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Indy Lifestyle Online
Checkout Books for Cooks, 4 Blenheim Cr, London W11

What is it? A tiny shrine to cooking with cookery books piled from floor to ceiling. All are arranged by subjects, so if you are after an obscure Icelandic recipe involving Reindeer this is the place to find it.

What else do they sell? Local chefs take turns in the little test kitchen at the back of the shop and browsers can stay for lunch. For a spectacular three-course meal you can expect to pay a mere pounds 10. This kitchen is really the heart of the shop as it is here that they are able to 'test-drive' the latest cookery books and assess them for clarity, imagination and simply whether or not the recipes work. They also run regular cookery demonstrations.

What should I buy? Whatever takes your fancy. Although a specialist book shop there is no snobbery here. You won't find huge Delia-point-of- sale displays here, but then again if you ask for one of Delia's collections no one is going to give you a hard time. The aim of the staff is to encourage you to cook and enjoy food.

Best buy? One Year at Books For Cooks (pounds 3.99) A collection of recipes chosen by the staff. Inspirational and cheap.

Mail order: 0171-221 1992

Good thing

Club Alfresco Insect Repellent and Sunguard pounds 7.50 (+ 2.00 p&p)

Although billed as something you might store in a medicine cabinet, and packaged accordingly, Club Alfresco smells and feels as good as any of those luxury lotions that crowd your dressing table. Better still it does more than simply smell nice: repels insects (including mosquitoes), and protects skin from the harmful rays of the sun (SPF 4).

Sarah-Lou Reekie 0181-341 5322

Mad thing

Stolen Towels (pounds 17.95+p&p) What is it about other people's towels? If you're not going on holiday this year, and will miss your opportunity nick one from a hotel, purchase one of Gizmo & Widgets ready "stolen" ones, which include logos from Buckingham Palace and, worryingly, the S S Titanic.

Orders: 0181-299 0891

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