Travel

Take your pick in Courchevel, Chamonix, Sainte-Foy, Megève, and Val Thorens

Inspectors found poor hygiene in the kitchen at Noma, run by Rene Redzepi. A meal at the restaurant will set you back hundreds of pounds

Noma, 'the world's best restaurant,' feels the heat after 63 diners get vomiting virus

It has been voted the world's best restaurant three years in a row, but is unlikely to be be winning any hygiene awards after dozens of diners fell ill with food poisoning.

Two Fat Duck chefs killed in Hong Kong

Two "uniquely talented" chefs at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant were killed when their taxi was crushed between two double-decker buses in Hong Kong.

Luke Thomas: 'When I met Thomas Keller at the French Laundry pop-up it was like I was meeting my favourite pop star'

My Life In Food: Luke Thomas, Britain's youngest head chef

Before donning the head chef's whites at Luke's Dining Room at Sanctum on the Green, Berkshire, Thomas, who is 18, worked at Chester Grosvenor Hotel. He has done work placements at some of the most famous restaurants in the world, including The Fat Duck, Alinea in Chicago and the French Laundry pop-up at Harrods.

Travel Agenda: P&O Cruises; Fissure weekend; Bike the Bay; Bermuda; Heathrow to St John's; Jumeirah Emirates Towers; Spring Festival in Austria

Today: The Downton Abbey actor, Hugh Bonneville, is master of ceremonies at the naming of the latest addition to the P&O Cruises fleet, Adonia, in Southampton. The small ship will be for adults only ( pocruises.com). And in the Yorkshire Dales, Fissure is a weekend-long theatrical event that explores the region's natural terrain through walks based in and around Ingleborough ( artevents.info)

The Sketch: Watching television is overrated (even for the man at the top)

Chris Patten – Tory peer, ex-Tory party chairman, ex-Tory cabinet minister – has already been anointed and is now waiting to be appointed chairman of the BBC. These characters are usually smooth stooges whose final ambition is to schmooze a hostile government without giving offence to the 20,000 leftish metrosexuals who work for the organisation (or the 4,098 others).

The Sketch: A peer well qualified on pitfalls at the workplace

Tobias Ellwood said something interesting and that's got to be worth a quid. He's that nice, dim-looking Tory, with a bit of an undershot face, looks a bit like a clever Toby Perkins. He said: "Mr Speaker, you are an anecdote to verbal diarrhoea."

Foodies' favourites: Britain's top chefs and restaurateurs reveal where they dine out

We asked a selection to reveal their favourite eateries, from local gems to high-end hang-outs

The real masterchef: Ferran Adrià is closing El Bulli's doors but has vowed to keep experimenting

I first heard about Ferran Adrià from Gordon Ramsay in 2003. Ramsay is not a man to fling compliments around, but he spoke about the Barcelonan super-chef with something approaching awe. "The man is a genius," he said. "He's got three Michelin stars, and he serves Fisherman's Friend ice cream. It's cooking 20 years ahead of its time."

The day I cooked like the best restaurant on earth

Denmark's Noma has been named the finest place to eat on the planet. Unprepared to wait in vain for a table (or fly to Copenhagen), Christopher Hirst tried its recipes at home

Noma's ingredients and ambience are unique

Everyone can imagine the best restaurants in the world: incredibly luxurious surroundings, overly solicitous service, a general sense of opulence and wellbeing. Noma's model is different. The quayside warehouse is raw. As you walk in, the kitchen is in front of you. The walls are rough with age, colours are washed-out neutrals. It's a lovely space, but as spare as the cooking.

Bistrot Bruno Loubet, Zetter Hotel, St John’s Square, 86-88 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1

When I tell people what I do for a living, the question they most often ask is, do the restaurants know beforehand that you're coming? To which I answer, "No, but I always book in as Fay Maschler, just to keep them on their toes." The business of anonymity among reviewers is something of a red herring. After all, if the kitchen can't cook and the front of house is inept, just knowing there's a professional diner in the house won't make them significantly raise their game.

Davos Sketch: Curried rye bread, African scarves and the 'magic of Davos'

Easily the most incongruous sight in Davos this year is the proliferation of red-white-green-yellow-black-yellow-green-white-and-blue-striped bobble hats and scarves, as if a bunch of South African soccer fans had invaded the place – which in a way they have, as President Jacob Zuma himself, fresh from his recent nuptials (conducted in full Zulu regalia), leads probably the largest contingent of Africans to attend such a gathering. And there'll be plenty of talk about the World Cup. The scarves and hats were a gift from South Africa to every participant at the forum, and very welcome they are too in conditions that are slightly cooler and snowier than usual (good for skiing, they tell me).

The French Laundry, 6640 Washington Street, Yountville, California

The French Laundry, Thomas Keller's acclaimed restaurant in Napa Valley's Yountville, has been described by the New York Times as "the most exciting place to eat in the United States". It's impossible to get a booking at short notice unless you're an A-list celebrity, so when a friend tells me he has an "in", I gratefully join him and his American companion.

Super natural: A reverence for raw produce and simple cooking techniques heralds a new back-to-basics culinary movement

What happens when you get eleven of the world's best chefs, take them to a forest and make them forage for their ingredients? Terry Durack reports on the raw food, raw energy and raw passion of 'SuperNatural' eating

The Fat Duck counts the cost. But was Blumenthal right to close?

Chef banks on the all-clear after food scare, as supporters rally round
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

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Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
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Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn