Compiled by Caroline Stacey

Beets the winter blues

Beets the winter blues

Beetroot is surely the funkiest veg on the winter chopping block. As well as a welcome blast of colour in a drab time of year, it's packed with nutrients and good for the immune system. So get wise to Innocent's beetroot, apples, pear and ginger New Year detox smoothie. On sale until the middle of next month from Sainsbury's, Waitrose and a sandwich bar or café near you for £1.69-£1.99. If not, call 020-8600 3939 for nearest stockist.

Northern highlight

Down south we're suffering from supermarket envy. Booths, the family business with 27 supermarkets in the north west, has opened Artisan underneath its new Kendal supermarket (45 Highgate, Kendal, Cumbria; 01539 723731), a gorgeous store and restaurant showcasing speciality local foods. Organic cheeses, smoked meats, preserves, and bread made by Staff of Life, are among the take-home treats, and Cumbrian gastropub hero Steven Doherty oversees the restaurant's seasonal menus.

Cake fit for kings

January isn't all penance and calorie counting. Feasting can carry on until 6 January, celebrating the visit of the Magi. In France they mark the date with a galette des rois, a puff pastry pie filled with apricot, praline or frangipan, one flavour for each of the three kings. Paul, the French bakers, starts selling its galettes tomorrow until the end of the month. Slices from £2. From branches of Paul at 29 Bedford St, London WC2 (020-7836 3304) and 115 Marylebone High St, London W1 (020-7224 5615).

Steel yourself

Put away that battle-scarred roasting pan for another year, and get hold of something to brighten up the kitchen. You want the right pot for the job, but just because you're staying in and getting back to basics - stocks, soups, stews and suchlike - doesn't mean dull days spent at the cooker. We've taken a shine to the space-saving Hahn stainless steel saucepot which does several jobs: as a saucepan, stockpot or casserole, in or out of the oven with no inconvenient sticking out handle. Should add a bit of sparkle to the stove, and as it's dishwasher proof it'll stay looking that way. In three sizes, from 1.7-3.2 litres, it costs from £24.95 to £30.95; stockists from www.hahncookware.com, or call 020-8891 3096.

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