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Pasta fiends, this casual new restaurant elevates your favourite food to an art form

Pasta is the people-pleaser of the food world, a dish so beloved that most of us consume it at least once a week – which is why it takes the big guns to lure us out of our own kitchens. And it's safe to say that Notto, which launched as a delivery service back in May 2021 and has just opened its first bricks-and-mortar site on one of London's most prestigious streets, has big guns galore. Not only is it the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Phil Howard, but its head chef previously worked at renowned pasta palaces Bancone and Locanda Locatelli. Expectations have been understandably high.

"After navigating the bustle of tourists heading to Buckingham Palace or crowding around the window displays of Fortnum & Mason, stepping into Notto is like finding an oasis – chic, muted interiors and a soundtrack of R'n'B classics welcome you in," says Stylist's features editor Meena Alexander. "Choosing from the menu of seasonal starters and eight rotating pasta dishes is a serious challenge, but make your selection safe in the knowledge that you won't be disappointed. Everything was a delight, from the still-warm focaccia sprinkled with rosemary rock salt and the umami octopus and white bean salad, to the melt-in-the-mouth strozzapreti and endless ribbons of chicken stock-soaked tagliatelle. This is pasta elevated to an art form, with surprising flavours that stay with you long after you've scraped the bowl. A definite step up from your weekly spag bol." 198 Piccadilly, London W1; nottopastabar.com


Made your list and checked it (twice)? Then you deserve to add a little something to cart for yours truly, too – inspiration incoming…
Viktor & Rolf / £68.05
Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum
This magical scent has notes of bergamot, freesia and patchouli
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SLOANE STATIONERY / £29
2023 diary
2023 already filling up? Stay on top of plans with this pocket diary, available in five colours and slogans
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Free People / £78
Penny Beaded Pouch
Intricately beaded in rose, this vintage-inspired pouch will bring a little Gatsby to the party
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mabel sheppard / £49
leather gloves
Inject some Ziggy Stardust magic into cold, damp days with these super-soft leather gloves, complete with cosy fleece lining
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LOST IN A FIELD / £31
FROLIC PET NAT 2021
Switch up your go-to bubbles with this British pet nat this party season – the ideal choice for orange wine lovers
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Liberty / £5.95
Harlequin Bauble
One look at this subtle glitter bauble and we're considering if we *have* to wait until December to put our tree up
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The top 20 skincare buys according to beauty experts, from iconic serums to night creams
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This new immersive illusion museum offers a unique respite from the Christmas crowds

Mile-long queues, tetchy crowds and a to-buy list as long as Santa's – Christmas shopping season is officially here. But giving us an extra reason to join the Oxford Circus scrum this season is the newly-opened Twist Museum, a multi-sensory illusory experience that offers a dose of escapism from the heaving stores. Located just up from the iconic shopping area, its 60 mind-bending exhibits have been created in collaboration with a range of artists, neuroscientists and philosophers.

Blending immersive attractions with education and technology, the experiences are designed to challenge your perception of what is real and what isn't – and discover what happens to your brain when it's deceived. From the Ames Room, which replicates the effect of shrinking, to the Life Without Colour Room, where you can experience a world without our kaleidoscope of shades, Twist's informative displays help us to understand what's actually going on in our grey matter in these situations. Posing questions such as 'Can we see colours that aren't there?' and 'Do we always know which way is up?', the one-of-a-kind attraction promises to offer a unique insight into how we experience colour, perspective, shape, sound, heat and more. Worth braving the shops IRL for, we reckon. £23.50; 248 Oxford St, London W1C; twistmuseum.com


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Image credits: Dan Weill Photography; Ridgeview; Copyright © 2022 by Deb Perelman; Images: courtesy of brands
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