Sweet is a brand new publication brought to us by the publishers of the popular crafty Mollie Makes magazine. Strap-lined “bakes, cakes and pretty makes” it comprises original features and editorial alongside excerpts from recent baking and sugarcraft books.
For a second at the till I hesitated. How much? £7.99 for a magazine? I went ahead as I like to get at least one copy of each new cookery magazine that comes out and look at it properly even if I never buy it again. (First issues of things that become popular later on are also highly sought after on Ebay!) Plus I was genuinely excited by what a brief flick through Sweet had promised.
Sweet opens with a feature on, appropriately enough, a sweet table by Australian stylist Alexandra Vardakis. The rest includes excerpted recipes and interviews with Richard Bertinet, Fiona Cairns, Vintage Tea Party’s Angel Adoree and Yarnstorm’s Jane Brocket, a five page feature on US blogger Beth Styles and editorial spreads on the best cake stands, baking accessories. It’s all topped off with a section of Mollie Makes style cake themed craft projects.
I’d like to set the scene of me turning the pages of Sweet sat in a chic retro tea shop with starched linen tablecloths, bone china cup and saucer with a plate of freshly baked madeleines to nibble on. Actually I was in the clanking void that is the Walthamstow of Costa Coffee. None of this mattered when my heart raced to see a picture from MY book inside! So yes, I’m destined to love it if they’ve published a full page photo of my bunting cookies. Honestly though, this is still one of the best baking magazines I’ve seen since we now have so many to pick from.
I’ve been waxing lyrical about Sweet on my Facebook page for a couple of days and several people have mentioned the price. Initially I felt that despite the price, the content and presentation of this magazine were the loveliest I’d seen since buying some Martha Stewart holiday baking editions many moons ago. Being a sucker for good graphics, the overall look was enough for me to fall for it.
On the down side, if like me, you collect nearly every baking book going, you may find you’ve got the books and thus the recipes that are featured. But that would happen with most food magazines.
Newspaper stands increasingly offer glossy full colour publications occupying a middle ground between magazine and book. They’re most common for things like iPhone and Android apps, I once bought one about WordPress and another about building e-commerce sites. On the face of it, they’re expensive at £8-£12 for a one off magazine-like read.
Sweet is in the same price bracket. Yes, it is a lot more expensive than most baking magazines but it’s virtually all content instead of being stuffed with adverts. Sweet has just 4 pages of advertisements (all in-house ads for sister publications) out of 130 pages. Sweet is printed on higher weight matt paper. Compare this to 21 pages of adverts in the first 50 pages of the October issue of Sainsbury’s magazine. I gave up counting once I saw how high the ratio was.
I think if you take into account how much editorial content Sweet offers for your money in comparison to cheaper publications it’s no less good value than any other food magazine. I hope that this edition of Sweet is a pilot issue and we get regular further issues once the market is tested.
I found my copy of Sweet in WHSmiths. It’s £7.99 but then I’ve already told you that. Copies also available to order online (delivery included).