You cant help but fall in love with Jeannine Saba’s vivacious, sparkling personality.
Jeannine is the founder, creative director and editor of the beautiful luxury magazine—The Covent Gardener, now into its third year after the first quarterly edition was published in Winter 2015.
In Jeannine’s words,‘’Covent Garden has a unique atmosphere, and The Covent Gardener is here to celebrate it…and shine a light on the area’s culture and history, to promote its businesses, and to champion its people – the Covent Gardeners themselves.’’
Being a resident of the area for several years, Jeannine is lucky to have been granted access to all sorts of unusual stories, characters and events over the years. I was fortunate enough to have caught up with Jeannine and to have my own personal tour of one of London’s great attractions.
“I wanted it to be charming, I wanted it to be quirky—I also wanted it to be luxury. Every writer I have is a professor or an art historian, the quality of the magazine is insane. But it’s still quirky and naughty.”[6:30]
Jeannine moved to Covent Garden 9 years ago, and at first, wondered how she could possibly live in such a tourist thick area. But then she met the community. Those that live there have a tight knit connection with one another while also serving as an ambassador for the area. Everyone wants each other to be successful and draw more attention to their businesses and lifestyles. As far as Jeannine and the magazine sees Covent Garden, the area is split into three sections: North Bank, Covent Garden, Seven Dials.
“The first person to get the plague was in Seven Dials!”[14:49]
A whole issue of The Covent Gardener was inspired by a story from 1749 called ‘The Bottle Conjurers Hoax’. London’s wealthiest got together and thought they could get the general public to believe anything—so naturally, they sold tickets to an event where a real man would be able to jump inside a common wine bottle. The event sold out, and when nothing happened, the audience rioted—tore the theatre apart and managed to burn some of the seats. It’s a love for stories and history like this that brings out Jeannine’s and the Covent Garden’s quirkiness and instill it into a printed format.[18:40]
The Covent Gardener reaches 100,000 people with 20,000 printed copies. They are distributed to all the businesses and hotels in the Covent Gardens area—you can pick up complimentary copies from the area or also order them online.
The next issue of The Covent Gardner will be “Feel Good” – but really unusual and historically rooted stories and practices. Case in point: Muscular Christianity. In the Victorian times, priests wanted their parishioners to get healthy, so much so it was almost seen as a movement. It’s this charm and whimsy that makes The Covent Gardner such a unique and rich publication, one I hope continues to flourish and display London’s creativity for years to come.