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News The Ritz, one of London’s best hotels, faces BBC allegations of not paying corporation tax

The Ritz, perhaps Britain’s most instantly recognisable hotel, is facing the prospect of being targeted by protest groups as early as next month over revelations that it has not paid any corporation tax in the last 17 years.

Shopping: It's time to hit the bottle

WHETHER IT'S hot and sunny or cool and cloudy, there's something hugely appealing about eating outside in the summer. If barbecues get your mouth watering, do more than just placing a few sausages on the grill this year and try some sauces to put with or on your drumsticks. Marlena Spieler's 101 Essential Barbecue Tips (Dorling Kindersley, pounds 4.99) has a whole cupboard-full of sauce recipes, such as the Indonesian Peanut Sauce with coriander and soy sauce, on page 64.

Cannabis campaign: The message marches on

THE SUN shone, the bands played and everyone had a great time on the great Independent on Sunday decriminalise cannabis march last week.

Anyone would think we had plenty to celebrate

Emma Cook raises her glass to an explosion in the sales of champagne

Food: Tomato-coated nuggets of gold

Baked beans may conjure up various words beginning with "F" but, until now, fresh hasn't been one of them.

Burning up

Under the counter with Lindsay Calder

Books: A musical magic circle

Sarah Bradford reads the life of an Edwardian Lady with a taste for scandal; Violet: The Life and Loves of Violet Gordon Woodhouse by Jessica Douglas- Home, Harvill, pounds 20

The melodious delight of a Glyndebourne picnic

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

fashion Gone to print

This spring, printed fabrics are the surest way to update your wardrobe. We are not talking florals or polka dots, but more everyday prints, where the illusion of texture is the key. Carpets, wallpapers and curtains from the Seventies have been rediscovered and redefined to make a new kind of hip. And suddenly Missoni, the Italian label that has specialised in multicoloured knitwear for 26 years, looks totally of the moment. But, to be truly crafty, beat the designers at their own game and trawl second-hand shops for Seventies originals - the trashier the better

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold: I know John Patten's juicy little secret

I HAVE known and respected John Patten ever since I first bumped into him behind the gift-wrap counter at Fortnum and Mason way back in the summer of '77. Immaculately turned out, with spotless fingernails and never a hair out of place, he had already cut quite a dash in that most demanding of department stores, and was widely tipped for the plum job at Cosmetics.

Where shall we meet?: The Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly, W1 (071-493 8181)

While the anti-fur protesters rage outside, the Ritz's pillared, fountained Palm Court is an oasis of serenity. Remember to wear your good clothes (no jeans). Tea, served daily, at 3.00pm and 4.30pm, generally needs to be booked and costs pounds 14.50 a head, with a good deal of white-gloved grandeur thrown in free. Alternatively, nurse a Bloody Mary and a bowl of divine mixed nuts in the bar, a scattering of tables and spindly sofas in the vaulted hall, and watch the world and his mistress waltz by. Bar prices are on par with the rest of Mayfair; the ambience is pure, if discreet, hedonism. Within five minutes' walking distance are the Royal Academy, Fortnum and Mason and the Criterion Theatre.

Education: A supermarket manager for the masses: Leslie Wagner, 50, University of North London (former Polytechnic of North London).

'WHERE Oxbridge is the Fortnum and Mason of higher education, we see ourselves as the Sainsbury's,' says Leslie Wagner. 'You go to Fortnum and Mason for the odd treat, for something exotic and special. Nobody looks for their general food provision there.'

Retail Therapy: Wedding aids

MARRIAGE may be regarded as an outdated institution, but weddings certainly are not. A rise in customer inquiries has prompted Fortnum & Mason to launch a Wedding Service. In classic Fortnum's style, initial discussions with customers will be held over tea rather than in the stockroom. Fortnum's has an 'essentials' wedding list - a guide to items no home should be without. Included on the list are place-card holders, a silver crumb-sweeper, caviare sets and grape scissors.
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