Wednesday, September 26, 2012

British Country Living

I have a confession to make.

I am addicted to all things British.

How it happened, I can't say; I think it had something to do with the accent. No matter. Slap the word "British" on something and I'll more than likely take it home with me.

Such is the case with the British edition of Country Living magazine.

My mom always read Country Living. Copies could be found in just about every room of the house. The house itself was a testament to my parents' love of the simple life, of making a house a home, and of doing what you could with what you had and making it beautiful. Country Living was, back then, a bit too country for my liking. A bit too rustic. Not my cup of tea.

It was probably back in 2000 when I first stumbled across a copy of the British edition of this familiar magazine title. In fact, I still have a copy from 2000. It's from October (my favorite month) and it's stacked up with all the rest of my vast and every growing collection. I can remember not really paying attention to where it came from, just that I loved it, devoured it, every page filled with a new discovery of gorgeous.

Why was THIS country living different from the American version? Off and on, until 2005, I would get glimpses of the British Country Living (or as I affectionately began calling it, BCL). In 2005 I finally found a newstand that carried it and my collection began. It towers, yet I cannot get rid of a single copy. I put out stacks of them, each month, a stack of the past leading up to the present. I never tire of looking through them, never fail to get inspired from their pages.

So, what IS it about the British edition? I honestly don't know. Maybe it's the gorgeous photographs, the sprawling cottage gardens, the recipes that have to be converted, the small holders and entrepreneurs. Perhaps it's the fact that I can indulge in a trip to the Cotswolds in one issue, Provence in another. Europe has always held a particular fascination for me; Great Britain was the home of my ancestors on BOTH sides of my family tree. This, of course, may have something to do with my leaning towards the British way of life.

I suspect it's a bit of all of the above. That and the peace I get from the pages. There's nothing rushed about this magazine. While I read the American version of Country Living (and enjoy it!), there's still something about the British edition that speaks to me. Volumes. It's more of an experience, less of an Ad parade, and deeply touching in that most inner part of my soul that craves "home".

If you've never picked up a copy of this magazine, go out on a treasure hunt. I know here in metro Atlanta, Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million both carry it. It's pricier than it's American cousin ($7.99) but worth every penny!

Current Issue Cover:

Do keep in mind, because this is a foreign magazine, you won't get the next month's copy in advance as we do here in the states. The September issue wasn't available until about the second week of the month. The October issue will more than likely be the same in getting here. Trust me; it's worth the wait!


Have you ever read the British edition of Country Living? What are some of your favorite magazines? In love with all things British?


Ms Sparrow said...

I'm in love with England too. I've visited there twice but that is not nearly enough! There are so many layers of history and so many unique and distinct areas to roam. I mostly content myself with following blogs.
I recommend Elaine's delightul blog at
She lives in Lincolnshire and she posts about all the wonderful things in her daily life.

Jen Chandler said...

Ms. Sparrow : Thanks for recommending that blog! I will wander over there now. It sounds delightful. Have a wonderful week!

Elaine said...

Hello Jen, I am so pleased to meet you. (Thank you Ms Sparrow for introducing us!) Time is very short at the moment, but I'll definitely be back for a cup of tea and a jolly good read. By the way, I love Country Living, it is the one magazine I always buy!

Maa said...

Hi Jen, I've just recently given away some of my Country Living magazines to make way for more. I can't help myself .. every time I walk into a newsagent I have to take a peek. The English CL is so special. Cheers Sue

Jennifer said...

I would LOVE to visit England. And British culture does fascinate me. Mostly older British culture, though. The culture our immigrant founding fathers brought over, and the culture that even preexisted that.

It's just all very neat to me.