Hello! And welcome to my blog 👋
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 feels 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 hope I’ve managed to stay true to that.
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 either eating, travelling, or creating content about the two. 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.
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 some of the stuff I’ve written for other sites and publications.
There’s also the passion project that is londoncheapeats.com, which I founded back in January 2016 – do check out the great work the team have been up to.
In 2018 I got to co-create Lonely Planet’s much anticipated book: The Ultimate Eatlist, The World’s Top 500 Food Experiences. And in 2019 I was a judge for BBC Food & Farming Awards 2019 and a judge on Channel 4’s brand new TV series “Beat The Chef”.
In 2019 I guest presented an episode of BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Food Programme’: all about the journey of Mauritian cuisine. And then joined ‘The Food Programme’ as part of their four-person core presenting team.
This blog chronicles my thoughts, experiences and endeavours along my global journey of discovery. I’m still finding my way, and probably always will be. 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 drop me an email, or give me a wave over on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.
P.P.S. If you’re a business or brand interested in working with me, head on over here.