News

Boutique cinema chain Curzon Cinemas will almost double the number of its screens in the capital, from 12 to 20, as part of a £6 million expansion plan and design makeover.

The scrudle we've been waiting for

Amateur cook wins competition with her invention: a budget-priced kitchen scraper-scoop

My Secret Life: Heston Blumenthal, chef, 43

My parents were ... eccentric. My mum's not shy in speaking her mind. My old man prefers an easy life – like me. Dad had a leasing company but retired over 15 years ago. Mum helped with the business and brought up me and my sister, Alexis.

Channel 4 to crash 300-seat jet into desert

Two pilots will parachute from a passenger jet before it crash-lands at high speed in an empty desert as part of a scientific experiment to be screened on television next year.

Susie Rushton: Mean streets where even mayors get angry

Urban Notebook

From grim battleground to sparkling playground

Mozambique has survived a bleak past to become a hot destination for the well-heeled, says Sarah Barrell

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, By Richard Wrangham<br />The Fat Duck Cookbook, By Heston Blumenthal

In his "Dissertation upon Roast Pig", the whimsical essayist, Charles Lamb, envisaged the invention of cooking by a Chinese boy who accidentally burnt the family pigs: "Some of the crumbs of the scorched skin had come away with his fingers, and for the first time in his life (in the world's life indeed, for before him no man had known it) he tasted – crackling! The truth at length broke into his slow understanding, that it was the pig that smelt so, and the pig that tasted so delicious." Though located in the wrong continent – Africa was the birthplace of humanity – Lamb's early 19th-century drollery may not have been too far from reality.

Consuming Issues: Is your favourite restaurant dirty?

Marco Pierre White once likened the front of his star restaurant to heaven and its kitchen to hell. He was talking about the ordeal for staff (among them Gordon Ramsay), but there are other, unknown horrors happening behind the swing doors.

Bloomsbury hopes Heston can cook up a storm after profits fall

Bloomsbury Group, which published the Harry Potter series, hopes that celebrity chefs and the Ashes can conjure up some magic in the second half, after profits plunged 66 per cent in the six months to June.

Tips and deals: 16/08/2009

The book

Pandora: From spook to squatter: Shayler goes undercover

Goodness. Last time we heard from David Shayler, he was posing as the Messiah, offering "messages of love and salvation" in regular "sermons on the mount".

Heston Blumenthal has torn up the rulebook again

Dishwasher-poached pears, strawberries glazed in a sandwich toaster and beef cooked for an entire day.

Pandora: Palin wields his pen as Israel's army advances

Hats off to Michael Palin, who will once again prove his credentials as show business's very own Indiana Jones by pressing ahead with plans to address an audience at the Palestinian Festival of Literature today – apparently undaunted – by Israeli attempts to put an end to the event.

Credit crisis diary: Mood music that set the wrong tone at the Bank

A nice inside joke at the Bank of England yesterday, with its multimedia folks poking some fun at their boss, Mervyn King. The Governor's Inflation Report presentation is carried live on the web and while you wait for the Bank's brass to take their seats, you get some very pleasant Vivaldi piped down the line. Yesterday, King took his seat just as the tumultuous storm section of Four Seasons began.

Blumenthal savaged by health watchdog

Restaurant criticised over virus that affected more than 500 diners

Deborah Orr: Apologies change nothing

Unlike a huge list of others – from Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Haringey social services head Sharon Shoesmith, from disgraced banker Fred Goodwin to child-killer Sean Mercer – Bernard Madoff has at least apologised. "I'm deeply sorry and ashamed for my crimes," he said after pleading guilty to the biggest fraud in history this week. "I am painfully aware that I have hurt many people."

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker