Checkout Fitch's Ark

Concept: A gallery-come-shop devoted to all things animal: glassware, ceramics, jewellery and sculpture, depicting anything from a toad to a tiger. A percentage of the profits goes to the Born Free Foundation, which works for animal welfare and the preservation of endangered species. Most of the artists will work on commission, so if you like the style of a piece but favour another animal, something can usually be arranged. Prices range from under a fiver to a cool pounds 7,000 for an awesome life-size bronze bust of a gorilla.

Customers: Although the mailing list boasts 1,500 arty animal lovers the passing trade reflects the Maida Vale address - smart mothers with well turned out kids in tow.

Favourite item: Neil Hardy's series of automata entitled Evolutionary Blunders, in particular Survival of the Fittest: turn a wooden handle and four endangered species rotate - a crocodile, a cheetah, a whale and a gorilla with a motif describing their attributes - oldest, fastest, biggest and strongest. Then a box flips open to reveal a couch potato slobbing out with beer, TV and the caption "survival of the fittest ...". Worth every penny of pounds 700. Also checkout Leopard Leaping, an elegant birchwood carving by David Sykes, pounds 775.

Do not buy: Horrendous magnetic notepads covered with fluffy kittens and wrinkly puppies pounds 4.99.

6 Clifton Road, Little Venice, London W9 1SS.

Tel: 0171-266 0202.

Good thing

Safety Can - pounds 12.99

An end to bloodied tea towels. 34,000 accidents involving can-openers are reported annually to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Safety Can, a chunky new can-opener will stop you becoming a statistic. After four years of research, Culinare has come up with a design that leaves those dangerous edges smooth and safe. For stockist details, call 0181-868 4355.

Mad thing

Mobile phone bag pounds 34.95

Well-connected teenage chatterboxes can choose chic black, red patent quilt or minimalist clear perspex to keep their lifeline safe while on the move. An essential accessory sure to impress mates between bouts of dialling potential boyfriends around the world. How about a mobile-phone bill-holster for parents? Mail order from Johnny loves Rosie, 131 Greenhill, Prince Arthur Road, London NW3 5TY. Tel: 0171-435 0089.

Top ten

Tartans at The Scotch House, 2 Brompton Rd, London SW1

In the months since Braveheart hit our shores the following tartans have hit the top ten for made-to-measure items such as kilts, trousers and shawls. The 100 per cent pure wool tartan costs pounds 25 per metre. A man's kilt requires about 3.7m and a woman's 2.5m and both will take roughly six to eight weeks for completion Tel: 0171-581 2151.

1) Blackwatch

2) Royal Stewart

3) Lindsey

4) Buchanan

5) Cameron

6) Campbell

7) Fraser

8) Gordon

9) MacDonald

10) Macleod

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