bazaar

Preview Country Living Christmas Fair

Christmas shopping begins in earnest when the lights go on in Oxford Street next week, but if you don't fancy the retail jungle of the West End then the Country Living Christmas Fair offers a civilised, one-stop shop.

From next Friday the Business Design Centre in Islington will be given over to the serious business of arts and crafts and it's a great place to get ready-wrapped ideas for recipes, decorations and gifts. Foodies can pick up truffles or cocoa-dusted walnuts, pick up a smartly packaged Melton Mowbray Pork Pie or buy freshly aromatised olives from Provence. For the lazy gourmand there are traditional mixed hampers, or baskets of Devon ice-cream.

Kitsch fetishists will be able to gild the lily with plaster cherubs, candleholders and table decorations. There are even workshops showing you how to decorate picture frames with gold leaf, sequin cards or learn "original ways with tassels, ribbons and bows". Exquisite gifts for children include strawberry-shaped shoes, classic rocking-horses and mohair teddy bears.

If all that sounds too chichi, get back to basics with the traditional present - socks (all right, these are hand-made) or arrange delivery of organic food such as fresh Cornish fish. After this four-day marathon of seasonal generosity, treat yourself to a "witty, wearable" headpiece from Coco Hats or a sumptuous velvet scarf (to wear on your next shopping expedition).

`Country Living' Christmas Fair, The Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1, 8-11 Nov, 10am-6pm daily, pounds 10; special rate of pounds 8.50 for `Independent' readers. Late-night shopping on Friday, 6.30pm-9.30pm, pounds 6. Tickets on 0171-288 6888.

good thing

Toffee Apple Kit, pounds 1.95

What can you do with sticks, cellophane, ties and "a recipe to produce eight in minutes"? Sounds like an S&M dream come true - and this little DIY kit offers plenty of sticky fun. Now you can arrive at Bonfire night with your own personal stash of home-made toffee apples, created to your own specification (loads of toffee). Come to think of it, as long as you can hold it on the end of a stick, cover it with toffee and wrap it in cellophane you could make toffee anything.

mad thing

Celebration Candles, pounds 3.75

A cake decoration pack for that celebratory feel. These candles take the form of miniature top hats and champagne bottles to put the icing on the icing on the cake. Very cute, but it actually looks like a lot of very small people have got married on your cake, drank themselves silly, slipped through the icing and torched the place.

Both items: Lakeland Plastics Limited, Alexandra Buildings, Windemere, Cumbria, LA23 1BQ (015394 88100)

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
News
Jennifer Lawrence at the Vanity Fair Academy Awards party in February 2014
people12 undisclosed female victims are seeking $100m in damages
Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
News
Bear and hare woodland scene from John Lewis Christmas advert
newsRetailer breaks with tradition, selling real festive fir trees online for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Horowitz will write the next 007 novel
booksAnthony Horowitz to write new instalment in spy series for 2015
News
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
people
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
Kicking on: Nathaniel Clyne is relishing the challenge of the Premier League after moving from Crystal Palace
footballSurprises include a first ever call-up for one Southampton star
Voices
4 May 2013: The sun rises over Tower Bridge in London. Temperatures across the UK could be higher than several European holiday destinations by Monday, including parts of Italy and France (Andy Hepburn/PA)
voices
News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Digital Fundraising Analyst/Web Analyst - West Sussex - Permanent - £30k DOE

    £25000 - £30000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    Application Support Engineer – 6 month FTC – West Sussex - £26k-£28k pro rata

    £26000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

    Head of IT Change – West Sussex – Up to £60k DOE – Permanent

    £55000 - £60000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    IT Services Team Leader

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a prog...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?