What To Do, See & Buy: Cole & Son; Quentin Blake; British Museum; The Modern Pantry at Harrods; The Varsity Hotel; Preen Line

 

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The Independent Online

Bird calls

When the Queen stares idly at the wall, wondering what to have for lunch or whether she really ought to just sack off and go on a cruise, there's a good chance she's looking at wallpaper designed by Cole & Son. The leading designers, who have done work for Buckingham Palace, have stunning new designs by Fornasetti. Best in show is this beguiling print (see gallery): Ucelli. £180 per panel, cole-and-son.com

Dinner with the stars

The Varsity Hotel, famed for its roof garden and views of Cambridge, is hosting an evening of dinner, drinks – and astronomy. The head of the Cambridge Astronomical Society will explain the cosmos while you sip and dine. £45, Thurs, thevarsityhotel.co.uk

Blake's heaven

There's every likelihood that the mere sight of Quentin Blake's illustrations gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, thanks mainly to his collaborations with Roald Dahl. But there is more to the artist and former children's laureate. A new book, Beyond the Page, is the story of Blake's many artistic adventures of the past 10 years, including illustrating walls in children's hospitals. £19.99, shop.tate.org.uk

Venus rising

A new show at the British Museum (a rather good one about Ice Age art) can only mean one thing: new goodies in the gift shop! Pick of the Palaeolithic pack is a resin replica of the Venus of Grimaldi, a 25,000-year-old carving found in Italy. It is among the earliest known representations of the human form in art and while this Venus is no Botticelli painting, she remains a thing of eerie beauty. £90, britishmuseumshoponline.org

Pot luck

Foodie fans should not miss the temporary residency of The Modern Pantry at Harrods. Specially for the occasion, award-winning chef Anna Hansen has made a new range of jams, several spices and chutneys galore. Fresh food from their enviable menu is also available. Spice and ingredients from £3, relishes, chutneys and jams from £4.50, themodernpantry.co.uk

Pinky, perky

Preen Line is the contemporary branch of Victoriana-obsessives Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi's upmarket Preen label. Of course, there's nothing 19th century about this sleek, stretch-knit number (see gallery). Great lines, great colours, but word of caution, wear it round the office and you will attract the nickname 'Pink Panther'. £265, net-a-porter.com

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