Fair deals

With banks in turmoil, turn to art and enjoy your investment. Barbara Chandler looks at the autumn fairs
Emma Dunbar's Anemones, Orange Ranunculas, Pink House
Emma Dunbar's Anemones, Orange Ranunculas, Pink House (£1,350), at the Affordable Art Fair, 23-26 October
Collecting art, even wacky art, is in fashion. If it is your fancy (and it seems safer than banking your bucks), then take in these modern art fairs during the last weeks of October.

Affordable Art Fair

Battersea Park, SW11; 23 to 26 October
Here, the sculpture garden is greener than green, with fragrant herbs and decorative vegetables, re-used concrete planters from the 1951 Festival of Britain and grass “felt” grown on recycled carpet. Inside, find 110 galleries offering art and artefacts from £50 to £3,000.

There is a free shuttle bus every 15 minutes from Sloane Square Tube station. Tickets cost £10 in advance (concessions £8); £12 on the door (£10); print this page for a two-for-one ticket offer.

For information, call 020 8246 4848; for tickets, call 0870 777 2255, or visit www.affordableartfair.co.uk.

Choosing the Chintz

Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, E2; 14 October to 22 February 2009
Who wears the wallpaper? Men or women? This exhibition investigates sexism in home decoration, from 1850 to the present day. Admission is free.
Call 020 7739 9893, or visit www.geffrye-museum.org.uk.

Glassware by Aline Johnson
Glassware by Aline Johnson, Notting Hill Design Fair

Vienna Café 1900

Kensington Gore, SW7; 13 to 24 October
A cup of coffee in Vienna is a top tourist attraction - and a far cry from Starbucks. This nostalgic exhibition, with photographs, posters and artefacts, explores the background to Austrian coffee houses with their rich ambience of Art Nouveau.

And taste the delicious pastries and hot chocolate of the kaffeehaus at a special café. Admission free. Call 020 7590 4444, or visit www.rca.ac.uk/viennacafe.

Notting Hill Design Fair

20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove, W11; 31 October to 1 November
Set in an impressive listed building, this is a new event.

Buy luxury fashion and homeware direct from about 30 British designers, including Aline Johnson (hand-blown vases and chandeliers), Ulrikke Vogt (jewellery), Kate Jones (knitwear) and ceramics (Emma Clegg and Steven Geddes). Prices from around £35 - up to £4,000. Entry is free.
Visit www.nottinghilldesignfair.co.uk.

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