An apple a day; shapes of things to come; counter culture; chop chop

An apple a day

An apple a day

Be gone, Braeburn, Gala, Empire and other out-of-season imports! It's time for English apples like the dashing D'Arcy Spice, Scarlet Staymared and Mrs Phillimore to take a bow. The National Fruit Show at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (today and tomorrow, 020-8332 5655 or, admission £8.50), is all about apples and pears. There are many varieties to taste, and the chance to have your mystery fruit (perhaps it's Bascombe Mystery) identified, plus cooking tips for those with a glut on their hands.

Shapes of things to come

When you're fed up with fusilli and so over orecchiette, head to Harrods for a pasta shape that should brighten up autumn. Imported for its Made in Italy promotion this month, Pastificio Venturino's O Sole Mio pasta is based on the Neapolitan sun symbol, with Vesuvius outlined inside. It's one of the dazzling discoveries in the Knightsbridge store over the months to come. The 500g hessian bag of pasta is £3.25 from Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1 (020-7730 1234).

Counter culture

Darts Farm in Topsham, Devon (01392 875587), is the future of farm shops. It's a full-on food store on a farm, mixing local produce with the best from elsewhere. Meat comes from respected West-Country butcher Gerald David, fish is landed the day before in Exmouth, the cider press is working flat out on just-harvested apples, and this impressive new deli section will be selling countless cheeses. Upstairs are Aga and Fired Earth showrooms, and there's a restaurant serving local produce.

Chop chop

Cuisinart, a brand of food processor that has a cult following in the States, has arrived over here. But it's not American - in fact the company was started in France 30 years ago - and now toasters, coffee- makers, slow-and rice-cookers have been added to the range. If you've got the space, the cash and the workload for it, the Cast Metal food-processing system can take on whole fruit and veg and does dough too for £249. The similar, but cheaper, 'Classic' costs £179 - and both are guaranteed for 20 years, longer than most kitchens last. And this beautifully compact £49 Mini is perfect for the more space-challenged kitchen. Cuisinart is now stocked in Selfridges and John Lewis stores. For more information visit