The Insider: Heroic heels to brighten up the dreariest day

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The Independent Online

The weather may be a little cold outside, but slipping on a pair of these exquisite, vivid red shoes from Pour La Victoire is sure to brighten up even the dreariest day. Called Pascale, the gladiator-style heels from David Giordano's chic range incorporate some intricate detailing, including braided ankle straps and trendy studs. Priced at £265 (020-7729 5050).

Season's eatings

A good piece of chocolate can provide a pick-me up on even the chilliest autumn day, and now Godiva has launched a 30-piece themed collection box especially for the season. It includes a selection of delicious pralines, ganaches and caramels, in dark, milk and white chocolate. The Autumn Collection box costs £29 and is available at

Gothic grape

Germany may not be famous for its wines, but one bottle has just picked up an award. The Weingut Meyer-Näkel Spätburgunder is available from the Wine Barn ( priced £41.50.

Calling all ladies

Few mobile phones come with a mini-clutch bag, but then not many are designed specifically for women. The Motojewel has a purple keypad and features such as a two megapixel camera and a media player. Available from 1 November at the Carphone Warehouse, priced between £80 and £100. For more details visit

Creepy crystals

If dressing up as a zombie is too much effort for you this Halloween, these cufflinks from Simon Carter could add a chilling touch to your shirt. Don't worry if crystal bats don't scare you – a spider set is also available. Priced at £45 a pair, and available at

Wield power

As well as fighting and role-playing action, Fable II offers the chance to explore its world with a canine companion at your side. Priced from £36.98, visit for more info.

Elmo's firing off the tunes

Ever popular Sesame Street star Elmo is back and ready to bring his all-singing, all-dancing act to homes across the nation. This animated muppet toy belts out his favourite tunes and shows off his dance moves, as well as embracing his inner Eminem by rapping. Requires batteries and occasional hugs from his owner. Priced at £59.95 and available from

Hats off

Enjoy a smoothie while doing something positive for society: for every behatted bottle sold at Sainsbury's, Innocent and the supermarket will give 50p to Age Concern's efforts to ensure that older people stay warm this winter. From £1.79 to £1.99.

Ooh la la Laguna

Stylish? Moi? Well, the new Renault Laguna Coupé certainly seemed so at its Paris Motor Show debut this month. Apparently, it has the BMW 3-series coupé in its sights. There's good news and bad news, then. Good, in that the French have produced something far better proportioned than the BMW, which is more a two-door saloon than a true coupé. It should feel more like a "premium" product as well, judging by the well-finished, advanced Laguna saloons. The bad news for Renault is that badge snobs just won't pay from £20,995 to almost £30,000 for a "mere" Renault. But keep an open mind – and order now for January delivery (

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