Design: First Class Deliveries

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The Independent Culture
THE MOST stylish kitchen is nothing without a sprinkling of designer foodstuffs. Like transforming a sitting-room with the artful use of cushions and a lamp, you can make your kitchen a place in which Delia herself might feel at home by adding a tin of French anchovies and a potted bay tree here, a bottle of estate olive oil and a jar of chutney there. And you can do it all by mail order.

Morel Bros, Cobbett & Son has a particularly tempting catalogue. Decorate your dresser with their tins of French fish, elegantly adorned with fine script and a coat of arms (from pounds 1.75 each) and American seasonings eccentrically labelled as Mt Olympus Rub, Prairie Rub and Dragon Rub. They cost pounds 4.20 each, worth it for the amusing pictures on the tins (Dragon Rub shows a dragon breathing flames beside the Great Wall of China). The wackiest item in the catalogue is a Spanish chess set in dark brown and white chocolate (pounds 5.80). But the ultimate in chic style is the chocolate fondue, which comes in frosted-glass containers and looks like scented candles. Available in six different flavours, they are mouth-watering: "When re-heated they will gradually turn into a smooth, glossy liquid into which you can dip fruit or sweet biscuits..." Surely a snip at pounds 8.85 each.

Best item: fruit chutney in mustard seed oil, pounds 4

Worst item: boring herbal teas from pounds 1.45

FOR KITCHEN gardeners, The Gluttonous Gardener's catalogue is beautifully laid out and full of witty gifts such as "that old chestnut", a box of marrons glaces that comes with a root-wrapped sweet-chestnut tree, planting details and recipes, and the Passion Pack, which contains a passion-flower plant, fresh passion-fruits and a bottle of champagne.

Best item: the gin drinker's companion, pounds 45

Worst item: Bay watch, pounds 15

Morel Bros, Cobbett & Son, Unit 129, Coldharbour Lane, London SE5 (0171- 346 0046)

The Gluttonous Gardener, Vitis House, 50 Dickens Street, London SW8

(0171-627 0800)

Last ordering date for Christmas delivery is

18 December