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Italian luxury notebook maker Moleskine has picked Canary Wharf and Covent Garden for its first standalone UK stores.

A new serif in town

You might not notice them, but the fonts used on signs and shops can define a city, discovers Simon Usborne

Trajan-style typeface

A new serif in town: The fonts used on London's signs and shops have an army of fans

It's the dots that do it, on the "i's". Except that they're not dots at all, but diamonds. The adornments on an otherwise beautifully simple typeface are an identifying quirk of Johnston Sans, a font that is as synonymous with London as Big Ben. It has become known as the "handwriting" of the city, but can you identify it? Did you even know its name?

The Barber of Seville, English Touring Opera, Hackney Empire

English Touring Opera shows often embody the old adage about necessity and invention. Portability is the key: their sets must fit in the back of a van, and be shoehorned into a wide variety of spaces.

Marcus du Sautoy (left), Craig Revel Horwood, Josie Lawrence and Trevor Nelson at the Royal Opera House in London today, where it was announced they would be the new contestants of the BBC show Maestro at the Opera

Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood to face opera challenge

Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood is swapping the ballroom for the baton - as he learns to become a classical conductor.

Marcus du Sautoy (left), Craig Revel Horwood, Josie Lawrence and Trevor Nelson at the Royal Opera House in London today, where it was announced they would be the new contestants of the BBC show Maestro at the Opera

Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood to face opera challenge

Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood is swapping the ballroom for the baton - as he learns to become a classical conductor.

Elizabeth Connell: Mezzo and soprano acclaimed for her Verdi and Wagner interpretations

The opera singer Elizabeth Connell enjoyed 10 successful years as a mezzo before becoming a soprano and enjoying over two decades more of international acclaim.

Dvorak's dark side set to light up the stage

I'm all for cats at the opera – a fuzzy feline will always raise a smile. But isn't there something alarming about it when a mermaid meets one? We all know what cats do to fish. It looks as if that might happen to the unfortunate Rusalka, the eponymous heroine of Dvorak's post-Wagnerian take on The Little Mermaid, in the opera's first-ever production at the Royal Opera House.

John Browett will take up his new position Stateside with Apple in April

A genius career move ... the man who went from Dixons (in Hemel) to boss of Apple stores (in California)

The chief executive of Dixons Retail is to swap Hemel Hempstead and an arduous retail turnaround for the Californian sunshine and highly coveted role of running the global stores of the technology giant, Apple.

The Enchanted Island, Everyman Belsize Park

Our new-style night at the opera took place in a cinema with five-star comfort, drinks being brought as we lounged on our sofas.

Food shop creates inhouse treats

Hotel Chocolat will today open the UK's first shop that sells and makes chocolate under one roof.

Back to La Source: Opera National de Paris breathes new life into a forgotten hit

In these straitened times a new full-length classical ballet is a rarity, so the Opera National de Paris deserves praise for breathing new life into a forgotten hit from the 19th-century. With music by Delibes and Minkus, and costumes by Christian Lacroix, La Source – the spring – is a version of the Rusalka legend set in what is now Chechnya. When it premiered in 1866, its exotic locale was part of its appeal.

Gary Dobson bragged about knife threat

Gary Dobson was seen swaggering around his flat bare-chested and holding a knife in police surveillance footage.

La traviata, Royal Opera House

Three years ago the Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho was virtually unknown in Britain.

A certain smile: Vanessa Kirby

Vanessa Kirby: A Dickens leading lady with a dark side

Kirby had a small part in The Hour but made a big impact. Now, she's starring as the heartbreaker from Great Expectations.

Appeal over 1991 police killing

Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe appealed for information today about the murder of a "courageous" officer on the 20th anniversary of his death.

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