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…
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.
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.In 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.
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.