Voices

Don’t go in expecting this season’s designs for £4.50. But you can find the odd gem

Bazaar: Cyclone comp winners

Cyclone comp winners

Bazaar: Checkout The Cross, London W11

For mail order call 0171-727 6760

Civilians caught in the heat of the Grozny cauldron

Weeks of fighting have destroyed hope, writes Carlotta Gall

Shopping travel special: bazaar

Checkout Travelling Light

Shopping Bazaar: Checkout/Bjorn Borg, 70 Sloane Ave, London

What is It? Not the Seventies tennis champ's fan club, but a Swedish- owned "underwear palace" in London. There's nothing below the belt about this: it's licenced to use Bjorn's legendary name. Deliciously cheesy promotional postcards show Svenska sirens Inga-Britt and Ulle giving nerdy Uffe a good birching. "A sauna gives the Swedes an opportunity to `pusta ut' (take it easy)," explains a caption.

Metropolitan Life: The shortlist: 8 Flea Markets

Most flea markets seem to have gone "up-market", with car boot sales now dealing in the traditional kitsch and tat. But a few still cling to flea market status.

bazaar; Checkout Harrods

What is it? A small Knightsbridge republic, Harrods' handsome Victorian buildings stretch over four acres of prime shopping turf. The store began life as a corner shop, but expanded rapidly, its posh moniker becoming a by-word for luxury. Now one of London's top tourist magnets, rarefied opulence is lost in a blizzard of green and gold gift merchandising.

That elusive, smart and affordable hotel is only just around the corner - if you know where to look

There is no reason why we cannot find beautiful places to stay and eat without causing a financial haemorrhage but usually such places are kept closely guarded secrets. Overheard snippets can be very rewarding. When travelling, I've found that simply by listening to the right conversations you can pick up ideas that open up a world of exquisite houses, tiny hotels and unique restaurants: places that are affordable, where you don't have to make do with darting into grand hotel lobbies in a nervous hunt for rich folks' loos.

Get a load of that, sonny

The scene at Hamiltons Gallery earlier this week was chaotic. The frames for top fashion photographer Ellen Von Unwerth's show, "When Children Should Be in Bed" (right), were too small, and a posse of assistants was hastily constructing new ones, covering themselves from head to toe in silver glitter. In the midst of this frenzy stood Ellen Von Unwerth herself, a lanky blonde goddess in blue jeans. Von Unwerth is used to staying calm under pressure; her first job was in the Roncalli Circus, as assistant to the knife-thrower.

Trader's tax squeezes Madrid's flea market

Traders of the Rastro, the best known flea-market in Spain, are up in arms over plans by Madrid's regional government that they fear will choke off their livelihood. They say proposals to regulate street selling will slash their number from 1,745 to 300 and transform the face of the capital's much loved landmark.

Grandmother's footsteps

Frumpy? Not any more. Raid your grandmother's wardrobe and join the new British designers

Guide shows the way in the great PEP bazaar

SAVERS looking to take a punt on the stock market through PEPs over the next few months face more choice and cheaper prices than before.

Leading article: Luring parents past the school gates

Contracts between parents and schools are a good idea. Advocated by both Conservative and Labour politicians in the past, and implemented with great success in Birmingham already, they are an effective way of drawing parents into their children's education. After John Major signalled an interest in parental contracts at the weekend, the proposal was hastily tacked on to the launch yesterday of new government proposals on selection in schools. But while the proposed changes to school admissions could be extremely damaging, divisive and discriminatory, the home-school contracts could make a real difference to improving education standards across the board.

bazaar: Should shops open... earlier?

Expert view: The clocks go forward tonight, giving us an extra hour of daylight in the morning. But can we capitalise on it? Shops seem to be opening later and later, particularly in London. We asked Clive Vaughan, retail consultant with retail analysts Verdict Research, whether they should open earlier.

reviews John Oswald/ The Grateful Dead GrayFolded Swell/ Artifact S/A1969-1996

'He teases out unforeseen possibilities, layering different versions to achieve an untethered effect perfectly appropriate for a long Dead jam'
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links