Letters: Fishing for votes

Sir: I could not, at first, believe my eyes. I gazed on the picture of William Hague not only eating a plate of fish and chips but sprinkling brown vinegar on it (13 April).

The Temp: Defined by food

SO I'M working for a company where most of my early afternoon is spent trailing round the shops filling people's lunch orders. In my experience, you can tell a lot about the state of a company from the lunching habits of its employees.

Restaurants; A chip off the old block

Cole Moreton takes advantage of National Chip Week to initiate his son into a glorious British tradition

Letter: Below the belt

Sir: I hope that Margaret Lye's "packet" of fish and chips (letter, 26 January) is particularly tasty and succulent if it is costing her the price of a single tablet of Viagra (reported to be about pounds 5). None of us should forget to digest the fact that Viagra's cost puts it beyond the means of many hundreds of thousands of individuals, at least for any regular use; perhaps Ms Lye thinks her fellow citizens should only have sex annually?

Eating Out: Your usual table? Who eats where Lesley Glaister, author

My favourite food is my own lentil stew with caraway dumplings, eaten in huge amounts while curled up on the sofa. And when I'm sad the only thing that will do is Heinz tomato soup - the cheerful speckled orange is just so comforting and right. But I do love eating out - as long as it's nowhere stiff and pretentious. Across the road from me in Sheffield is a cafe-restaurant called Nonna's (539-541 Ecclesall Road, 0114 2686116). I often meet my friends there for lunch because it's so cheerful and bustly. They serve plates of crostini and bruschetta misti, topped with different nibbly delights, which are perfect for sharing during confidences and gossip. In the evening the food is also sublime. The best starter I've ever experienced is their tonno carpaccio - wafer-thin tuna marinated in lemon to create the most delicate melt-in-the mouth appetite sharpener. When I first had it, my partner and I hardly spoke for fear of wasting a moment of taste-experience.

Price of chips soars after rain

THE COST of potatoes has more than doubled because of last year's wet weather.

Fools and their alphabets are copiously parted

R for mo, R for Askey, R for English, R for bitter. That was it. No upmarket ones at all

Bryson's America: Today's special: the dried bran and water diet

I HAVE been thinking a lot about food lately. This is because I am not getting any. My wife, you see, recently put me on a diet after suggesting (a little unkindly, if you ask me) that I was beginning to look like something Richard Branson would try to get airborne.

Food & drink: Bean there yet?

Strange, bland and unappetising? Not if you know how to use it. Michael Bateman conquers his initial resistance and is converted to cooking with bean curd

Restaurants: Tastes

Annabel Karmel's favourite restaurant

Restaurants: In the Ivy league

J Sheekey is fresh again, thanks to the people behind London's favourite restaurants. Photograph by Dominick Tyler

Letter: Let them die

Sir: In response to Denys Whatmore's letter (9 December) suggesting that smokers should not receive NHS treatment for self-inflicted illness, I have a few more suggestions to make.

The secret of my success: Rick Stein

Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant in Padstow has had a revamp. Tracey MacLeod finds out if it's still a good catch and, opposite, our most famous fish chef talks about his new TV series. Photographs by George Wright

Poetry takes up residence all over

SHALL I compare thee to a battered cod? Or a locust? Or even the M&S new range of velour trousers? Bards are back with a vengeance. From chip shops to zoos to jails, there seems nowhere you can escape from declaiming versifiers.
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