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Volume 9 of CEREAL brings about a marked change for the magazine, moving from quarterly to biannual publishing with an additional 60 pages in each volume. The goal, editor Rosa Park claims, is to be able to spend as much time as possible perfecting each volume. However, it is difficult to imagine how one could improve on such a meticulously crafted publication. CEREAL has only been around since 2013, but in its short history it has become well loved for its seamless collation of treasures and landscapes.

This is a radical change, so it is perhaps unsurprising that volume 9 finds Park and colleagues (re)exploring the location of many of her childhood adventures, Bath. The power of CEREAL is in the combined beauty of its images and its words, which though presented in a diminutive and understated font, are no less moving. The Bath article accomplishes what would have lead to a great deal of cringing in less capable hands, taking readers on a tour of the city in their minds. Readers who have never been to see the Georgian architecture first hand can truly empathise with the adoration Park has of the city.

For this is what CEREAL is at the heart of it: a love of things. Every luscious, thick page presents an image or description of an object of admiration of the writers or editors, as is especially apparent in the feature on Anglepoise lamps. It is this genuine love for the products and places that, for the common reader, ensures features on cashmere throws that cost more than a month’s rent do not come off as fantastic myths from Gwyneth Paltrow's plane of existence but simply design porn, as intended. This is not an IKEA catalogue; CEREAL features craftsmen and products of the highest calibre.

Publishing: Cereal Magazine

Volume 9 features a host of locations from Melbourne to Lisbon, Maldives to Bath. Throughout, though, there is presented a consistent aesthetic vision. The beaches of the Maldives or a Victorian botanical garden might at first seem antithetical to the muted modernist minimalism that the magazine revels in, but in creative director Richard Stapleton’s competent hands they blend flawlessly. Interspersed throughout all this beauty are gems of knowledge, whilst reading CEREAL one finds oneself, quite accidentally, learning. Every place, every product, has been researched thoroughly and made genuinely interesting by the writing staff. The articles enrich their subjects by contextualising them, making the reading highly informative.

The only break in the continuity comes in the form of the new literary insert WEEKEND. Prefaced by three interviews with discerning individuals on the theme for the first edition of the insert, which is inevitably, taste. There are moments of insight: Lorin Stein’s description of taste as not something snooty, but the apprehension of style, and a couple excellent essays, but largely WEEKEND feels out of place and as white and plush as the pages on which it is printed. CEREAL on the whole borders on being, in tumblr feminism parlance, ‘problematic,’ but it has an element of self-awareness that brings it back from the brink, as with Stein’s acknowledgement of taste’s connotations of gentility. For its intended audience, CEREAL may be read literally as a guide for style and travel. For the rest of us, however, it is glossy escapism, a soothing, minimalistic, materialistic balm for our weary, ad-besieged eyes.

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Publishing: Cereal Magazine
Publishing: Cereal Magazine
Publishing: Cereal Magazine
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Publishing: Cereal Magazine
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Disclaimer: The images found in this article have been licensed to The 405, but remain the property of the respective photographer. Use of these images without prior arrangement with the photographer is forbidden. For more information, please email the respective photographer or tim@thefourohfive.com.