When I was seven years old I'd go to the corner shop on a Tuesday afternoon, with a warm £2 coin in my hand ready to hand over for my favourite magazine. I can't remember exactly what it was called but I suspect it was something along the lines of 'blush', 'bliss', or 'cringe'. The shopkeeper even used to write my name on the top corner so it wouldn't get sold to anyone else. Heaven forbid my pull-out dolphin poster get put up on someone else's wall!
It wasn't until fairly recently that I discovered a whole new realm of print culture. Magazines that featured clever, intelligent and interesting women. Crochet patterns for daisy crowns. Beautiful hand-drawn illustrations. Top picks for locating the best meadow flowers. Free crafting paper. I could go on!
Don't get me wrong, I'll happily read through a copy of 'OK!' and 'Heat' magazine when I'm at the spa and want to unashamedly judge VMA outfits, but I've found the following titles the perfect remedy for when I'm lacking inspiration or want to relax outside in the sunshine. The only problem is that they're so bloomin' expensive! I think I'm going to have a few subscriptions on my Christmas list this year...
This magazine is the new girl in town. I purchased the Spring/Summer issue and it's a real treat. Caboodle is bold, fun and full of quirky detail. It's more like an annual than a magazine, meaning you could pick it up at any time of the year and find something great to pour over. It leans towards a creative readership and has an overwhelming sense of optimism underlying each feature piece. There are plenty of baking, craft and design posts to get stuck into. I particularly liked the article on 'The Snail Mail Revolution' and it's interview with 'Vintage Hoarders'.
I know full well that I won't be the first to suggest 'The Simple Things', but I couldn't not include it because it's always the first I'll choose to read. In fact, it's pretty easy to find nowadays and I've even seen it in a few supermarkets. It's aimed at people a little older than me, but it's no secret I have Grandma hobbies, so I'll happily rip out mulled cider recipes for future reference! This magazine is aimed at country lovers and the creatively nostalgic. Think muddy boots and seasonal cooking.
'Flow' is like a remedy for the over-stimulated soul. It coins itself as a magazine for paper lovers, so that was enough for me to pick one up last week. Any magazine that comes with free 'envelope templates' is a winner in my book! The features are interesting and written with a lot of heart. There's a focus on creativity, community and mindfulness, with lots of ways to get involved with crafty projects and to link up with artistically minded readers. I love that there are full page prints and illustrations for you to cut out and keep. Favourite articles include 'The Wonderful World of the Bloomsbury Group' and 'Love of Paper'.
I've fallen in and out and back in love with 'Oh Comely'. I picked up my first copy last October and every page had something intriguing on it. An interview with Daniel Radcliffe, short stories and a feature on how to identify garden birds - bliss! This magazine sometimes leans towards the pretentious, but it's easily outbalanced by diverse articles and mesmerising photography. Think muted, minimalist tones and the mantra of a life lived simply and fully. 'The Science of Sheep' and 'How Cooking For Others Can Be Selfish' are favourite reads.
Where Can I Find Them?
Here's a map of London's best magazine shops. Happy hunting!
What's your favourite magazine to pick up?
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