Diary: Gwyneth's recipes for life

Like a latter-day Linda McCartney, health-food-loving rock-star spouse and sometime actor Gwyneth Paltrow publishes her debut cookbook next year. The press has been issued with extracts from the tome, with the food-free title My Father's Daughter (sickly subtitle: "Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family and Togetherness").

"Cooking has become my main ancillary passion in life," Paltrow writes, oxymoronically. "The stove is really the epicentre of my house... most of the time there is something atop it, simmering away for my family."

Dinner at the Martin-Paltrows' is nonetheless a restrained affair: "When I prepare desserts," the erstwhile macrobiotic explains, "I am thinking about keeping the sugar intake low." Not exactly Nigella, then. Finally, this bold grammatical display: "I came across an axiom in a passage from a culinary memoir called Heat in which the author, Bill Buford, observes the following: 'You can divide people into two categories in life: cooks and bakers'."

How wise... how true.

* This column traditionally turns its nose up at tittle-tattle from the House of Windsor, but the release of the Royal Collection's range of wedding-based china yesterday featured prominently in Fleet Street's other fine organs. Naturally, design experts were called upon for their opinions of Wills and Kate's commemorative pillboxes. In The Times, for example, the approving critic Stephen Bayley praised the conjugal crockery for its "polite and restrained decoration".

The designs, Bayley went on, "suggest the delightful decorative work of Ravilious and Bawden, masters of understated, unassuming and unthreatening Englishness." The Telegraph, on the other hand, turned to a less sympathetic commentator: one Stephen Bayley, who dismissed the royal plates as "lazy and insipid ... depressing rubbish [which] harshly illuminates our national decline". Maybe Messrs Bayley and Bayley should get together to clear up their differences.



* "Cliff Richard is in the sex industry." This is the extraordinary claim made by the 70-year-old strip-club impresario Peter Stringfellow in an interview with Time Out. Has Mr Stringfellow seen the X-rated edition of Cliff's 2011 calendar? Not exactly: the comment is part of his attempt to implicate the rest of the entertainment industry – and, indeed, the retail industry – in his own grubby business. "I think we are all in the sex industry," Stringfellow opines.

"Everyone who sells clothes – Philip Green, Kate Moss... We are sex people. Like it or not, you are a sex person too." (I'm not sure how he knows that; I've always preferred Spearmint Rhino.) Stringfellow's former ambition to be Mayor of London, meanwhile, has abated. "There's no way on God's Earth I could win," he says. Sounds like an ideal Lib Dem candidate.

* "Taxpayers... want less interference in their local communities from Whitehall government," argued Communities Secretary Eric "Extra" Pickles last week. So it's a tad embarrassing that his own intervention in a local issue has seen him branded "incompetent" by Essex nimbies, a core Tory demographic.

When a planning inspector cancelled a 326-home development in Rochford, Extra threw his considerable weight behind the decision, citing the proposed Coombes Farm development as typical of the Regional Spatial Strategies he'd scrapped. The Government, however, was then told it had to pass a Bill before doing away with Labour's RSS. Thanks to Extra's intervention, the developers Colonnade Land successfully appealed against the decision and resubmitted the Rochford plans, to the horror of local taxpayers. Extra has, at least, proved his own point: as a residents' campaigner assured the Echo, "If the Secretary of State had not [interfered], we would not be in this mess."



* An invitation from the Royal Humane Society, a charity devoted to recognising heroism. This column's favourite hero, Rory Stewart OBE MP, who recently compared himself to the demigod Achilles, is to speak to the Society in March. "Rory Stewart is exceptional in every way," the invitation attests. "Even Brad Pitt recognises his unique charisma." Did Stewart pen the text personally? In any case, consider this an RSVP.

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker