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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.
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.
Men-only clubs, fried chicken jibes and much more – it's time to update to the 21st century
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.
Spitbank Fort, The Solent
A tale of two houses, neither one bleak
Return to quality street
Making the tea, drinking the tea, polishing his helicopter and... saving lives. Now we know what Prince William gets up to all day
A Georgian-style house surrounded by fields makes a charming alternative to urban chain hotels, discovers Cathy Packe
A homely ambience is complemented by hotel-standard style and service at this elegant guesthouse, says Kate Simon
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.
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
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."
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
A poignant and subtle new play lifts the lid on a theatrical revolutionary who lost his way
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.