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The New Review

Ali Hewson: Edun regained

They live in a mass slum; she lives in luxury. But Ali Hewson – perhaps better known as Mrs Bono – is determined to bring a little bit of paradise to these African lives;and in so doing, she is breathing life back into her ethical-fashion company

The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome, by Roland

The Arthur Ransome of popular imagination is as buoyant as one of his lake-lashed dinghies. He created, in the Swallows and Amazons series, a 1920s halcyon dream-world anchored to a permanently playful summer holiday. The Lakes of Ransome lore remain a landscape where nature is a cipher for innocence, toil and decency. It is, as biographer Roland Chambers states, an idyll of "cotton tents and grog and tea at four, and children who say 'jolly' and play by the rules; well-behaved children who rise early and know how to do things, tie knots and sail a boat." That legacy still fills the coffers of the thriving tourist industry of Windermere and Coniston Water.

Tony Parsons: Punch drunk love

On completing his trilogy about modern masculinity, the novelist and amateur pugilist Tony Parsons opens up about marriage, parenthood and failing to live up to his father

Flash, bang, dollop! Variations on a mayonnaise

It takes no time to transform a basic mayo into aioli, rouille, sauce vert or even a spicy, paprika-infused sauce. What more do you need to give a lift to any number of light, summer dishes, asks Skye Gyngell

Maia Norman: Move over, darling

She is Damien Hirst's partner, and enjoys all the trappings of life with one of the world's most bankable artists, but now Maia Norman wants to find fame on her own terms: as designer of a new high-octane fashion range

It's time for The Terrys!

Another year, another 280 meals out. Our restaurant critic Terry Durack presents the only food awards that count – as he recalls what slipped down a treat and what stuck in his throat

Big chef, little chef: What does it take to become a kitchen star?

In this special section we explore the whole circus of culinary celebrity: from overstuffed critics and TV wannabes to voracious publishers. But first, we ask top chefs to introduce their most promising protégés, whose recipes could have Gordon and Heston shaking in their checked trousers

Jonathan Meades: 'I have saucisson issues'

He is a former restaurant critic who was fed up with 'tosser' TV chefs and the 'ersatz' food culture of Britain. So Jonathan Meades fled to the belly of France to eat himself silly...

Culture: Why Little Dorrit's grown in stature

I was having dinner at the Hix Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis with a well-known restaurateur last weekend when conversation inevitably turned to the credit crunch. Was his restaurant suffering? The answer was yes. He had had only 60 covers in the previous night, down from 75 a week earlier. What about the restaurant we were eating in? Would this high-end seafood restaurant in Dorset attract enough customers to ride out the storm? Only if it lowered its prices, he reckoned. We then noticed a recent addition to the desert menu: "Credit crunch ice cream". At £1.50 a scoop, it was significantly cheaper than any of the alternatives.

Parties: It's full-on at half-term

When the London College of Fashion held a catwalk show and after-party on 27 October to kick off its inaugural Fashioning the Future summit, a series of seminars on the subject of sustainability, your average punter would have been hard-pressed to spot a famous face. But for the clamouring students, a veritable dream line-up was present, from the ever-dapper Jaeger chairman Harold Tillman and ex-Topshopper Jane Shepherdson (now of Whistles) to Browns boutique owner Joan Burstein.

Fashion: Sell high, buy low?

Political upheavals and economic woes may come and go, but our fascination with the vagaries of female footwear reigns eternal. Last month, an announcement by shoe designer extraordinaire Christian Louboutin, in which he unveiled his dastardly plan to unleash a pair of eight-inch stilettos on the world, led the fashion press to declare that heels, and women's irrational love of them, are set to reach new heights this season.