For people who care about their food

Olive Magazine (Part 1)

Front cover of the BBC's Olive MagazineSeveral years ago I unsubscribed from BBC Good Food magazine because, in my opinion, they had completely changed focus from inspiring and encouraging the keen cook to providing this:

“…ideas for quick everyday dishes, inspirational entertaining and other recipes you’ve ever dreamt of – all devised to save you time and effort.”

I used to buy a magazine about food and cooking because I am interested in the subject, not necessarily because I want to “save time and effort” – although there is obviously a place for that too. And there must be a big demand for this, as that publication still seems to be very popular and successful. However, the change in focus left the keen cooks (like myself) high and dry without something catering (excuse the pun) for us.

Enter Olive magazine…

Olive magazine was first published in December 2004 on the following premise:

Olive magazine is the ultimate food lovers’ guide to recipes, restaurants and travel. If you’re a foodie looking for the inside track on eating in, eating out and going places, this is the magazine for you.
“Every issue is packed with adventurous but achievable recipes for every occasion, smart tricks of the trade from the world’s leading chefs, in-the-know info on the hottest new restaurants, plus the low-down on the hippest new holiday destinations.”

Well done, Auntie Beeb, you spotted the niche and filled it. In my opinion they’ve filled it well.

Whilst most of the recipes are quick and easy, there are also enough challenges to whet the appetite of the more adventurous cook. “Nothing wrong with a little showing off, we say.” Having bought a few issues, and liking the magazine well enough, I decided to subscribe a few months ago. I’ve not been disappointed – most of the time.

The magazine consists of three main sections: eat in, eat out, eat away. Thus it covers recipes and ideas to make at home, features about restaurants, and foodie-related travel articles. This comprises the main content of the magazine. In addition there’s a “need to know” section and “expert advice”.

According to their website (visited on 21 Sept 2007), the cover price of the magazine is £3, for 148 pages. If you subscribe in the UK, you get a 30% discount and they invariably offer a free gift too. The free gift is usually a nifty piece of kit and something worth having. Overseas subscriptions don’t qualify for the gift. I guess they want to get revenge on those of us who live in the sun. (Or maybe it’s to do with rip-off-Britain’s high postal charges.)

Let’s have a look at what’s in the latest issue (which says £3.20 on the cover and not £3 as stated on their website. It’s also only 130 pages, not 148). This is the October 2007 issue which has arrived promptly in mid-September despite being sent to my address in Thailand. Absolutely no complaints on that score! Even so, the package included a letter to overseas subscribers explaining how they’ve upgraded the service so we can receive it much earlier than otherwise. That’s nice, I guess, but I was happy enough before.

There are an awful lot of adverts in here, but I suppose that’s the same with all glossy magazines. Without them the cover price would need to be much higher. Oh well.

After four full-page ads, we get to the first contents page. It’s clearly laid out in its sections: eat in, eat out, eat away.

Read more in Olive Magazine Part 2

Buy a subscription to Olive

You can buy a subscription to Olive using the link below:
Subscribe to Olive magazine

(Sorry, delivery to EU countries only at present)

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