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

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes