From a small company selling plastic boxes, Lakeland Plastics has evolved into a mail-order phenomenon. Much of its success is based on the fact that many of the ideas for new gadgets are supplied by its customers. One of these is the new mini mix, a tool for whisking one egg white; another is the non-drip honey spoon, which perches on the jar rim. The success of the wonder whisks and Mermaid roasting tins is explained by their starring roles on BBC2's Delia Smith's Winter Collection. Call 015394 88100 for a catalogue.
1 Mini mix ..................... pounds 3.95
2 Honey spoon.................pounds 2.95
3 Cast-iron veg shredder ..pounds 23.95
4 Spice tower.................pounds 16.95
5 Artificial azalea bush.......pounds 9.95
6 Wonder whisk......pounds 2.95 (two)
7 Mermaid roasting tin....pounds 23.95
8 Dishwasher fragrance.....pounds 2.35
9 Magic Glove .................pounds 4.95
10 Mary Berry flour sifter...pounds 1.99
Heart apron, pounds 9.95
Foody partners will probably appreciate this red-check heart apron on Valentines Day more than a gift-wrapped box of rum truffles. It's made from 100 per cent cotton, is generously sized and reasonably priced. Other Divertimenti presents for favourite cooks include heart-shaped cake tins (pounds 6.95 a pair), china coeur a la creme moulds (pounds 19.95) and a pretty Early American heart-pattern ceramic shortbread mould (pounds 19.95). Add pounds 3.95 p&p. Order a.s.a.p. (for 14 Feb) from the Divertimenti catalogue (0171- 386 9911), or try the shops at 45-47 Wigmore Street, London W1 and 139 Fulham Road, SW3.
Click phone, pounds 29.95
You don't have a mobile phone but would like your friends to think you have. What do you do? Turn to the Innovations catalogue and order this cunning "home phone that looks like a mobile". To use, pull out the dummy aerial, and flip open the mouthpiece. To close, push back the aerial, click shut and put down anywhere. The only drawback is the subtle giveaway of a curly flex, which even if it is six metres long ("to let you roam") won't fool anyone. From Innovations: 01793 514666.
Oxfam, Queen's Road, Bristol (0117 929 4890)
What is it?: An Oxfam shop, but without the racks of lurex jumpers and outgrown tweed jackets that most people shop at Oxfam for. This shop is one of three Oxfam shops which stock only Oxfam's Fair Trade products - intended to benefit the people who actually make the products by giving them a fair price (the others are in Chester and Chichester).
Stock: Best sellers are the more useful or consumable items such as the delicious Cafe Direct coffee, grown by Latin-American and African co-operatives, the Fair Trade chocolate, made in Switzerland but from fairly traded beans and sugar, or the recycled Oxfam writing paper. Irritatingly, not all the goods are marked with information on where and how they're made.
Do buy: Bolivian dried bananas (pounds 1.40 a pack), Cafe Direct coffee (pounds 2.49 a jar), Indian doormat (pounds 7.45), Guava jam from Burkina Faso (pounds 1.65), laundry basket from the Philippines (pounds 18.75)
Don't buy: The expensive knick-knacks that sell well at Christmas but gather dust the rest of the year, ie. flowery blue porcelain pigs from Thailand, carved wooden tiger masksReuse content