westfield personal shopping
I have not ‘been shopping’ in years. Quite literally 90% of my wardrobe additions over the last two or three years have been purchased from our beloved internets.

Of course, even the techiest tech geek (hello!) can’t do it digital all the time.

With three jam-packed days until I flew to Italy and a ‘nothing to wear’ crisis in full force, I had no idea what to pack and even less of an idea when I’d find time to do so. Between meetings, I dashed off to The Fashion Lounge (the Personal Shopping suite) at Westfield London and enlisted the expert help of personal stylist Elin Mai.

As a former fashion stylist, I had no idea what to expect from the experience but was happy to jump in with both time-sensitive legs.

After meeting in the lounge to discuss what I was looking for (colourful dresses!) and the general likes/dislikes I had included in our pre-shopping consultation, Elin took me in and out of shops like she had personally designed every item in them. She had an incredible knack for knowing where to go, what would make me look my best, what would make me feel comfortable, and what would fit my budget.

In no time at all, we wrapped up the session with two new dresses, a necklace, and a pair of heels which would integrate with a few items I already had in my wardrobe.

Without her it would have taken me not only ten times as long (perfectionist) but cost me ten times as much. Personal shopping at Westfield might just be my newest guilty pleasure.

Stay tuned for the full outfits in tomorrow’s blog!

(To book your consultation, please call +44 (0)20 3371 2300 or e-mail thefashionlounge@westfield-uk.com)

westfield personal shopping
westfield personal shopping
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westfield style swap
Hold the freaking phone; I WEARING A BEANIE AND JOGGERS.

Probably quite a departure from the perpetual rotation of dresses you all have seen me in until this point, the reason for said beanie and joggers is a good’un! Recently, Westfield Stratford City invited me to pick a blogger friend and style her completely out of her comfort zone. For giggles, the selected blogger would also have to deal with my total control freak stylist nature and get me into something I wouldn’t typically wear, as well.

I couldn’t think of anyone better than my lovely friend and blogger Miss Hannah Rose. With model looks and a 90s Grunge Barbie fashion sense, she is a stylist’s dream. Prim pastels, retro florals and skyscraper heels were on the attack. Check out Hannah’s look (and Hannah’s blog!), below.

For my own look I believe we took five thousand laps of Westfield Stratford before we bought a single thing (‘sup, difficult customer). Eventually deciding to do oversized sportswear (the antithesis of my typically tailored wardrobe), I kind of adore the final look. I mean, she got me smiling…IN A BEANIE. Mad props.

What I Wore:
Pink formal joggers from Topshop
Pink beanie from Topshop (similar here)
Strappy nude heels from Forever 21 (similar here)
Oversized white tee with embellishment from Primark (for serious)

westfield style swap
westfield style swap
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Week on Instagram
Instagram (@lelalondon) – left to right, top to bottom:
1. It’s official. The way to my heart is a Cat and The Cream cupcake.
2. TBT. 18 years old. When I thought I was Dita von Teese.
3. CARROT FUDGE, U GUISE. (New Food For Thought at HungerTV.com!)
4. #SorryNotSorry
5. Vintage recovery (shop your closet!)
6. 4*. Fun for the whole family.
7. Westfield on a weekday. Lust.
8. Look at you, Ike.
9. A night of R&R ahead.
10. Gold leaf eyeshadow with stunning packaging? Sold before it’s even applied.

carte noire westfield
We all know how I feel about my coffee*. The coffee experience, in general, takes on a whole different identity to many of my liquid vices (I don’t often have ‘a water experience’ or a ‘green tea experience’). When I found out that Carte Noire were looking to bring that experience to life in one of my favourite shopping haunts, Westfield Stratford, I was fast on my heels to check it out.

Lasting until April 18th, Carte Noire have taken over one of Westfield’s shop windows to – in their words – ‘recreate the intensity found inside every tin of Carte Noire Instinct’. Using a live camera feed, cutting-edge motion tracking technology, cinematic visuals and sound effects, the window will transform shoppers’ surroundings and allow them to savour the intensity of the moment (with some extraordinary results). The installation event includes free coffee samples of Instinct (honestly the only instant coffee I choose drink, thanks to a smart Wholebean blend with finely milled coffee beans), vouchers for future purchases, and lots of social share-ability (see: @CarteNoireUK #savourthemoment and facebook.com/CarteNoireUK!)

Looking forward to your caffeinated tweets, guys and dolls.

*For those who don’t…that feeling is MANIC HAPPINESS.

Balans is one of those great chain restaurants – unlike Jamie’s Italian or Nandos – that can still lure me in despite having the growth of a very strong brand. Based both in London and Miami, their UK branches include Bluewater, Soho (twice; one of which is open 24 hours), Earls Court, Kensington, Westfield Stratford City and this past Saturday’s choice, Westfield London.

Itching for some caffeine and a catch-up with a dear ladyfriend in the presence of eggs, Balans Westfield London had brunch written all over it.

While my partner in protein-filled crime opted for Balans Jumbo Breakfast (two free range eggs, bacon sausage, potatoes, toast, an American pancake with fruit), I mixed their moreish fruit-garnished cinnamon French Toast plate with the answer to my weeklong craving for Eggs Benedict and smoked salmon (single-serving, or I would have popped). The reliability of Balans is undeniable; their food is delicious, affordable, and the service you are given is attentive with a permasmile.

Deciding to grab a breakfast tipple and move to people-watch in their al fresco area (heated, thank foodness), we sampled their new Red Ribbon cocktail. Created to mark and support World AIDS Day on the 1st of December, master mixologists have combined a splash of Chase vodka (the world’s first super premium English potato vodka) with fresh raspberry purée, vanilla syrup, and a side shot of champagne. The Red Ribbon cocktail will be available from now until Sunday the 2nd of December and Balans are donating 100% of the profits to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, so you now have no excuse not to get a little tipsy at breakfast.

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