Hello! I don’t really use this website anymore. You can instead find me over on my bestselling Substack newsletter called A Day Well Spent. I hope to see you there!
Hello! And welcome.
My name is Leyla and I’m a lover of far-off lands and all things gustatory, living in South West London.
I created this little corner of the internet back in October 2012 (gosh, that’s a long time ago) – it was always intended to be a personal anthology charting the places I visit, the cultures I experience, the food I eat, and the impressions they make upon me.
I was brought up surrounded by exceptional cooking from my Mauritian mother and Turkish-Cypriot father; appreciating the huge range of flavours available in the culinary world is something I actively seek out and happily partake in on a daily basis. And so, naturally, I spent the best part of 2015 on one big 8 month-long trip, eating my way around the world.
I studied Astrophysics at university and worked in a software company for several years – neither of which automatically marry themselves with the love of travel and food. But I was always planning the next flight and dreaming of the next tasty morsel.
I now spend most of my time eating, travelling, presenting, hosting, reporting, writing and creating content about travel and food. I absolutely love this weird and wonderful path life ended up taking me down. As it stands right now, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I’m a critic on BBC One’s MasterChef and MasterChef: The Professionals and a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s award winning The Food Programme, now in its 40th year. I’m a judge for the prestigious annual BBC Food & Farming Awards and have been a judge on Channel 4’s cooking competition show Beat The Chef.
I’ve also been able to draw on my broad catalogue of culinary experiences to co-create Lonely Planet’s book: The Ultimate Eatlist, The World’s Top 500 Food Experiences.
In September 2021, I completed a two week residential Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course at world-renowned Findhorn Ecovillage in Forres, North East Scotland. The PDC was originally developed by Bill Mollison, co-founder of Permaculture, to teach the principles and foundations of sustainable design. This certificate, issued on behalf of the Permaculture Association, is recognised globally within the permaculture community and provides international recognition of me as a Permaculture Design graduate. So that’s cool!
People are kind enough to say nice things about me (I’m always so chuffed and honoured), and for those who are interested, here’s where you can find me and my work across the media.
This blog chronicles my thoughts, experiences and endeavours along my global journey of discovery. All words and photography are my own and I hope you enjoy them.
P.S. If you’re a regularly reader, or one of those awesome people that always writes a comment under my Instagram posts – I’d like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU. And if anyone else would like to say hi, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to give me a wave over on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.
P.P.S. If you are media, a business or brand interested in working with me, head on over here.