Design: First Class Deliveries

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The Independent Culture
HAVE YOU done your Christmas shopping yet? Only two more Saturdays to go before it's too late, so abandon all hope of the High Street and do the rest by mail order. You're still in time to phone the following companies for a selection of stylish, unusual and relatively inexpensive gifts.

The General Trading Company

Excellent selection of decorative accessories for the home, traditional styles as well as more unusual gifts, such as a woven blue and neutral raffia laundry basket from Madagascar (pounds 60), or a range of bathroom accessories featuring wooden bird sculptures from pounds 22.

Last orders: 21 December.

144 Sloane Street, London SW1 (0171 730 0411)

Graham & Greene

Small but select mail-order catalogue with a diverse range of items, from chic soft suede cushions (pounds 62, pictured) to faux bamboo-handled cutlery (16-piece, dishwasher-proof, pounds 44.25)

Last orders: 14 December.

4,7,10 Elgin Crescent, London W11 (0171 727 4594)


Designer furniture and accessories, ranging from classics like the Le Corbusier chaise longue in leather (pounds 695; pounds 720 in pony-skin) or a cocktail table by Eileen Gray (pounds 180), to wool blankets in black, grey and camel with contrasting stitching (from pounds 94.99), and an anodised aluminium bed tray (pounds 79.95) which is both stylish and practical.

Last orders: 12 December.

96 Westbourne Grove, London W2 (0171 221 1950)

Bodleian Library

Bibliophile friends will be thrilled by the Bodleian's catalogue. Try the Victorian books mouse mat (pounds 9.99), and a set of four Edward Lear mugs featuring Spotty Bird, Stripy Bird, Runcible Bird and Lilac Bird from Lear's Queery Leary Nonsense (pounds 20).

Last orders: 18 December.

Broad Street, Oxford (01865 277091)