I stumbled on this charmingly British magazine in a shop about a year ago and have been reading along ever since. Curling up with The Simple Things and a pot of tea has become a weekend ritual.
Each issue is composed of six sections: fresh, living, escape, think, nest and miscellany. It covers a lot of ground from spot-on dinner party menus, baking ideas, and home inspiration, to books you'll want to read and cities you'll want to visit. Yet it sidesteps the must-see, try this now, can't live without this approach common in magazines. The Simple Things manages to be a more soothing kind of inspiration, a bit like a daydream.
The very personal approach it takes is one of my favorite things about this magazine. There's the monthly "My Day in Cups of Tea" feature with U.K. makers, shopkeepers, and others, like blogger and stylist Emma Harris of A Quiet Style (one of my favorites!). It's fun to eavesdrop on how tea is a part of other people's day, especially in a place where tea is such a big part of daily life. Similarly, each month "My City" offers a tour of cities around the world by someone who lives there and loves their city. Yes there are recommendations on things to eat, see and do, but also insight into what makes the city tick, what it's like to live there, and what makes it special.
While magazines are almost inherently seasonal, The Simple Things takes it to another level. I love how each issue feels like a mediation on the season and is full of the just-right things to make the most of it. This time of year, it's all Fair Isle sweaters, recipes for home-baked bread and other cozy comfort foods, gathering and preserving the last bits from the garden, getting out for a brisk walk in the leaves, and warming beverages to drink afterward.
If you'd like to check it out for yourself, you can subscribe to The Simple Things on their website or find it on well-stocked magazine racks (they carry it at New Seasons in Portland) or in the iTunes store.