My ideal Sunday -roses, relaxation and the Sunday supplements

There was much to look forward to this weekend. Half term stretches before me, it's Valentine's Day (I refuse to apologise for making the most of some rare romantic gestures from my husband even if they are prompted by constant adverts everywhere) AND there was a brand new Sunday Times magazine to look forward to.

The Sunday Times has been a tradition in our home since before the children were born. Back then we shared the actual made-of-paper newspaper between us and after a brief glance over the headlines I'd generally settle myself down with the magazine and supplements.

Sunday papers and vintage telephone

As our family grew, reading The Sunday Times lasted most of the week. Snippets of news on lifestyle, the arts, restaurants, travel and fashion gave me tantalising glimpses of an exciting world beyond nappies and nurseries. Valuable moments of escapism snatched while living a more mundane existence.

My favourite columnist was (still is) A. A. Gill and even though I was a (print) journalist then, I never dreamed that later in life I would get to write about food and restaurants on my own site.

The children are older now and despite being "mum's taxi", on the whole life is more relaxed. This morning my husband had to work so after bringing me a coffee and a single red rose (say ahhh! or puke- your choice) I had a lie in and an empty bed to relax in with no worries about sorting uniform and lunches, homework and PE kit for the week ahead. Hurrah for Half Term hols!

Of course the empty bed was soon crowded with cats and children but they were calm and quiet (possibly because we have a TV in our room!) so no hassle.

 I opened The Times app on my iPad, logged in (lots of great deals on offer on the website if you don't yet subscribe) and revelled in the array of interesting things available to read.

As always I was immediately taken by the beautiful food photographs. And the recipes-ohhh the recipes.

From Jamie Oliver's saaaarfend chowder to the classic duck with cherries I planned and re-planned the week's meals over and over. Garlic lover? You cannot miss the garlic lover's guide featuring ten ways to cook with garlic from soups and sides. 

Switching to restaurant reviews I laughed out loud at Giles Coran's inimitable style. "Spicy leaves stuck to my windpipe like boiling limpets of neat vitriol and all but asphyxiated me" he writes. Not keen then Giles?

By this time I had relocated from my slightly overcrowded bed to the kitchen where my I indulged alone in my favourite Sunday breakfast- warmed buttery croissants with proper coffee, good jam and butter. Yes I like jam AND  butter on my croissants. Can't think why I'm not stick thin....

The Sunday Times Magazine at breakfast time

Reading on my tablet the beautifully shot food pictures look mouth watering. I spotted a great one-pot dish from Fay Ripley (I met her once y'know) and lots more inspiration for family meals, dinner parties and maybe even a romantic meal for two?

Fay Ripley recipe online

Sadly my peace was short-lived. The children soon caught the scent of oven-warmed croissant and coffee and hurtled into the kitchen in search of sustenance. My daughter proclaimed that the house "smells like a French cafe" and I ruefully think this is as near to Paris I'm going to get this Valentine's Day.

Leaving them spreading crumbs and coating every surface in jam I retreated back to my bedroom for some more browsing, this time on my 'phone. I love that you can switch between gadgets.
screenshot from The Sunday Times app
Whichever tech you choose, reading online you can even save your favourite articles - very handy if you like to collect recipes like me.

I can still make The Sunday Times last all week if I want to - but it's a lot easier to click open the app on my phone while waiting in the car for ballet to end than drag round an entire newspaper and supplements in case I have a spare five minutes to read.

Having said that I am an old print hack at heart and I love flicking through a "real" newspaper, and absorbing myself in actual pages of a magazine. Nowadays you aren't left with black print-stained fingers but the paper still has the same smell. 

There's the Sunday ritual of the morning walk up to the newsagents. The satisfaction of a weighty pile of paper holding the promise of hours of entertainment and education. At our local shop you can even pick up your croissants ready-warmed and a hot cup of good coffee- how times have changed since I used to pick my Dad's Sunday newspaper up and the newspapers lay alongside tubs of half-penny sweets.

Did you know that The Sunday Times launched 54 years ago, on February 4, 1962? This week the re-vamped Magazine was unveiled with a new line up of sections and writers including India Knight, Simon Barnes and Jeremy Clarkson who is top of my inappropriate crush list.

In its physical form you can read articles in the order the sub editor intended or flit about willy-nilly as headlines catch your eye. You can whip out your favourite supplement - sports for my husband and travel for the children who love to plan future trips to faraway lands.

Today, the whole paper and my favourite part, The Sunday Times Magazine is mine and mine alone and I plan to lounge for the next hour or so in my favourite seat next to a (currently) sunny window with a freshly made machiatto. 

Already I have spotted a delicious sounding recipe for poached eggs with braised leeks and creme fraiche which might make a nice brunch later, and discovered a new ingredient - chestnut flour-which you can apparently make awesome pancakes with. Aaaand relax.

The Sunday Times magazine

Disclaimer: I received a 3-month subscription and a fee for the purpose of this review. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.