Carol Sarler: There's far more to happy families than two parents, two children and a jam sandwich

The traditional model may be evolving but our kith and kin are special beyond words

Politicians and garden experts back <i>IoS</i> campaign to get pupils planting

Children will be more adventurous over what they eat if they've helped to produce it, writes Paul Bignell

Terroirs, 5 William IV Street, London WC2

The flow of press releases announcing new restaurant openings has slowed to a trickle. Planned launches have been aborted before take-off, and roll-outs hastily rolled back in. As the recession bites, restaurants around Britain are closing their doors – around 100 in January alone, according to a recent report in The Independent – taking with them the pension plans of well-known figures such as Antony Worrall Thompson and Jean-Christophe Novelli. Even for an industry with a perennially high churn rate, these are turbulent times.

Aprons on &ndash; it's time to make lunch and save some money

Saving money is not just about targeting the biggest expenses in your life. Taking one fewer holiday or getting rid of your cable TV could put hundreds of pounds back into your pocket each year. However, meaningful savings can also be made by targeting the small items – such as takeaway coffees and sandwiches – which over a year can cost you much more than you might think.

Scare as top chef recommends hallucinogenic weed

The celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson has apologised after he mistakenly suggested using a poisonous plant in recipes.

Mark Hix: 'Why I've joined The Independent's campaign for fairer tipping'

After working at the top of the restaurant industry for almost two decades, I know that this business as a whole is not without its scams and tricks. But I must say that even I'm surprised – and disappointed – by some of the practices that The Independent's Fair Tips, Fair Pay campaign has exposed. Some of the tipping policies out there are shocking, especially where the management takes more of the service charges than the staff – that's exactly what restaurants should not be doing.

Tipping: top chefs turn up the heat

Ex-minister 'regrets' tips loophole in minimum wage deal

Chefs at boiling point after Martha Stewart is barred from UK

The decision to refuse the American domestic guru Martha Stewart entry to the UK has been branded "an enormous joke" and "a blow to British business" by one of Britain's leading chefs.

Things to do around the UK this weekend

1. Alresford in Hampshire hosts its annual Watercress Festival today, kicking off a week of bicentenary celebrations of the plant industry (watercress.co.uk). Antony Worrall Thompson demonstrates new dishes and steam train rides will take place on the Watercress Line.

The return of the turkey king

After the Twizzler fiasco, Bernard Matthews is back with a new 'healthy' children's range

Food Of The Week: Cumbria

Cumbria's scenery is matched by its gourmet offerings, says Andy Lynes

Abuse stigma puts men off child care

Just three per cent of Britain's nannies are male. Now a new campaign is aiming to increase their number

Chargrilled squid with red pepper salsa and crispy bacon

Main course: Serves 4
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
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