Food & Drink notes

Couch potatoes; For the chop; Nice wok if you can get it; Grand shandy
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Couch potatoes

Couch potatoes

TV guide: check. Channel changer: check. Cold beer: check. Crisps and dip: check. Who goes out in January anyway? But if you're going to be a home body, slob out with style, dump the doritos and get in a homegrown groove with Burts potato chips. The UK's smallest crisp-maker has added a range of fresh-tasting salsas similarly handmade in Devon without thickeners or artificial additives, and with the cook's name credited on the jar. Find them in independent delis, or for stockists call: 01548 852220.

For the chop

Villeroy & Boch doesn't rhyme with posh but it should. The china, glass and cutlery people's accessories are more a luxury than a necessity, but as mixing bowls go this one combines crafty design with such smartness it'll make what you eat off look shabby. Chop on the board and then tip into the bowl and cover with the lid. The bowls start at £24.95, with the wooden lid/chopping board from £12.95. From Villeroy & Boch, Duke of York's Square, King's Road, London SW3; nationwide stockists 020-8875 6060.

Nice wok if you can get it

What about a wok that costs nearly a ton? As the year of the monkey swings into action this weekend, Chinese cooking's at the top of the agenda with woks all over the shops. But the most wanted wok round these parts is this Cristel non-stick model. One of the covetably chic Cristel range of French-made pans, it has a detachable handle, interchangeable with any of the others so it stores away more tidily on those nights when you're having a pot roast. £99.95 from Cucina Direct 0870 420 4300, see www.cucinadirect.co.uk

Grand shandy

The beer that's a soft drink but isn't a low-alcohol lager. Fentiman's has to be the finest and dandiest shandy in the land. The 99-year-old Newcastle family firm's ginger beer and Victorian lemonade are already firm favourites, and its new shandy reinvents the classic and refreshing drink by adding more malt and hops than usual, plus lemon juice instead of lemonade, so it tastes of real beer. Not too sweet or fizzy, and even with less than 0.5 per cent alcohol, it's still what you'd call a proper drink. From Waitrose, Booths, independent stores or mail order from 0118 946 4706.

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