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The Independent Culture
Designer Joanna Wood who brought us quirkily English objets d'art in the 1980s and whose interior design clients include John Reid, manager of the quintessentially English Elton John, launches her latest innovation this week, a range of fabrics. Based on historical designs, the Lewis and Wood collection includes an elaborate damask drawn from a Jacobean original, a decorative 18th-century flower-and-basket design and the two-colour Pimlico Stripe, inspired by French mattress ticking. In 35 colourways and natural cotton, the fabrics from pounds 19.50 a metre, are available from good fabric stockists around the country and Joanna Wood, 48a Pimlico Road, London SW1 (Tel: 071-730 5064).

Extra virginity is no longer enough. Your olive oils - note the plural - now need to have half a herb garden floating in their transluscent depths. John Lewis stores are selling seven varieties of olive oils at pounds 2.95 for 100ml, pounds 4.95 for 250ml. Oil importer Charles Carey of The Oil Merchant, 47, Ashchurch Grove, London W12 9BU (Tel: 081-740 1335 for stockists and mail order inquiries) has lemon-flavoured extra virgin oils from central Italy, at pounds 11.85 for a half-litre.

Balti houses - where curries are individually cooked and served in a balti, a black metal dish - are hugely popular in the Midlands. Now a video shows us how to prepare balti chicken, chicken tikka and tikka masala, pilau rice and nan bread. It costs pounds 12.95 plus pounds 1.05 p&p from The Balti Kitchen, PO Box 385,

Wolverhampton, WV2 4PD (0902 29994 24-hour Visa or Access line); or just under pounds 15 with two balti dishes and a range of spices.

Electronic toys, computer games, clothes and extravagantly furry dinosaurs are just some of the reasons why having children is so expensive. But how much are you prepared to spend on a bed? Simon Horn, specialist designer of French boat beds has come up with a child's bateau lit, that serves as cot, child's bed and later a sofa dressed with comfortable cushions, all in one. It is designed to take a child right through into its teens. Hand built in solid cherrywood, the cot with mattress costs pounds 980 from Simon Horn Furniture, 117/121 Wandsworth Bridge Road, London SW6 (Tel: 071-731 1279).

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