Voices

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

Bazaar: Good thing

Velvet shirt, pounds 40

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.

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.

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.

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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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