovo is pop-upping the UK’s first projection tattoo parlour powered by the YOGA Tablet 3 Pro, with its in-built projector in collaboration with renowned tattooist James King. The tattoos are mapped directly onto skin using nothing but light and the event is completely free to attend, so worth a trip even if you’ve decided temporary tattoos are as committed as you’ll get!

Where: 15 Bateman Street, Soho, London, W1D 3AQ

As always, I’m happy to answer any of your questions – tattoos and otherwise – on Twitter (@lelalondon), Snapchat (lelalondoB), Facebook (@lelalondon), and Instagram (@lelalondon)!

* Photo from this outfit post.

floral umbrella fashion blogger
When returning to London from a month of sunshine-filled work trips, I convinced myself I had missed out on the tail end of Winter.

Incorrectly. But Spring/Summer collections will prevail…

I have recently fallen in lust with my boots, bag, bracelet, and brolly of the season (#Londoner), so find myself with zero tolerance or acceptance for anything Winter, wardrobe-wise.

You are what you wear, right?

What I Wore:
Dress, Chelsea boots and umbrella – all from Joules
Amazonite Wishbone Kula bracelet from Astley Clarke (similar here)
Smith & Canova Mint blue leather handbag from House of Fraser

floral umbrella fashion blogger
floral umbrella fashion blogger
View Post

heliot steakhouse london
I have found myself using Leicester Square’s Hippodrome as a meeting point for Central London excursions for over ten years, but had never stepped inside until last week.

The reason for my atypical attendance? The famous casino’s restaurant – Heliot Steakhouse – was announced as Bookatable users’ ‘Best Steak Restaurant in London‘ and I was far too intrigued to spend another year on the outside.

Though I’m not a gambler (a few minutes on Betway online casino taught me that I am far too clumsy to play with fate), I endorse everyone getting out of their comfort zone for the sake of culinary adventure.

Naturally, the stakes were high.

(Steak pun totally intended.)

Overlooking the casino from its crown of a restaurant, we clinked glasses and oogled an intensely atmospheric gaming floor whilst feasting like there was no tomorrow. Or, more appropriately, like we would lose all of our money before tomorrow.

The main draw of Heliot was, obviously, their flame-grilled steaks: all USDA Prime three-year-old, grain-fed beef aged for a minimum of four weeks. We’re talking seriously perfect protein proviso.

Starting with smoked salmon (served with rye bread & lemon butter) and tender ponzu-sauced beef tataki (a dish I could eat every day of my life), we took all of ten minutes to clear our plates in anticipation of our mains.

For myself? The Surf & Turf – a handful of medium-rare USDA fillet (the best I’ve had in London), with fresh scallops and prawn. I might have added a lobster tail. Because duh.

For The Boy? An equally flawless fillet – medium – served with red wine sauce and a side of impossibly irresistible Millionaire’s Mac & Cheese (a nutmeg-infused blend of gruyere and parmesan, topped with black truffle and a poached duck egg).

Gluttony prevailing, we wrapped things up with a few feeble fork-stabs at a generous cheese board and plate of vanilla ice cream but found ourselves well and truly tapped out.

Will we be back to do it all again? You betcha.

steak gif
heliot steakhouse london
View Post

best of snapchat
Without intention, I’ve been something of an unofficial spokesperson for Snapchat over the past year. The second anyone starts asking me about social media (this happens at least daily) I begin to wax lyrical about the 24-hour social network and thus find myself in a ridiculous number of ‘first snaps’.

Unlike other platforms, Snapchat is virtually unedited (barring text and scribbles). This creates an infectiously engaging and authentic view of the world through our favourites’ eyes…so let’s get you some new ones…

Who to Follow on Snapchat

CornettoSnaps: I am currently working with Cornetto to promote their brand new Snapchat – launching with Vine star Ben Phillips this Wednesday! With their digital conversation booming around the subject of ‘breaking the ice’, the nation’s beloved ice cream brand have enlisted Ben to spend the afternoon chatting girls up – as cheekily as he can – at Winterville and Snapping the entire journey.

The fun will start at 2pm and last for 24 hours (as per Snap-usual), so don’t miss out!

LelaLondoB: Nothing like a bit of self-promotion! Though I am long awaiting the day Snapchat lets me change my typoed username, it hasn’t stopped me from vlogging my every move from the app. As well as taking you on my international travels, to fashion shows, around the best of London, and everywhere in between, I tend to show my Snapchat family the most intimate look at my day-to-day. Join in!

JaredLeto: For an Oscar-winning actor and singer, Leto also has an envy-inducing knack for the ol’ Snapchat. Posting more photos than videos, he loves to curate hand-drawn photo edits that bring his epic travels to a new dimension of cool. All very lucid, indeed.

Fashitects: I have found very few male bloggers making much of an effort with Snapchat, but Toni is killing it. As well as being one of the sweetest people around, his mix of high fashion, architect-prone precision and self-deprecation makes for excellent viewing.

Rihanna: Though the account is run by Rihanna’s best friend, Leandra Simone, infrequent Snap marathons showcase a very personal side of the superstar’s life – everything from late-night munchie runs to Thansgiving dance-offs.

Ingrid.Nilsen: The ground-breaking Youtube personality’s Snapchat is like a constant personal stream of positivity. With a creative eye, Ingrid share her beauty, food, and sunshine-filled life in the most beautifully produced way. With lolz, to boot.

follow on snapchat