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Littala, £40 for set of four. These recently reissued apple-green bowls are decorated with glass droplets. cloudberryliving.co.uk
In the first of a two-part special, Eliisa Makin picks the perfect presents for foodies, pet lovers, children, sports fans... and those unexpected guests...
What's the aspirational shopper to do in this age of austerity? Buy safe, unthreatening woolly jerseys, chintz teapots and crisp white sheets, says Peter York
Where are you now and what can you see? I'm sipping a cup of Colombian full strength in the Cuppa Cabana, dear. I can see a bustling high street, a hissing cappuccino machine and a polar bear in a Laura Ashley frock. I'd better stick to half strength in future.
Today, Cath Kidston's iconic floral prints and affordable household items, that lend more than a nod to the trend for vintage chic, appear in must-have lists and households across the world. Her empire spans 28 shops and concessions in the UK, two shops in the Republic of Ireland and five in Japan. The brand has beaten the odds in the economic downturn with profits rising in the past year from £2.9m to £4.6m. And with sales now reaching £31.3m, she clearly has a head for retail. These figures belie the brand's humble beginnings in a small shop in London's Holland Park.
From chic shades to garden globes, Kate Watson-Smyth selects the most desirable designs to brighten up your home this autumn
Laura Ashley's Welsh estate mirrored her style – and her children want it saved. By Kate Watson-Smyth
Sir Bernard Ashley was the husband and business partner of the fashion and design legend Laura Ashley, who lent her name to the still-famous range of clothes, furniture and furnishings. In terms of a brand, Laura and Sir Bernard were a dream team: she the sensitive, creative designer who changed the look of millions of women and millions of homes; he the driven entrepreneur, ever intent on aggressive expansion of the business.
Forget the frills and frivolity – the BBC's latest period drama, starring Gemma Arterton, has a real dark side. James Rampton reports from the set of Tess of the D'Urbervilles
This season sees the return of styles we thought had been consigned to history. Clare Dwyer Hogg reports
The house I grew up in... was a long and narrow Tudor cottage in Surrey, set two miles from the nearest village. There was a yew tree in the garden that you could hide inside.