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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable