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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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