Kate's bag: Stratford gets the look

Harvey Nichols and Mulberry are in talks to open shops in the walkway to the Olympic stadium, in east London.

A reject reports: 'I'm glad I didn't go to university'

For students disappointed by their A-level results, it's not all bad news. Forgoing a degree was the making of Lisa Markwell. Here she explains why entering the world of work as a teenager was exhilarating and rewarding

'Mary Queen of Shops' puts her head on the block in Oxford Street

Retail guru Mary Portas will risk her reputation when she opens her own store this summer

Flagship Sale: Aquascutum seeks buyer for 110-year home

Aquascutum is selling 100 Regent Street – its flagship for the past 110 years.

Katie Hillier to launch high-end jeweller

Victoria Beckham's handbag designer, Katie Hillier, is to launch her own high-end jeweller tomorrow to coincide with London Fashion Week and St Valentine's Day.

Dom Joly: I had a spot of bother on the Didcot line

I associate Christmas with pressure mostly – pressure to see people I don't really want to see, pressure to buy things that people don't want for people you don't like, pressure to give your kids the full "Christmas experience", bah humbug.... This was why I found myself in the admittedly glorious Mandarin Oriental hotel in London – slap bang in between Harrods and the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. The last time I was at this hotel, I was outside as a paparazzo, waiting for Pierce Brosnan to emerge. When he eventually did, he stamped on my foot and called me an "annoying fat fuck" while still smiling sweetly for the camera.

Brawn, 49 Columbia Road, London E2,

It's on the site of a flower market, but there's nothing fleeting about the beauty of the food at newcomer Brawn

Ringing change: Stars' jeweller crafts a move down market

Theo Fennell, the jeweller to the stars, is back in the black.

Fifth Floor, Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge, London SW1

To access the top-floor restaurant in London's top fashion department store, you must travel up five escalators, past mannequins of increasing barminess. The head of the ground-floor mannequin is made up of nuts and bolts, the next is constructed from cocktail bar paraphernalia, the next from kitchen cleaning products ... it's all so determinedly wacky, you wonder what shrine to surrealism awaits you on the top floor. The big surprise is how un-surreal it is, how studiedly old-fashioned.

The Fringe: Still crazy after all these years

Edinburgh wouldn't be Edinburgh without the annual offerings of creative lunacy. Alice Jones celebrates some of the maddest

David Chaloner: Poet whose writing was informed by his work as a designer

For those who knew the poet and designer David Chaloner the loss of his death is softened only by the great affection and the fine body of work that he leaves. "Console me in my absence because of my absence / Console my absence in place of me" (Art for Others, 1998). His Collected Poems (2005) runs to 435 pages and demonstrates what the late Andrew Crozier, in a cover note, described as its "variousness and power to astonish" and its "core consistency". He worked in design from 1960 and his first published booklet came out in 1969.

Dressing table: The best compacts

Edinburgh Festival Diary: 08/08/10

At the Gilded Balloon, the creators of Could It Be Forever? – a comedy drama about a group of David Cassidy fans who meet up for the first time since they were teenagers in 1973 – were chuffed to receive an email from the popster saying it was "an honour" to be the subject of their play.

True North, By Martin Wainwright

Drawing on his 22 years and 10,000 articles as northern correspondent for The Guardian, Wainwright has written a rolling paean to "England's better half". To forestall a predictable response from the area he characterises as "the soft world of the home counties and jessiedom generally", he concludes the book by offering a possible alternative title: The Sun shines out of the North's Arse. "Do your worst," he tells Southern critics, "because it does."

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