Dining Room

Turl Street Kitchen, 16-17 Turl Street Oxford

At a scrubbed wooden table, a dapper, Rumpole-ish gentleman is taking lunch, in immaculate suit and wide red braces. Behind him, also eating alone, is a troll in human form – a small, wild-haired oldster wearing a plunging singlet and very short shorts, his abundantly furry chest and shoulders on proud display. Both of these unlikely fellow diners look perfectly at home.

The Talbot Hotel, Yorkersgate, Malton, North Yorkshire

Following a deafening dinner at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen a few years ago, when twenty-somethings maintained a roundelay of "Happy Birthday" for much of the evening, I've steered clear of restaurants run by TV chefs. So it was with trepidation that I entered the refurbished mansion (Pevsner: "probably c.1840") that houses the Talbot Hotel in Malton, North Yorkshire, since the owners Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland and his son Tom have installed local boy James Martin, an ornament of Saturday Kitchen and other televisual bonbons, as executive chef.

Summer Guide 2013: Islands

Take your pick of seven new properties on the Greek Islands available through Ionian Villas (01935 477196; ionian-villas.co.uk). "Artist's Villa" on Paxos, built in 2011, has three bedrooms and sits on a hilltop surrounded by olive groves overlooking Gaios port. It costs from £1,330 for a week's rental. Meanwhile, two-bedroom "Morpheus", a newly completed property on Antipaxos, is one of only four villas with swimming pools that are available to rent on the island. It costs from £1,120 for a week, including rental of a Suzuki 4x4. International travel costs are not included.

The White Swan Inn, Market Place, Pickering, North Yorkshire

Pickering in North Yorkshire is a country town with exactly the right sort of attractions: 12th-century castle; bustling steam railway; church with medieval wall paintings admired by Pevsner and, not least, a quietly handsome inn on the high street.

On the trail of Bauhaus

Bauhaus architecture is being celebrated in a new exhibition at the Barbican in London. Fiona Dunlop travels to centralGermany to see where it all began

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Matthew Norman: How much must the PM have to offer if he's worth

At his age, the shock might have killed him. Straight up, Rupert Murdoch could have gone out like a light on learning that the rich and powerful can buy access to a Prime Minister. So praise be that his naive heart survived the epiphany, sparing him to confide his thoughts on the latest demi-scandal bedecked with the scintillatingly fresh suffix of "-gate". "What was Cameron thinking?" he tweeted. "No one, rightly or wrongly, will believe his story."

Where children are guests, not pests

Once upon a time, the most stylish accommodation was always the least child-friendly. No longer. Europe now has plenty of chic hotels for all ages

Buyers flock to view 'shabby' Morpeth house

It is described as 'shabby', 'unremarkable' and 'in dire need of updating', but an end of terrace house in Northumberland has drawn an unusual level of interest thanks to a refreshingly honest 'warts and all' description from estate agents.