Shaken, not stirred: a pre-dinner martini

On the menu: Never go straight through to dinner, and never say aperitif

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.

Eating out in York

When was the last time you had a first time.....?

Jill Turton- Where to Shop in York

When was the last time you had a first time.....?

Win a luxury two-night spa break in York

Including two return East Coast train tickets to York and free entry to 30 top attractions

Marmite and Irn-Bru have been banned from supermarkets in Canada

Marmite, Irn-Bru and Bovril banned in Canada after they fall foul of food additive rules

In Canada it is perfectly legal to acquire a firearm and bullets. But Marmite and Irn-Bru are apparently a threat to the nation’s health after the Canadian food watchdog banned some of Britain’s most popular exports from supermarket shelves.

Canada said it was cracking down on a range of British imports - including Irn Bru, which contains the 'illegal' food colourant Ponceau 4R (E124)

Canada bans Irn Bru, Marmite and Bovril in crackdown on UK goods with 'illegal ingredients'

Authorities say many famous British products are ‘enriched with too many vitamins and minerals’

Snapchat launched in July 2011

Six free apps no student should live without

These six apps are all free and easy to download onto your laptop, ipad, and smartphone. These apps are perfect for students whether you are looking for something to pass the time or something convenient to fit around your needs and activities.

The boomerang generation: A lack of affordable housing is putting huge strain on young lives

For the first time in years, housing is a top five issue for voters

A Ryanair Boeing 737 aircraft

Delayed Ryanair passengers loot drinks trolley and steal cigarettes in 'barbaric' revolt

Passengers had been on plane for several hours before the 'mutiny' took place

Chris Dagnall came off the bench to turn the game around

Jonny Davies: Our policy of not shelling out transfer fees paid off again as new boy Chris Dagnall delivered

The O Zone: Life behind the scenes at Leyton Orient

Japanese fishermen transporting slaughtered dolphins in Taiji harbour; the water of the cove is red with the blood of dead animals. Locals brand criticism of the cull 'cultural imperialism'

Taiji Cove dolphins: Japanese government defends 'lawful' slaughter as hunters prepare to kill 200 animals

Hundreds of dolphins are killed in a remote Japanese bay during hunting season. The town argues it is an important tradition, but conservationists maintain the bloody practice is inhumane

Blair meeting with troops in Basra, Iraq in 2003

The day I tried (and failed) to arrest Tony Blair for war crimes: Barman attempts to detain former PM at trendy Shoreditch restaurant

One is an internationally renowned statesman; the other was a barman working at one of east London’s hippest restaurants. But it was the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who came out on top in an unusual clash on Friday. He managed to use his years of verbal dexterity – some would put it less politely – to talk himself out of what could have been a humiliating situation: a citizen’s arrest.

A red bellied piranha, similar to the palometas that have injured bathers in attacks in Argentina

Ten people wounded by flesh-eating piranhas while bathing in Argentina

The fish already injured swimmers cooling down from the heat last month

In Brief: Thousands of homes install ‘smart’ thermostat; Early rates rise risk; Product recalls soar; Metro Bank raises £387m

British Gas has revealed that more than 50,000 Britons are using its apps to control their heating, less a week after Google spent $3.2bn (£1.9bn) on the “smart” home appliance maker Nest.

Britain’s retailers are experiencing an epidemic of shoplifting, fuelled by the economic downturn and organised crime gangs stealing valuable merchandise to order by travelling large distances to major shopping centres

Tough times trigger shoplifting epidemic as organised gangs steal valuable goods to order

Britain’s retailers are experiencing an epidemic of shoplifting, fuelled by the economic downturn and organised crime gangs stealing valuable merchandise to order by travelling large distances to major shopping centres.

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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