No one likes a cliché as a present, so to avoid the usual mass-produced bric-a-brac heaped on high-street shelves before Christmas, check out central London pop-up shop House of Voltaire, which has commissioned a series of emerging and well-known artists (including the photographer Wolfgang Tillmans and the illustrator Julie Verhoeven) to fill its arts space with some one-of-a-kind gifts, from a colourful abstract by Yinka Shonibare to a collaged print by Linder. Thursday to 4 December, 19 Bruton Place, London W1, studiovoltaire.org
Armistead Maupin fans who grew up with his Tales of the City novels, be prepared to feel a lot more grown up. Twenty-one years after Mary Ann moved to New York in the sixth book, Sure of You, she's back in San Francisco, aged 57, with a Facebook account and a secret. Look out for Mary Ann's daughter the sex blogger, the affair caught out on Skype and Brokeback the dog in the first official Tales book since 1989. 'Mary Ann in Autumn' is published by Doubleday on Thursday.
What's better than a banquet made by one of London's best chefs? How about a five-course blowout from six of them... To celebrate Diwali, the acclaimed London restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen is putting on the dinner next Sunday. Feast on fried-crab and tiger-prawn cakes from Moti Mahal's Anirudh Arora, salivate over a Tandoori rack of lamb by Cinnamon Club founder Vivek Singh, and finish off with white chocolate and strawberry mousse by Tamarind's Alfred Prasad. It's not cheap – £85 a head – but all proceeds go to Action Against Hunger. 9 Devonshire Square, London EC2, cinnamon-kitchen.com
British designer of the year Erdem Moralioglu is known for his modern and feminine designs, and his knack for incorporating neon brights, digital prints and trad florals on flirty skater dresses as well as elegantly fluid full-length numbers. Get ahead of the crowd this month with his five-piece spring/summer 2011 capsule range, designed for London-based boutique Matches and available in stores and online from mid-November. Glossy black hues are embellished with flashes of purple and red on silk maxi-dresses, skirts and ruffled tops that are perfect for partying in, and will see you well into next season, too. Prices start from £455, matchesfashion.com
Hay-on-Wye's Crunch music and arts festival is this year asking itself "What's the point of art", with speakers from fashion icon and human-rights activist Bianca Jagger to writer AL Kennedy and Turner Prize winner Martin Creed presenting their opinions at a series of talks. But it is the musical line-up that's likely to draw the crowds. Choose from the likes of the latest electropop sensations Man Like Me to the doyenne of the nu-folk revolution, Laura Marling, before she hits the road this month on a UK-wide tour. Friday to next Sunday, artfestivalathay.org
Remember when Tom Cruise's character used hand motions to access data in sci-fi movie Minority Report? Well, welcome to the future with the release of Kinect, Microsoft's motion-sensing Xbox add-on. Not only does it let you change channels and browse programme listings with the flick of a wrist, there's a catalogue of body-controlled games (think Wii without a wand) released with it, from javelin-throwing to boogieing. Just remember to draw the curtains to avoid the neighbours staring. £130, xbox.com