Life and Style Shaken, not stirred: a pre-dinner martini

The aperitif is back, the aperitif is in. At Simon Rogan's joint in the Midland Hotel, Manchester, a guy in a bomber jacket breaks off a conversation with his date, "I'll have Just a Splash – that cocktail with Aperol and Prosecco," he says to the barman.

Immigrants who cannot speak English have no way of being a 'full member' of British society, Eric Pickles said

Non-English speakers may lose benefits, says Eric Pickles

Immigrants who cannot speak English have no way of being a “full member” of British society, Eric Pickles said on Sunday, amid suggestions benefits could be stripped from those who do not learn the language.

Book review: "Entry Island" by Peter May

Author Peter May is masterful at making a little go a long way. His acclaimed Lewis trilogy spun three tales of murder and mystery from the unpromising prospects afforded by the Outer Hebrides. In Entry Island, May once again mines this rich Hebridean seam for nuggets; the only difference being that the crime is in the distant past, during the notorious clearances in which profit-hungry landlords brutally removed settled communities from their estates in the Highlands and Islands to replace them with sheep.

Romanians landing at Luton Airport were surprised to be greeted by Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz. However, many Britons have been heading out in the opposite direction.

As EU work restrictions are lifted for Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, the influx has begun... of Britons heading for Bucharest

Many Romanians were put off moving to the UK because of its increasingly racist rhetoric

Saudi royal may face execution for murder

A Saudi prince who murdered a fellow Saudi may be executed, a newspaper reported on Sunday, in a rare example of a member of the kingdom’s ruling family facing the death penalty.

Sir Michael Wilshaw said luck governs pupils’ fortunes

All seven and 14-year-olds must take exams, says Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw

Sir Michael calls for tests abolished almost a decade ago to be reinstated amid concerns over standards in maths and English

Manorfield Primary School went from an ‘inadequate’ rating to ‘outstanding’ in one year, one of the quickest turnarounds ever seen by inspectors

From fail to world’s best: A lesson from the East End

What can we learn from the remarkable 15-year turnaround at Tower Hamlets’ schools?

Why yous are less and less likely to be having a barm for your tea: The Southern way of speaking is spreading say researchers...

Study into 'Language Variation and Change' conducted by the University of Manchester reveals spread of Southern words

King Philippe ascended to the throne in July 2013 after his father abdicated for health reasons

King of Belgium has used powers to pardon 11 people for driving offences in just five months

The King has been forced to apologise following the revelation which came a day before huge a 130 car pile up in the country

Domino's delivery man quits after workers told to only speak English

A man has left his job with Domino's over what he described as an “offensive” sign prohibiting staff from using any language other than English in the workplace.

Roberto Soldado has scored three goals in his first two matches for Tottenham

Roberto Soldado admits disappointment with form since £26m switch to Tottenham

The striker has failed to sparkle after a promising start at White Hart Lane

'Selfie' beats 'twerk' to be named word of 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries

'Selfie' beat 'twerk' and 'binge-watch' to be chosen as the word of the year

Robson Green in ITV's Tales From Northumberland

TV review: Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green, ITV

“Everything that makes Britain great can be found right here in Northumberland,” announced Robson Green at the start of his new ITV series, Tales from Northumberland. It was a bold claim – do they even have a Nando's? – but this proud son of Hexham is so enthusiastic about the land that stretches from north of Newcastle to the Scottish border that we should give him the chance to prove it. And while Robson takes an eight-week trip around his home county, his accent will apparently be roving the length and breadth of the nation. Last night it took in West Kensington and Tyneside, plus a brief stop in County Down.

The way schools are being ranked is to be scrapped by ministers

Controversial GCSE ranking system to be overhauled

Schools will be ranked on pupils' best eight GCSEs in future

Two e-fit images believed by detectives to be of the same man seen in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance

Madeleine McCann search: Man pictured in two police e-fits 'was seen carrying child' on night Madeleine disappeared

More details emerge about the man police want to question ahead of tonight’s special episode of Crimewatch

Rachel Joyce

Matt Butler: The real-life adventures of alpha males – and females

View From The Sofa: Adventure Show, BBC Scotland / /Ironman, ironman.com

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

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The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

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Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

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