good thing

New Covent Garden Company's Book of Soups, pounds 12.99

The Covent Garden Soup Company has decided to share the secrets of its success - the recipes. This lovely ring-bound collection of "new, old and odd recipes" kicks-off with a page devoted to tricks of the trade; then they've chucked in a generous selection of the weird and wonderful ideas the public have sent them, such as Mrs Antoniades' New England Carrot, Apricot and Sesame Soup. Each recipe comes with notes on provenance and serving suggestions. The soups are divided into are ten chapters, with titles like Wonderful, Reviving, Seasonal and Sweet.

Available from good bookshops

mad thing

Cheestrings, 29p

Dairy processing power has taken another unnatural turn with these tubes of medium fat hard cheese. Pinch a bit at one end and peel it back and before you know it you'll have a cats-cradle of stringy bits of cheese on your hands. Also available in pizza flavour.

Contact your local supermarket.

sure thing

Lace Tights, pounds 6.00

This season we've seen the return of lace, patterned and even holey tights. The most famous up until now have been Wolfords' "Follow me" version. But at pounds 22 a throw it's expensive for a trend that may only last a season. Good old M&S have taken Wolfords at their word and produced a version of their own. They look great, keep their shape, and are available in black, chocolate and aubergine, and at pounds 6 you can afford a pair in each colour.

Available from Marks and Spencer stores nationwide, enquiries 0171-935 4422.