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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power