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Rémy Martin Sales up 10% despite le credit crunch

Sales of Rémy Martin's luxury cognacs are up 10 per cent over last year, despite le credit-crunch, according to Stephen Carroll, global market director for the family-owned cognac house. In the year to March, Rémy Martin recorded a turnover of €818m (£738), holding on to its ranking as the second-biggest cognac brand in the world.

Album: Ron Sexsmith, Exit Strategy of the Soul (Kensaltown)

Ron Sexsmith is usually damned with faint praise as a songwriter's songwriter, loved by students of the form but largely ignored.

Album: Ian Siegal, Meat & Potatoes (Nugene)

Ian Siegal's live shows confirm him as the leading bluesman in Britain. Their sweaty catharsis is hinted at here.

Diary of a Primary School Mum: 'Reading? It's my daughter's top pastime'

Claire has a new party trick. Take any bog-standard four-letter word (and the occasional fiver) and she can spell it. If there were a Reception Spelling Bee competition she'd be a serious contender. My best friend who's a primary school teacher has come round to help polish off leftover mince pies. I brag about my daughter's progress.

Paperback: A Hedonist in the Cellar, by Jay McInerney

Bloomsbury £8.99

Chocolate and chestnut truffles

Makes about 30-35 truffles

Album: Timbaland & Magoo

Under Construction Part II, Blackground / Unique

Obstinate Nixon keeps Kent at bay

Kent 245 and 411 Leicestershire 270 and 255-6 Match drawn

Racing: Williamson gets Cross

NORMAN WILLIAMSON rides Nicholls Cross for Edward O'Grady in the First National Gold Cup Handicap Chase over two miles three-and-a-half furlongs at Ascot on Saturday.

Racing: Equiname in Murphy's

CALL EQUINAME, the Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, will carry top weight in the Murphy's Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Cheltenham a week on Saturday.

Canoeing In France: Messing about on the Charente

Wynn Wheldon revisits the lazy, hazy charms of his favourite part of south-west France with four good friends and three sturdy canoes

The knack: Surviving on tour

"Get the biggest bus you can: some bands get sent on tour in Transit vans. Boredom is a big problem, so don't even think about going on the road without a PlayStation and a bar: we would've split up within a week without them. Your voice wears down, so every now and again don't talk to anyone for a day and drink whisky with honey. Your tour manager might say, `Don't drink or you'll go crazy' - but ignore this; getting pissed every night alleviates the pressure of being cooped up with a bunch of madheads and keeps you sane. Just don't do it too much before you go on stage or you'll play badly.

Racing: Reveley Free-for-all

MARY REVELEY's runners continued in brilliant form yesterday. A Catterick double with Jessica One and Free took her score to seven winners in three days.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee