Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Tales from the Trees: The Lord of the Rings comes to the Yorkshire

It's not often you can walk from a high street into the heart of an ancient woodland. One minute I am in a bustling Yorkshire market town, takeaway cappuccino in hand, the next I am ducking down stone steps to Eller Beck, a strip of canal and river that runs through a steep-sided gorge fringed with ash, oak, sycamore and pine. The buzzing repartee of stall owners is soon replaced by the songs of robins and chaffinches, shop awnings for a weeping willow in bud.

Reform Social and Grill, Mandeville Hotel, Mandeville Place, London W1

Did you think that gentleman's-club dining – Brown Windsor soup, game-heavy main courses, "savoury puddings" like Welsh rarebit, a "roast" that's carved, table-side, from a carcass on a silver trolley by a chap who expects a tip – had gone the way of the bowler hat and the maiden aunt? You'd be wrong. While Jeremy King and Chris Corbin are reintroducing the Mitteleuropean grand café concept to London (with the Wolseley, the Delaunay and now Brasserie Zédel) others – from Mike Robinson to Mark Hix – are breathing life into traditional club grub.

Portfolio: Sharon Montrose

How do you persuade an energetic infant monkey to pause long enough for a photograph? You don't. "I put the camera in front of him, let him do whatever he wanted and tried to capture his natural charm," says Sharon Montrose. "Of course, you do need a lot of patience for that."

The Hairy Bikers: 'We once ate goat penis hot pot in Vietnam. It was

DM: For general cooking, there's Booths which is a Northern supermarket chain. It supports local suppliers and it has a great butchery. Also, a friend of mine called Tuk has a brilliant Thai food stall in Barrow-in-Furness, where I live. She'll go up to Manchester once a week for fresh Thai vegetables, and she'll get all my Japanese bits and pieces for me as well.

More headlines

Why the cheese knives are out

Brie or stilton? Cheddar or comté? British or French? Few foods arouse such fierce tribalism. Tim Walker reports from the cutting edge of the fromage affray

20 great things to do this Easter weekend

Will it be the Boat Race, or the goat race? A walk in the wild, or a close encounter with robots? There are hundreds of fantastic activities around Britain to keep the family entertained. Here's our selection of spring delights