Fabulous Christmas gift ideas: Eat me

Feast your eyes on part one of our ultimate Christmas gift guide: this week, terrific toys for boys and girls, foodie treats, addictive gadgets, literary treasures and much more…

Just 149 days left to go... Christmas comes early to Harrods

Wizzard once wished it could be Christmas every day. Well this year, half their dream has come true

Business Diary: Taxman needs to print more paper

It may be lucky that HM Revenue & Customs was not in charge when the country needed a boost from quantitative easing. The hapless taxman yesterday revealed that it had failed to send out thousands of reminders to citizens to pay their bills on time because it had, er, run out of paper. A red-faced Revenue spokesman admitted that the cock-up had come about due to an "exceptionally high demand this year".

Camilla al-Fayed bags Issa

The daughter of Mohamed al-Fayed has acquired Issa, the clothing label favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge for an undisclosed sum.

Retail Empire: Al-Fayed's back: online

Mohamed al-Fayed is to return to shopping with a new online retail empire.

Doughnut chain expands in UK

The doughnut chain Krispy Kreme is to double its number of UK stores over the next five years as the country's desire for sweet treats grows.

Al Fayed set to join stars at Cannes Film Festival

Brad Pitt, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Robert De Niro are set to wander down the Cannes Film Festival’s red carpet next week.

Credits role in Pinewood bid saga as Peel raises its offer

The British studio behind the James Bond and Harry Potter franchises is set to change hands after a deal worth £96.1m was agreed yesterday.

The Business On... Mohamed al Fayed, Owner of Fulham Football Club

Didn't he use to own a rather famous shop?

The Business On... Ken Costa, Chairman, Lazard International

Nothing to do with the coffee chain then?

Mohamed Al-Fayed committed to Fulham despite huge losses

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed remains fully committed to the Barclays Premier League club despite the Cottagers posting a £16.9million loss for the last financial year.

Dom Joly: I had a spot of bother on the Didcot line

I associate Christmas with pressure mostly – pressure to see people I don't really want to see, pressure to buy things that people don't want for people you don't like, pressure to give your kids the full "Christmas experience", bah humbug.... This was why I found myself in the admittedly glorious Mandarin Oriental hotel in London – slap bang in between Harrods and the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. The last time I was at this hotel, I was outside as a paparazzo, waiting for Pierce Brosnan to emerge. When he eventually did, he stamped on my foot and called me an "annoying fat fuck" while still smiling sweetly for the camera.

Christmas gift guide: Super foodies

Glamorous gifts for the gourmand
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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine