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

Balancing London life & introvert tendencies

I’m a lazy Londoner.  Chalk it down to my introvert tendencies but if asked whether I’d prefer to go out for a walk around the bustling Southbank on a weekend day or stay in and read I would normally go with the latter.  It’s the sensory overload that throws me most of the time when I’m among large groups of people, in the worst cases I’ll seek shelter in a small room just to decompress (or hide in some cases) – funny enough it’s usually in the bathroom where I revert to normalcy. For those who are wondering what other introvert traits I resonate with here’s a quick and snappy list.

So how does this introvert enjoy London life?  In small but meaningful measures…

The Quince Tree cafe in Clifton Nurseriespintopinterest

The Quince Tree cafe in Clifton Nurseries

One of my favorite London group activities is the We Love to Brunch instameets organized by Rosella, Steffi & Sabrina. Every instameet starts with brunch.  This past weekend I joined the group for an al fresco “bruncheon” at the Clifton Nurseries in Maida Vale. The fifteen of us, some new to the group and some are the usual suspects, took the opportunity to catch up and bond over London, coffee, travel and photography while surrounded by this secret garden-like gem in the city. (I also had the chance to handle this beauty.)  For me it’s the perfect size for a gathering especially for those who lean on the shy side.

Salmon & quinoa salad for brunchpintopinterest

Salmon & quinoa salad for brunch

Is there a better way to walk off brunch than making your way through the scenic parts of London guided by locals?  The We Love to Brunch crew also organizes photowalks of different neighborhoods and is open to whoever wants to join. It’s such a great idea and especially perfect for those new to the city. As it was Independence Day my friends, Jess & Jacintha, and I had already made plans to celebrate the 4th with a picnic in the park.  We set off on our own trajectory with a leisurely stroll by the canals of Little Venice towards Hyde Park where we caught glimpses of London life in the summer along the way.4_July_2015_London_photo_walk-31pintopinterest4_July_2015_London_photo_walk-36pintopinterestIn the end we took a detour when our collective love of mews took over. Jess, our local resident of the area, guided us to her favorite one, Bathurst Mews, which is really a sight for sore eyes.  This is one of those times where what should be a 20 minute walk turns into two hours because we couldn’t stop stopping to capture the moment, scene and surroundings with our respective cameras and iPhones while chatting about this, that and the other.


Bathurst Mews: there’s just too much pretty all in one place


Earmarking this house for when the lottery turns in my favorpintopinterest

Earmarking this house for when the lottery turns in my favor


We didn’t have time for a picnic in the end but opted for a drink at the Serpentine Gallery cafe.  Maybe it’s the introvert side of me or call it the cusp of being middle aged but I really can’t think of a more perfect way to enjoy a summer day in London… unless of course ice cream was involved.

Summer fun at the Serpentine Gallerypintopinterest

Cooling off at the Serpentine Gallery

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  • Sabrina

    Another great post! Thank you for the mention again lovely Jo! <3
    I'm so glad WLTB brought us together and I really hope our friendship will keep blossoming over the years and beyond borders. I will miss you xxxReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Thanks Sab, I’m glad you like the post! I share your thoughts as well 😉ReplyCancel

  • I agree, it sounds like a perfect summer day! The cafe at Clifton Nurseries looks so pretty and the food looks delicious too. And oh my gosh that Mews looks unreal – it’s gorgeous!ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      Hope you get to try Clifton Nurseries soon Sarah. I’ve also heard amazing things about Petersham Nurseries!ReplyCancel

  • It feels like a whole different London doesn’t it? I used to live in the “area”, in Maida Vale and loved to walk along little venice but never been in the Clifton Nurseries, and now can’t hardly wait to go!ReplyCancel

    • candidsbyjo

      It was my first time in Maida Vale and couldn’t believe it took me so long to “discover” it! How lucky that you used to live there 🙂ReplyCancel

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