Mussel memory: Bill Granger brings sunny reminiscences of holidays past to the table with his spectacular seafood dishes

Our chef's dishes are as speedy to make as they are delicious to demolish

Bill's linguine with mussels in tomato sauce works just as well with clams, prawns or tuna
Satisfying and cleansing: Bill's Thai mussel soup

Bill Granger recipe: Thai mussel soup

Serves 4

Retired queen of the track Victoria “Sponge” Pendleton

Sport on TV: Doctor, doctor! This presenter is a pain in the, er, prostate

If anyone can complete a 127-mile cycle race through the Pyrenees called the “Bone Breaker”, having done no exercise for years, surely it would be a doctor. They might not have quite the depth of medical knowledge that Lance Armstrong possesses, but surely they can merrily prescribe themselves an assortment of finest pharamceuticals to get themselves over the hump.

Four words I hate: detox, spa and paper pants

If I’m honest, I rather overdid things over the holidays. Three weeks in Hong Kong and Thailand living as though the British empire was still afloat had done me in. So I was packed off for 10 days to detox in Italy.

Small wonder: Les Orres, in the Hautes-Alpes

French Alps: Provided for in Provence

This week’s welcome snowfall helped Mary Novakovich get the best from the intimate resort of Les Orres

Mr Cooper's House and Garden: Restaurant review - the Midland hotel has been reborn as Simon Rogan's Gourmetghast

For a talented chef, there are many routes to stardom. Television is the quickest, if not necessarily the easiest. A documentary a few years back featured the strivings of Aiden Byrne, ex of The Dorchester, to boost his TV profile. I'm afraid that flash of Byrne's galvanised-steel ambition was enough to put me off ever going to one of his restaurants again. Shame, because by all accounts, his latest, Manchester House, is wonderful.

Serve beetroot and vodka shots with caviar or as a shot at a cocktail party

Mark Hix recipe: Beetroot and vodka shots

Serves 4-6

Beetroot, feta and mint salad is a good way to use different coloured beets

Mark Hix recipe: Beetroot, feta and mint salad

Serves 4

Beetroot tartare can be used to accompany smoked or pickled fish and cold meats

Mark Hix recipe: Beetroot tartare

Serves 4-6

Whether you are a veggie, or not, a beetroot curry goes down a treat

Mark Hix recipe: Beetroot curry

Serves 4

Beet happening: Mark Hix gets creative with the versatile vegetable

In the past, some may have turned up their nose at the beetroot, but now the versatile vegetable is all over the place. In these delicious recipes, the beet can be found in everything from salads and curries to even a cocktail

Travel agenda

From a converted railway station in Snowdonia and a new resort to San Diego to Sawdays' sale and Gooey travel accessories

Country life: a rural palette, but with added style

Room Service: The Wild Rabbit, Cotswolds

Raising the bar for the humble 'local'

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