candids by Jo » a lifestyle blog that centers on food, travel and leading a creative life.

It was 5:45AM when the doorbell buzzed. Breakfast arrived in the predawn darkness along with the soft clanging of plates under silver domes. The strapatsada, Greek scrambled eggs with tomatoes and feta, still warm and bougatsa pies flaky. Alison and I both reached for coffee first and after taking a few photos settled in our front row seats for a quiet […]

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  • Beautiful writing and photography.ReplyCancel

  • Love this post Jo, and I agree I’m fascinated by the background to the food too.ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      It was such a special experience seeing how the food is made and what it means to them 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Oh my days, that Octopus! In fact it’s all bloody stunning 🙂ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      That octopus was so spot on, I’m tempted to ask for the recipe! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • I stumbled over this post and I’m so pleased. Kritsa is home to me for several months per year and I know Elounda and Plaka well.

    I’ve not seen inside the Blue Palace, a world away from my back street, village house in Kritsa, so it was good to see it through your eyes.

    If you ever return, and would like to see more of the area, I’d be pleased to show you around. Of course, I’d tell you the true story of Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa, the female who fought ruling Turks disguised as a young man. XReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      So glad you like the piece Yvonne and thank you for the offer! I do hope I’ll have the opportunity to visit Kritsa again.ReplyCancel

There I was standing on the ancient grounds of the Acropolis, a mortal mingling in the land of gods. It was October and I was in Greece on assignment with The Luxury Collection to photograph their hotels’ culinary offerings, and in part to experience the country’s cuisine and cooking traditions. Twelve days. Five destinations. Seven […]

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  • Gah! I am so excited to see the first of the posts!! Love the video. And thanks, now I am starving!! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      I want to try making that moussaka, and the tomato salad… and the sea bass! 😉ReplyCancel

  • I only had 4 hours in Athens on a tour bus during a stop over home from a holiday. Not enough to enjoy and see all it has to offer. Looks like you managed to take in a lot. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the trip pics!ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      We were lucky in that the hotel was really central so we were able to pack a little more in. Could definitely do with an extra day though! xReplyCancel

There is one week out of the year that I love the most. It’s usually August, I’m likely barefoot and most certainly my family and I are at a lake house in Maine. The grill worked overtime cooking up marinated steak tips, pork chops and chicken wings while one of us hightailed it over to a lobster shack […]

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  • What a gorgeous, gorgeous film, Jo! I don’t even know much about photography so the idea of video scares me. But I may check out the course you mentioned. Was the video on your phone or with a DSLR or other?ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Thanks Kellie! I shot it mostly with my dSLR but included a few clips from phone as well. ReplyCancel

  • I love the video!! You did such a great job. Next step: vlogging 😉ReplyCancel

  • Barefoot holidays are the best – I spend two weeks at Christmas in NZ only putting on shoes for shopping trips longer than an hour. True story.
    I loved thus vlog, it shared the mood beautifully!ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      They are! I feel like barefoot automatically means relaxed 🙂ReplyCancel

Whenever I round the corner from my flat and look up an inevitable happy sigh escapes me. There, looming tall and sandwiched between King’s Cross Station and the British Library, is the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in the midst of red double deckers and black cabs pacing past. It’s the first building in London that has ever […]

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  • Gorgeous shots Jo – and thank you for the lovely history lesson 🙂 The Gilbert Scott is the perfect place to go for a drink after a civil wedding at the city hall across the street (which happens to be where Sting was married…) xxReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      It IS the perfect place for a drink, I can’t believe it took me so long to go in! ReplyCancel

  • This is shot beautifully Jo! I love the history behind the hotel but my favourite fact is that the Spice Girl uses the stairs in the Wannabe video 😉ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Thanks Angie, I love that we share the same appreciation for hotels 🙂ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Truly! Imagine living there …ReplyCancel

The promise of flamingos and oysters enticed me to visit Oualidia, a coastal village in Morocco that is as laid back as Marrakech souks are bustling with wares. I was in the midst of a longstanding seafood phase when the invitation came in to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of La Sultana, a 12 room luxury boutique hotel, […]

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  • It looks incredible and I love that fact that the hotel is so small and intimateReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      The serene lagoon setting and beautiful hotel made it the perfect 3 day getaway! ReplyCancel

  • Best post title ever and love your photos, as always.ReplyCancel

  • Forget about flamingos, I would visit just for the tree suite, hammam and infinity pool!ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      There is definitely no losing at La Sultana 😉ReplyCancel

  • Wow, it looks like such an amazing place to visit! What a peaceful setting.ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      It makes for the perfect getaway, particularly for seafood lovers 🙂ReplyCancel

Up in the mountains of Macedonia’s Mavrovo National Park a local woman from Janche stretches out dough over the length of a table to make a traditional pita pie at Hotel Tutto.  Macko, a young beekeeper dressed in Curious George yellow in Dihovo, southwestern Macedonia, counts the number of times he’s been stung over the course of […]

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  • Oh wow. Your photos and words have totally drawn me in. Fantastic write-up Jo!ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Thanks Charlotte, it’s such a fascinating country and I was so happy to meet & learn from the locals!ReplyCancel

  • Your writing is amazing! What a lovely trip.ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Aw thanks! It was such an eye opener into the culture and cuisine 🙂ReplyCancel

  • I loved reading and seeing Macedonian tradition and culture through your eyes. So good to know about the direct flights from London too. Thanks for putting this beautiful country on my radar! xoReplyCancel

  • Love Macedonia, lived there for more than three years, visit often an forever in love with the people, places and food!

    Great article and photos.ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Must have been such a great experience living there!ReplyCancel

Last Friday morning, when the EU referendum results shocked the world, I woke up in a country remarkably different to the one I slept in the night before. Mark had already rushed off to work to deal with the tumbling financial market and I was left to stare at the news in complete disbelief and […]

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  • Oh Jo… it breaks my heart on so many levels. Our dear expat friends have made London the magical place it has been since I moved here. I can’t even put into words how much I wish it will stay that way… and I don’t want those British idiosyncrasies to change either…ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      At this point I just hope there’s a lesson to be learned here for the States!ReplyCancel

  • Nicki

    I feel you, Jo. I was trying to convince David to move to the UK for a few years if Trump gets elected, but now I’m not so convinced it would be much better 🙁 Do you think it makes any difference (in terms of how you are treated) due to the fact that you’re married to a Brit?ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      I’ve always felt like an outsider as an expat but have never been treated differently/poorly which speaks to how inclusive a city London is rather than the fact that I’m married to a Brit. I know I get to stay because of that though!ReplyCancel

  • It doesn’t feel quite right to say I love this post, but you’ve said so well what I as an fellow American ex-pat (albeit here for nearly 30 years) also feels. Such unsettling times, but history shows worse in the past. So, whatever happens, I am firmly on the side of hope. It’s just unfortunate that the hateful, racists get the most media attention. I do hope they get drowned out by kindness and civility from the majority. All best to you xxReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Thanks for your kind words Kellie! It feels we’ve set ourselves back a few decades but you’re right we can’t lose hope! xReplyCancel

  • Hi Jo! I’m still in shock and I don’t even live in UK… But I was born in Spain to a half Italian half Spanish family. I studied in England, Scotland and Germany, I live now in Germany but every time I can I travel to another European country for the weekend. My best friends live in London… I’m as European as it gets! So those results felt like a bolt out of the blue. I didn’t expect them to be honest. But then I thought: all the people I follow on social media, the newspapers I read, the world around me (friends, family, coworkers) shares my values and that made me unaware of the other people that doesn’t think like me. And we have to listen to them too! Because if we listen carefully we can answer back, otherwise we just ignore them thinking that the world is going in a good direction when clearly it isn’t. Education is key! And after the elections in my country (with a terrible, scary result) I’m terribly worried about USA…ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Totally agree! It even more clear now that people are frustrated and afraid but I don’t believe what they voted for actually alleviates any of their concerns 🙁ReplyCancel

  • well said! alas, the consequences will be shown soon. sad days ahead for the UK and the EU.ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      For now, let’s just hope someone with a good head on their shoulders can step up to the plate and lead!ReplyCancel