31 December 2018


Mac Le Disko NYE beauty look - UK style blog
Happy New Year!  Wishing you a brilliant, sparkling 2019 x

18 December 2018

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's the week before Christmas, and no one can say it's too soon to feel festive now.  Nice and early on 6 December, we went to our nearest Pines and Needles and walked back with a 7 foot Nordmann fir tree, fired up the Bublé, started simmering mulled wine and unpacked the decs.  This year, we're embracing the more is more approach, with controversial tinsel, mixed metallics and a rainbow of baubles. Pile it on.

Gold glitter reindeer on our real Christmas tree - UK style blog


15 December 2018

Christmas Gift Guide For Him

10 more sleeps 'til Christmas!  Befitting the most last minute gift-buyers, here are a few present ideas in case you're still looking for the men in your life...

Christmas gift guide for him - British style blog

from left to right:
1. the modern yet retro VQ Hepburn DAB digital radio, available in lots of colours - we have it in cream and love it
2. MALIN + GOETZ Vitamin E Face Moisturiser: light, calming formulation and chic packaging (and you get to use it too)
3. Sony Playstation Classic Console to relive his youth
4. the smart, compact, BPA-free and environmentally-friendly A5 memobottle, which fits inside any briefcase
5. the festive, marzipan-y Amande exquisite scented candle from Diptyque
6. sterling silver & mother of pearl Aspinal of London cufflinks
7. a wardrobe staple: Hugo Boss carmello smooth leather belt
8. Paul Smith socks - I think I've bought Julien socks as a stocking filler every year
9. the energising Bushukan shower gel (can't go wrong with Molton Brown, and this is on my bro's wishlist every year)
10. compulsory festive knitwear: wool & cotton Lacoste jumper (not just for Christmas: can be worn all winter & on ski trips too!)
11. An unsung British design icon: the Stanley classic flask in classic green, for keeping warm on wintry walks

browse other Christmas features

14 December 2018


Business travel can be a pain, with early starts, back to back meetings and uninspired boardroom lunches, but I try to make the most out of work trips whilst I don't have a family to rush back to.  When I worked for a sailing clothing brand, we used to attend regattas on the south coast and go down early to explore, staying at little B&B's, having dinner at the freshest seafood restaurants, and waking up to run along the beach before a day's sailing.  During my time at a French fashion brand, I spent the first six months living in Paris and when I went back each month, I always visited one of my favourite brasseries, even if it was just for a quick glass of champagne with my book before the Eurostar home.  I made a weekend of meetings in New York and Los Angeles, and did the same last autumn on a work trip to Warsaw, going a couple of days early to visit the places I loved when we went in 2013, and discover some new favourites.

Colourful buildings in Warsaw Old Town - luxury travel blog

The Fryderyk Chopin Museum at Ostrogski Palace in Warsaw - luxury travel blog

Pretty old pink buildings in Warsaw, Poland - luxury travel blog

I stayed at the central five star Sofitel Warsaw Victoria, swimming in its gorgeous, glowing pool each morning before grabbing breakfast and wandering around the city's parks and pretty streets listening to music, taking photos of old buildings (one of my favourite pastimes) and adding to my collection of hand-painted blue and white Polish crockery.

Swimming pool at the Sofitel Warsaw Victoria five star hotel - luxury travel blog

Russian dolls at the Bazar na Kole market in Warsaw - luxury travel blog

Bazar na Kole flea market in Warsaw - luxury travel blog

I visited the massive outdoor flea market, Bazar na Kole, bought an antique crystal milk jug, and revelled in the joys of solo travel (most people wouldn't have wanted to spend 3 hours outside trawling vintage treasures in the freezing cold!) before warming up with some rosol soup.  I ate plenty of pierogis (no trip to Poland is complete without at least 12), went for a fantastic four course tasting menu for lunch at the beautiful Rozbrat 20, and a six course tasting menu for dinner at the traditional Brasserie Warszawska, followed by a nightcap at the cool Kieliszki Na Próżnej wine bar.  Food in Poland is excellent.  I visited the Fryderyk Chopin Museum housed in the stately Ostrogski Palace to learn more about my favourite classical composer, and went to an excellent Chopin recital held in the historic Dean’s Palace concert hall in the pretty Old Town.  Add Warsaw to your list if you haven't already been: interesting architecture, a colourful history, lots of green spaces, great shopping and good, cheap food.

browse more Poland features & travel posts

K Kawai grand piano at the Chopin recital, Warsaw - luxury travel blog

Autumnal park in Warsaw, Poland - luxury travel blog

Bazar na Kole antiques flea market in Warsaw - luxury travel blog

Yellow flowers in Warsaw Old Town - luxury travel blog
Chopin sheet music in Warsaw - luxury travel blog

Pretty street in Warsaw Old Town - luxury travel blog

Pink flowers in Warsaw Old Town - luxury travel blog

Patterned building in the Warsaw Old Town - luxury travel blog

Pretty Warsaw Old Town - luxury travel blog

Kieliszki Na Próżnej wine bar in Warsaw, Poland - luxury travel blog

Warsaw Old Town square - luxury travel blog

Warsaw in autumn - luxury travel blog

Warsaw Old Town - luxury travel blog

Weekend in Warsaw, Poland - luxury travel blog

9 December 2018

Christmas Gift Guide For Her

How are you getting on with your Christmas shopping?  In case you're still looking, here are some chic gift ideas for the leading ladies in your life, which I either have and love, or are on my own wishlist...

Christmas gift guide for her featuring Astley Clarke, Dolly Alderton, NuMe, John Lewis, Foreo, Penhaligon's, J. Crew and Charlotte Tilbury - UK style & beauty blog.jpg

from left to right:
1. the dreamiest pinky, golden, shimmering eyeshadows: Charlotte Tilbury's Stars in Your Eyes palette
2. for anyone who hasn't read it yet: the relatable, witty Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
3. Penhaligon's sparkling Luna eau de toilette (is there a better gift than fragrance? This is one of my faves)
4. the super-fast and sleek NuMe signature hair dryer (best I've ever had)
5. the engravable, sapphire-set Astley Clarke gold signet ring (comes in silver and rose gold too)
6. the Luna mini 2 facial cleanser from Foreo, available in six colours
7. the wardrobe essential: classic long black leather gloves from Jaeger
8. for a touch of prep: J.Crew pearl and crystal earrings
9. simple black satin LingaDore chemise from UK Lingerie
10. my favourite scented candle discovery of the year: Rue Saint Honoré by Astier de Villatte
11. for the coloured glass lover: San Miguel blue recycled glass vase
12. green and gold trinket box from John Lewis, perfect for the hallway console tables
13. delicious Tariette chocolate dusted roasted hazelnuts (check out their French gourmet hampers too)

browse other Christmas features

7 December 2018

Christmas Party Inspo

Love Actually festive editorial feat. Amanda Wellsh for Vogue Spain, December 2015 - Christmas party style inspo
festive editorial featuring Amanda Wellsh for Vogue Spain, December 2015

23 November 2018

Astley Clarke x Theirworld Charity Bracelet

Last week, I attended the launch event for British jewellery brand Astley Clarke's latest collaboration with the global children's charity, Theirworld.  We sipped champagne at Kettner's in Soho, whilst listening to the campaigner and Theirworld president Sarah Brown speak about the charity's work supporting marginalised young people around the world.

Astley Clarke x Theirworld charity bracelet launch event - Emma Louise Layla fashion blogger

wearing Hobbs Brea Midi Dress with Sophie from La Fashion Folie & Reena from Fashion Day Dreams


19 November 2018

The China National Peking Opera Company

Last month I had the pleasure of not only attending a rare performance by the China National Peking Opera Company at Sadler's Wells, but also going backstage before the show to take a closer look at the beautiful costumes and watch the cast rehearse.

China National Peking Opera Company embroidered silk costumes & backstage tour at Sadler's Wells, October 2018 - London culture blog


17 November 2018


Last autumn, we spent a lovely long weekend on the Costa Brava coastline in northeastern Spain for Julien's birthday, staying at the beautiful Hostal de la Gavina and exploring the nearby picturesque city of Girona.

Style blogger Emma Louise Layla in Girona, Spain - travel & lifestyle blog


3 November 2018

Gerber Gems

Supermodel du jour Kaia Gerber covers the October 2018 issue of Vogue Paris in an 80s-inspired maximalist shoot putting statement jewellery and bold makeup centre stage.  J'adore.

Kaia Gerber Vogue Paris October 2018 jewellery covers - fashion blog


30 October 2018


Apart from the past couple of weeks, thanks to a combination of stress, hormones and change in temperature, my skin has been pretty happy with me sticking to a proper regime of complementary products, all from the same brand.  Like most bloggers, I'm lucky to be sent lots of makeup and skincare, so I have a rather scattered approach to my routine, trying new products all the time. But a few months ago, Dermalogica invited me to join its Skinfluencer ambassador program, and being brand-loyal is working...

Dermalogica Skinfluencer full skincare regime - luxury beauty blog


26 October 2018

Blue Topaz

I once read that you should match your jewellery to the colour of your eyes. As blue is my favourite colour, I'm happy to get on board with these topaz pieces kindly sent by luxury online jeweller Blue Nile.

Blue Nile Blue Topaz jewellery - luxury style blog


22 October 2018

Hostal de la Gavina

For Julien's birthday last September, I booked a weekend on the Costa Brava in northeastern Spain to make the most of the last of summer, staying at the incredible five star hotel Hostal de la Gavina for an indulgent, sunny couple of days' R&R.

Emma Louise Layla at Hostal de la Gavina Spain - luxury travel blog


5 October 2018


I'm fascinated by orientalism in 19th century art, architecture and music, particularly the works of Russian composers in the late 1800s.  Whilst I appreciate that orientalism throws up issues of appropriation, prejudice and cultural hegemony from Imperialist Europe, taking the body of work at face value, I love the lyrical, thematic storytelling which conjures up opulent harems, travelling caravans on the Silk Road, and voyages of discovery.

Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov & Russian Orientalism in music - culture blog


30 September 2018

Secret Cinema's Romeo + Juliet

Last month, I had one of those dreamy summer days you know you'll be thinking of for years to come.  It was a busy, sunny Saturday which flew by in a blur, starting with brunch with a friend which ran late into the afternoon, followed by a quick dash home to rummage through my fancy dress box to cobble together a Secret Cinema outfit before heading to the secret location, piling on jewellery, painting on OTT makeup and applying fake tattoos in the back of an Uber.

Secret Cinema Romeo + Juliet, August 2018 - London culture & lifestyle blog


25 September 2018


Housed in the five star Taj 51 Buckingham Gate in Kensington, Quilon serves up Michelin-starred, contemporary Indian cooking by Sriram Aylur.  If you're looking for an excellent Indian restaurant in London, this is one for you.

Bar at Quilon, Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in Victoria, London - UK lifestyle blog


22 September 2018

Roman Holiday

A photo diary from four sunny days in the Eternal City last summer. 

Emma Louise Layla at Villa Borghese, Rome - style & travel blog


21 August 2018

5 Pairs Of Statement Earrings You Need Right Now

I'm a sucker for a pair of outfit-making statement earrings.  Especially statement studs, as I invariably end up taking big heavy earrings out half way through the day or evening as my ears hurt, so prefer large studs, or lightweight tassel or drop earrings.  Here are five pairs of brilliant, bright J.Crew earrings I'm heading over to Regent Street to peruse later today: multi-coloured pear, rectangle and oval shaped-stones and clusters of mixed colourful crystals and pearls.  Obsessed!

J Crew Alpine Meadow Oval-shaped stone drop earrings - statement fashion blog


17 August 2018

Engagement Party

Two weekends ago, Julien and I finally got round to celebrating our engagement with 40 of our nearest and dearest at one of our favourite places in Fitzrovia: Villandry on Great Portland Street.

Emma Louise Layla Engagement Party - Kate Spade dress - London style blog


13 August 2018

Piedmont, Italy

Last summer, my brother and I surprised our Dad by booking flights to Italy and a villa in Piedmont for a relaxing long weekend to celebrate his 60th birthday.  It was my nephew's first holiday and we chose a villa in a charming, quiet little town called Trisobbio with the intention of doing little else than reading and chilling by the pool, pottering and going for lunch in nearby towns, and cooking dinners at the villa at night.

Family lunch at Villa Sparina in Piemonte, Italy - travel & style blog


8 August 2018

Don Giovanni

A few weeks ago, I attended a performance of Kasper Holten’s rather unusual revival of Don Giovanni at one of my favourite places in London: the Royal Opera House.


31 July 2018

Miraflores, Lima

I'm casting my mind back to last spring for the final post about our trip to Peru, when we travelled from Lima to Lake Titicaca, Puno, Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, Puerto Maldonado, and back to Lima.  It was - like all our long-haul trips - a jam-packed itinerary with lots of 6am starts, hotels and internal flights.  Our penultimate stop was two days in the Peruvian Amazon, which was unlike anything I'd experienced before: spotting wild animals, sleeping in a rustic wooden lodge in the jungle, hiking through the humid rainforest and being bitten alive by mosquitoes.  It was a fantastic, unique experience (apart from the bites), but I was also glad to return to city life...  For our last three days, we continued exploring the capital, staying in the colourful, coastal district of Miraflores.

Fashion blogger Emma Louise Layla in Lima, Peru - travel blog


14 July 2018

Purple Crystal

I've always had a soft spot for coloured crystal and glass, and have a few vases, jugs and votives in calming blues and greens.  The latest addition to my collection is this ribbed posy vase from Dartington Crystal in a pretty amethyst purple shade.

Dartington Crystal purple vase - UK style & interiors blog


12 July 2018


Love this quote from the author of Yoga Girl, Rachel Brathen

2 July 2018

Hollywood Flawless Filter

The makeup product you didn't know you needed: Charlotte Tilbury's Hollywood Flawless Filter.

Emma Louise Layla with Charlotte Tilbury at the Hollywood Flawless Filter launch - luxury beauty blog

Charlotte Tilbury, makeup maestro and recent MBE, launched a brand new product category this spring, at a gorgeous event at The Arts Club I was lucky enough to attend, and I've been using it every day since.  The Hollywood Flawless Filter is a customisable complexion booster, face primer and highlighter all-in-one, available in 7 shades.  Inspired by perfecting social media filters, the peachy cream leaves your skin glowy, dewy and radiant, and I'm obsessed.  Dubbed "J Lo glow in a bottle", you can wear it by itself, underneath, over or mixed with foundation, and as a highlighter - I wear mine (in shade 2) over foundation, under blusher and bronzer, and it really does give skin a soft-focus finish.  Have you tried it yet?

Shop Charlotte Tilbury & browse more beauty features

28 June 2018

Monet & Architecture

The impressionist artist Claude Monet (1840-1926) is best known for his brilliant landscape paintings of the French countryside and coastline, and peaceful scenes from his Giverny garden - including the stunning waterlilies series - but there's an excellent landmark exhibition at the National Gallery focusing on his work featuring architecture as a way to add structure to his art.

View of Bordighera (1884) by Claude Monet - UK culture blog


23 June 2018

Chelsea Flower Show

There's no better way to celebrate the start of the British summer than visiting the Chelsea Flower Show.  I spent a lovely afternoon there with my mama, followed by wandering through the pretty Chelsea in Bloom streets at dusk, and dinner at The Ivy Chelsea Garden.

Emma Louise Layla at The Ivy Chelsea Garden during Chelsea in Bloom - London lifestyle blog


22 June 2018

Dive in

Jerry Hall Norman Parkinson 1975 - UK style blog
Jerry Hall, shot by Norman Parkinson in 1975

14 June 2018

Polo in the Park

Last weekend, I spent a lovely sunny day at Polo in the Park, catching up with a friend, sipping champagne, eating Patty & Bun burgers, and watching hot men on horses.  The perfect Sunday afternoon!

Emma Louise Layla at Polo in the Park, 2018 - London lifestyle blog


7 June 2018

10 Astley Clarke Sale Picks

British fine jewellery brand Astley Clarke has just launched its summer sale featuring lots of beautiful pieces: delicate stacking rings, grown up friendship bracelets, diamond studs and statement necklaces...  Here are my ten favourites - what do you have your eye on?

Astley Clarke Pink Tourmaline Rising Sun Pendant - British luxury jewellery - UK style blog

3 June 2018

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Lodge, Peru

I'm outdoors-y, but also a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to insects and spiders (in fact, my friends would laugh at "bit of") - however, the Peruvian Amazon is one of the world's most biologically diverse regions and we couldn't go to Peru and not go to the Amazon, so I tried not to think about tarantulas, added another couple of internal flights to our itinerary and travelled to the gateway to the jungle, Puerto Maldonado.  After a short car journey from the teeny tiny airport and a 45 minute speedboat trip down the huge, glassy Madre de Dios river, we pulled up to the luxury eco lodge Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, which we called home for two days.

Treetop canopy at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Lodge, Peru - travel & lifestyle blog

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