When the British fashion design duo Antoni & Alison bought a derelict 1820s house, they spent a year, they say, "Going, 'Agh! What do we do with it?'" They wanted to respect its history but not to the point that it resembled an English Heritage property. The result is a surprisingly beautiful blend of giant Mr Blobby ornaments and painstakingly salvaged authenticity (above). On 17 September, as part of London Fashion Week, they open it to the public (open houselondon. I asked Antoni what he'd learnt during the restoration...

Hotel star system to lose official backing

The official star-rating system used to rank hotels in Britain is to lose state backing this week, after claims that customer reviews posted online are more reliable. National tourism agencies, such as VisitEngland, grade hotels from one to five stars, but the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) says collective rankings more accurately reflect holidaymakers' concerns. The current system is also considered to work against smaller hotels, which often receive just one or two stars because they cannot offer the same breadth of services as a large hotel, even if their standards of service, accommodation and food are judged very favourably.

Dylan Jones: 'The Design Museum’s move, in 2014, to the Commonwealth Institute, comes not a minute too soon'

As the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have withdrawn 65 per cent of the Design Museum's funding over the next four years, some may have feared that plans for the museum to move from its Tower Bridge home to the Commonwealth Institute may have been scuppered. But not a bit of it. The DCMS money only represents 10 per cent of the museum's annual budget, and it will still receive £900,000 over the next four years (rather than £1.4m).

Prospective BBC Trust chairman to face grilling from MPs

The prospective chairman of the BBC Trust will face a grilling from MPs before taking the job.

Threat to Liverpool's World Heritage Site

English Heritage has warned that the Shanghai-style redevelopment of Liverpool's historic waterfront could harm the city's World Heritage Site.

Jowell: Olympic stadium athletics legacy must be met

Former Olympics minister Tessa Jowell insists the Olympic Stadium in east London must continue to be an athletics venue after the 2012 Games in order to fulfil promises made to the International Olympic Committee during the bidding process.

Underwater search for lecturer called off

An underwater search for a former university lecturer feared dead after a boat carrying six passengers capsized was called off today.

The Last Word: Football needs to sort itself out at the top

New chairman must force the FA to become more efficient and representative of modern Britain

Outside the Box: Late, great Cunningham on shortlist for rare plaque honour

English Heritage are looking for help in increasing the strangely small number of London football men to be honoured with a blue plaque in the capital.

Mayor approves Battersea plans

The redevelopment of Battersea Power Station moved a step closer yesterday after years of setbacks and frustration, as London Mayor Boris Johnson gave the plan his blessing.

Harry is happy at Spurs, insists chairman Levy

Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy accepted yesterday that any English manager would find it hard to turn down the national job, but put off to the realm of "if and when" how he would deal with any Football Association approach for Harry Redknapp.

Poor teachers make poetry a bore for pupils, claims Motion

Subject has same cachet as clog dancing, former poet laureate tells Richard Garner

Aristocrats put Old Masters up for auction

Paintings that were on public display are being sold and taken abroad as Britain's titled families offload their treasures

Matthew Bell: The <i>IoS</i> Diary (28/11/10)

Still talking turkey

The Business On... Dido Harding, Chief executive, TalkTalk

I thought that chubby bloke was in charge?

Royal Opera House shelves move north

The proposed £100m outpost of the Royal Opera House (ROH) in Manchester is among a swathe of arts projects that have been shelved because of the arts-funding cuts announced earlier this week.

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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

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Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor