Martha Stewart will tell you how to make a frilly, cream-colored wedding bouquet and prepare shrimp salad tea sandwiches for twenty. Set to publish its first issue in July, the new Kinfolk Magazine takes a more relaxed approach to entertaining, offering articles and photographs that aim to naturally and subtly enhance small gatherings of family and friends, not put a host through the ringer. If there's an overarching principle, it's that a truly good time is defined by the people who share it and the way they're brought together, and often benefits from a lack of structure. In other words, a cold night + lasagne bolognese on paper plates + comfortable couches + a deep record collection > place-settings + perfectly folded napkins + a six-course meal + a string quartet.
There is no exact equation for the sort of get-togethers Kinfolk intends to promote. In her essay “Gathering,” set to appear in the first issue, contributing writer Saer Richards shapes a loose vision:
The composition of eating has long been of intrigue to me. Not the method in which it is harvested, prepared or cooked but rather the setting in which it is consumed: solitary, or in pairs communally, there is undoubtedly a nuance to each and every one. It didn't take me long to learn that my heart was endeared to small intimate gatherings, those that are defined by good food, great background music and honest conversation.
When we asked, Kinfolk Managing Editor Nathan Williams offered us some further hints about the content:
The photos are of real meals, real friends. Our focus is on a table that looks like it just ended up that way instead of a table that has been styled to intimidating perfection. While readers won't find rigid set-by-step guides on how to plan an event or meal, the images and articles will hopefully inspire them with fresh ideas and leave ample room for their own creativity and personal touch.
The digital edition launches on July 15th. The print version will be offered through the website shortly thereafter.