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In the middle of the night, hidden beneath the covers, I start laughing at the idea of anyone else finding out what I'm Googling. No, I'm not funding the dark web, I'm not streaming illegal stuff of any kind, I'm not even shopping for kittens; I'm soothing my troubled insomniac brow on frenchclick.co.uk, gazing at things formerly only purchasable in French supermarkets, now brought all the way across the Channel to my London front door – with no delivery charge on orders of more than £35. (More than £35? Pah. I can spend over £35 on biscuits alone in a French supermarket.)

MasterChef 2013 winner Natalie Coleman

MasterChef 2013 winner Natalie Coleman on being crowned third female champion: 'I can keep up with boy banter'

Credit controller and part time DJ Natalie Coleman has become the third woman to win MasterChef after beating Welshmen Larkin Cen and Dale Williams in the final.

How We Met: Ken Hom & Ching-He Huang

Ken Hom OBE, 63

Just like a woman?:Nadia Santini, winner of this year’s Veuve Cliquot Best Female Chef award

Is there a place for sex in the kitchen?

A storm of controversy greeted this year’s award for the world’s best ­female chef, but it wasn’t surrounding the winner. Instead, as Sudi Pigott explains, it was about whether gender matters in cooking.

Be your own student Masterchef: Cooking delicious food with simple ingredients

No matter what anyone might say, cooking for yourself doesn't have to mean beans on toast. Student gastronome Joe McMullan has a few basic lessons for those of you who aspire to greater meals

The Final Four with the judges Larken Cen, Natalie Coleman, Gregg Wallace, John Torode, Saira Hamilton, Dale Williams

'I hardly ever cook' says MasterChef semi-finalist who blagged his way through

A solicitor who has reached the final stages of this year's MasterChef has confessed that he rarely cooked before joining the fiercely competitive BBC One show.

Green scene: Clouds shroud the woods of Motovun in Istria

Independent on Sunday travel writing competition: Write your way to an inspirational week in Croatia

We have once again joined forces with Bradt Travel Guides  to offer readers the chance to win our travel-writing competition, with a top prize this year of a holiday for two to the Croatian region of Istria. PLUS have your winning story published in 'The Independent on Sunday' and Independent.co.uk

Room Service: A manor reborn, a star to follow?

Brockencote Hall, Worcestershire

Bright spot: a Silver room

Boutique flourish without the fuss: 25hours Zurich

Room Service: a design hotel that bridges the gap between budget and boutique

Clockwise from top left: the Blue Lagoon; Fimmvorduhals volcano; Reykjavik; Gullfoss waterfall

Foreigners are cool: Iceland's lesson for Britain as isolated island is voted the friendliest place on earth

The country that topped a hospitality poll could teach the UK (placed 55th) a thing or two, Jenna Gottlieb discovers

Sports caterer snapped up by American rival

A catering group that counts Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester Tigers Rugby Club among its clients has been snapped up by an American rival Centerplate. 

Lounge at The White House, Daylesford

Stay the Night: The White House, Daylesford, Australia

A couple of hours' drive from Melbourne, this smart rental is quite at home in desirable Daylesford, says James Litston

Ametsa is cool, minimal, and overwhelmingly white

Review: Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, The Halkin Hotel, Halkin Street, London

The full name of this week's restaurant, it pains me to report, is Ametsa with Arzak Instruction. Yes, really. And it's housed in a hotel which calls itself The Halkin by Como. I only get 800 words per review, so from here on in I'll just call the place Ametsa, although it's the Arzak element that has got the foodies all excited.

Reese Witherspoon has bought the film rights to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and would make an excellent female lead.

Gone Girl: the thinking woman’s Fifty Shades?

It is the book everybody is talking about. But can Gillian Flynn's tale of marital deviance live up to the hype? Definitely, says Matilda Battersby

Celebrity chef Paul Rankin who has shut his flagship restaurant Cayenne in Belfast blaming the continuing Union flag protests

Celebrity chef Paul Rankin closes flagship Belfast restaurant Cayenne, blaming continuing Union flag disturbances

One of Belfast's most famous restaurants has shut, it was disclosed today.

Kitchen confidential: Stephen Terry

'My secret to the ultimate bacon sarnie: marmalade'

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee