25 August 2015

NAK'D BARS

My mid-afternoon/ post-run/ mid-ride snack du jour is a Nak'd bar - healthy, gluten/ wheat/ dairy-free products made in Britain with raw fruits and nuts.  Nakd wants to replace over-processed foods with nourishing whole foods and this is a good place to start - choose from the fruit salad nibbles, cashew cookie, toffee treats, berry delight or, my favourite, cocoa orange which is 40% dates, 40% cashews, 14% raisins and 5% cocoa with a dash of natural orange flavouring.  That's it.  They're vegan, cold-pressed, never baked, with no added sugars or syrups, 1 of your 5 a day and delicious.  What's not to like?

Nakd bars - healthy snacks - foodie blogger
available at Holland & Barrett and Wiggle
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24 August 2015

EVERYDAY JEWELLERY

I have stacks of jewellery, but almost every day I wear the same pieces of sterling silver or white gold bracelets, rings, earrings and occasionally layered necklaces.  Sometimes I'll mix other colours or mixed metals, but I feel rather naked if I don't have these everyday pieces on.  Most are gifts or vintage market purchases and the latest was given to me by British high street jeweller H.Samuel - a pretty chain bracelet embossed with an ornate Victorian pattern on each link.

Stacked silver bracelets - everyday jewellery - fashion blog
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21 August 2015

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: FORCES OF FASHION

Vogue US Forces of Fashion Karlie Kloss Oscar de la Renta gown by Jamie Hawkesworth September 2015 issue
As much as I love Beyoncé, I'm not keen on the cover of the Vogue US September issue. But this shot from the 'Forces of Fashion' shoot featuring Karlie Kloss in a billowing Oscar de la Renta gown photographed by Jamie Hawkesworth is beautiful.
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20 August 2015

AQUA HONG KONG

Aqua is one of my favourite London addresses. It's been one of my go-to places for after-work drinks and dinner (either sushi at Aqua Kyoto or tapas at Aqua Nuevo) in W1 for years, so when we were in Asia I had to visit the original Aqua in Hong Kong.  We went for drinks at sunset on the traditional Chinese junk boat Aqua Luna which sails across the harbour before going for dinner at Aqua Tokyo.

Aqua restaurant, Hong Kong | lifestyle and travel blog
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19 August 2015

BAILA BRAZIL

Two weeks ago I headed to the Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank for an evening fusing dance, Afro-Brazilian culture and live music.  Baila Brazil by the acclaimed dance company Balé de Rua is 90 minutes of percussion, street dance, samba, capoeira and breakdancing performed by 14 dancer/percussionists, a singer and a band.

Baila Brazil by Brazilian dance company Balé de Rua at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre

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18 August 2015

RED HOOK CRIT

Last month the Red Hook Crit came to London for the first time, so we went down to Greenwich Peninsula on Saturday 11 July to catch the last few qualifying races and the two finals.  The Red Hook Criterium is one of the world's best track bike races, featuring pro road racers, track specialists, semi-pros, bike messengers and keen amateurs with the odd fixed gear newbie thrown in.  

Emma Louise Layla at the Red Hook Crit, London
wearing my Dad's vintage running tee and metallic Topshop skirt

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14 August 2015

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: EMERALD

Emerald green dress on Freja Beha Erichsen by Sølve Sundsbø for Harper’s Bazaar (March 2008)
Freja Beha Erichsen by Sølve Sundsbø for Harper’s Bazaar (March 2008)
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13 August 2015

LONDON RIB VOYAGES

We had friends visiting last weekend and took them to one of our favourite things to do in London: speeding down the Thames at 35mph on a boat.  Like our first trip, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. Last time we did the 40 minute 'Break the Barrier' route whereas this time we went for the longer 80 minute ride which starts at the London Eye and takes in 28 landmarks along the river before zipping out to Greenwich then beyond to the Thames Barrier and back again.

London Rib Voyages Thames speedboat trip

  It's a great way for out-of-towners to see all the sights (the tour guides get the balance between funny and informative spot on), thrill-seekers to get the wind in their hair and it's a great tourist-in-your-own-city activity for Londoners too - I couldn't recommend a trip with London Rib Voyages enough.
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12 August 2015

PETIT BATEAU X K-WAY

Two French heritage brands have collaborated on a limited edition line of stripe raincoats: Petit Bateau, purveyors of all things breton striped and K-Way, of pac-in-a-mac fame.  The partnership makes perfect sense: both have been dressing families in France for generations and the products are simple, practical and iconic.  The navy and blue rain jacket is made from lightweight ripstop nylon and conveniently folds up into a pocket pouch, ideal for keeping in your bag for when (not if!) the British weather turns...

Petit Bateau x K-Way breton stripe raincoats
the unisex jackets for adults and children launch online today
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11 August 2015

Joe's Southern Kitchen

A few months ago the Deep South-inspired restaurant Joe's Southern Kitchen in Covent Garden opened a second branch in Kentish Town.  I went for dinner to sample some of the nicest, naughtiest American food (slow-cooked ribs, pulled pork, fried chicken and hot dogs: the works) I’ve had in London. The new outpost is spread over two floors of a former police station with a 90-cover restaurant on the ground floor and a basement bar for pre/post-dinner cocktails. The décor is cool and industrial (exposed bricks, leather seating and neon signs), the service friendly and - as you’d expect from a place serving hearty comfort food and strong drinks - the atmosphere casual.

Dessert at Joe's Southern Kitchen - London restaurants - lifestyle blogger

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6 August 2015

KIEHL'S SERUMS

I received a parcel this week from the American skincare brand Kiehl's to try out two of their newest serums.  The Daily Reviving Concentrate is a lightweight facial oil filled with antioxidants and natural oils including ginger root, sunflower and tamanu which keeps skin looking radiant and fresh.  The serum strengthens the skin's defenses against pollution which - as I cycle to work on London's polluted roads each day - works for me. The refreshing smell wakes you up in the morning and it leaves skin hydrated but not shiny, for a perfect make up base.

Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate & Midnight Recovery Concentrate Serum - beauty blog

The Midnight Recovery Concentrate is an overnight elixir which helps repair and regenerate your skin with naturally-derived ingredients like Squalane, Evening Primrose, Omega-6 Fatty Acids and a blend of essential oils. Use a couple of drops each night for smoother, healthier skin by morning. I'm only on day two of both, but so far so good!

Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate & Midnight Recovery Concentrate Serum - beauty blog
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5 August 2015

PARESA, PHUKET

After five days in Hong Kong we flew down to Thailand for a week on the island of Phuket, then Phang Nga on the mainland and finishing in Bangkok.  Home for the first three days was the idyllic Paresa, which in Sanskrit means 'heaven of all heavens' and I'm inclined to agree: it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever stayed.

Emma Louise Layla at Paresa Phuket, Thailand | travel blog

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3 August 2015

RIDELONDON

Yesterday I completed the Prudential RideLondon for the second time: 100 miles through London and Surrey with 26,000 other riders, thousands of incredible bikes, hundreds of MAMILs, dozens of cycling club jerseys from all over the country and plenty of sunshine.  The conditions were perfect: bright and sunny, warm but not too warm (although it hit 27C in the afternoon: hello topped up tanlines) and not too windy.

RideLondon-Surrey 100, 2015 - 100 mile bike ride - cycling sportive

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