Life and Style

Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr has joined forces with two foodie entrepreneurs to grow herbs and vegetables 100ft below the ground 

'Wicked' prostitute jailed for life

A prostitute was sentenced to custody for life at the Old Bailey yesterday for murdering a wealthy banker who tape-recorded his own horrific death.

With my help Mr Hamilton's victory is assured

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

Theatre: Kind Hearts and Coronets Palace Theatre,Watford

Like its hero, the first ever theatrical adaptation of Kind Hearts and Coronets shows an early interest in its own ancestry. The curtain rises to reveal a television showing the scene from Robert Hamer's Ealing Comedy in which the hangman peeks into the cell of Louis Mazzini, Duke of Chalfont and serial killer, on the eve of his execution. On stage, Mazzini silences the television with a flick of the remote control. "Tonight, for the first time," he says, "I can tell my own story."

In my week: We are talking about serendipity... on the two occasions in my life when I have reached absolute desperation I have found a pounds 50 note on a busy street

We're playing pinochle. I am winning by about a million points, but tragically I'm the one who vetoed playing for cash, and it'll be a bit obvious if I change my mind now, so I have to settle for the simple pleasure of humiliating my companions. The coffee table is crowded with the usual mass of empty wine bottles, full ashtrays, lumps of driftwood and bank statements on which Dan, who is 19, has doodled so many marijuana leaves that the figures have been obliterated. Dan has gone out, looking insulted when asked conversationally where he was going. Dan and Charlie exist, I think, to remind me that, in some people's eyes at least, I am now a member of the older generation. I wish they'd tell that to the 70-year-olds. Charlie is lying on the sofa in the kitchen watching a Steven Segal film on cable.

Me'shell NdegeOcello: The Grand, Clapham

It was a strange sight. Young white men - at least half the audience - swaying alongside their black brothers and sisters, mouthing the words: "All I ever wanted was a niggerman."

Regal angle to a legal wrangle

The most extraordinary bit of litigation going on at the moment is a case in the High Court, where the Tory Party is being sued by Mr and Mrs Norbert. They claim that they (the Norberts) have been given inadequate government for the last 13 years, that the Government should have managed things better, and that they (the Norberts) should be compensated.

tragedy; Dramas of war and disaster

Gulf War, January 1991. Tel Aviv suburb after an Iraqi Scud attack. Photograph by David Rose: 'Total darkness and confusion. I only realised the woman was carrying her gas mask after the film was processed. In fact, there were just a few casualties of gas in Israel. They were the people asphyxiated in the first week: they wore their masks incorrectly'

Offers in an envelope, please

How sealed bids can help you win - or lose - your dream house. By Penny Jackson

Clapham takes the plaudits on James


Equestrianism: Murray pots top spot equa24

Lucinda Murray has taken over the lead in the Bowmore Blair Castle Horse Trials on the eight- year-old Simply Red II, whose concern about flowerpots and flagpoles seemed to have waned by the time he entered the arena.

Leading Article: Safety must still come first

Accidents will happen, as one did on the railway near Watford last week, leaving one person dead and many injured. We do not yet know the exact causes and to try and blame any particular accident on rail privatisation is absurd. It is equally absurd for anybody to claim that privatisation has improved safety, even though there has been a sharp drop in collisions and fatalities since the system passed out of public ownership. Rail crashes are so rare that it is impossible to draw conclusions from a single year. Improved safety, in any case, may well derive from procedures or new equipment put in place many years earlier. Watford, indeed, provides a perfect example of that. Had old- fashioned "slam-door" carriages still been in use, the fatalities would almost certainly have been higher. Instead, the commuter train from Euston had carriages which, unlike their predecessors, do not crumple in collisions. These were built in the mid-1980s, when rail privatisation was no more than a gleam in the eyes of the wilder Tory think-tanks.

Near-disaster blamed on 'slipping standards'

Only the vigilance of a signalman prevented a rail disaster similar to the 1988 Clapham crash in which 36 people died, on the very day two months ago that Railtrack was floated on the stockmarket.

True stories from the Great Railway Disaster : No 79 : so you want a through ticket?

A weekly chronicle of the absurdities caused by the Government's privatisation programme

The secret gardens

I WAS AT Kempshott Junior School on the edge of Basingstoke one fine June morning recently. It was not at all like any primary school I ever saw a quarter of a century ago. In the playgrounds of the past, children ran around aimlessly, occasionally colliding with one another and making an awful noise. You could hear the shouts from several blocks away. In the big town primaries the most exciting thing to happen in break was a fight. When the cry of "Bun-dle cha cha cha' went up, it was a signal for everyone to gather round, so that the teacher could not see to spoil the fun. For sensitive children the trial by asphalt was appalling. At Kempshott things are quite different: there are flowers everywhere, and places for children to sit quietly. There are hedgerows and a pond and a daisy-covered playing field. While I was there, the decibel count was low and nobody was crying. Classroom doors were open and on the grass outside, a group of girls arranged a sequence of pictures of the Thames in the shelter of some flowering shrubs. It seemed an idyllic setting and it was not surprising to find that indoors the paintings and projects were often based on the garden around the school.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...