Voices The pinnacle of The Shard

The oil-Rich Qataris failed to note those three basic requirement for success in the UK property market: location, location and – you guessed it – location

Valley girls: all clothing LA’t, prices start from £70, available from Harvey Nichols, 109 - 125 Knightsbridge SW1, 020 7235 5000, harveynichols.com; and Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, SW1, 020 7730 1234, harrods.com

Fashion rules in the city of angels

Forget bandage dresses and bling, off-duty LA style has finally been rehabilitated

Nectar points: Honey-based skin products worth making a beeline for

(From left to right) 1. Almond coconut milk honey bath, £30.65, Laura Mercier, urbanretreat.co.uk

Man about town: A trip to Mr Chow's

What's the secret behind his 45 year success in the restaurant business?

Gemma Tries It On: 'I'm a little apprehensive about letting it all hang out at the beach'

After getting the bridesmaid-dress saga out of the way, it's time to face the next hurdle of my Oz trip: unzipping my warm, cosy onesie and trying on a new cozzie or 'swimmers', as our Australian counterparts call them. I like that.

Tinie Tempah and Harry Treadaway
<p>1. Church of St Peter and St Paul, Guildford, Surrey</p>
<p>23 December, free, 01483 202594</p>
<p>Wrap up warm to hear the carols in this ancient church. Mulled wine and mince pies should help to keep you toasty, though.</p>

The 10 Best carol services

From candlelit concerts to the famous King’s College Choir, we pick the best of this year’s celebrations of song

Judge asked to show 'sympathy' for mother who took son into hiding to prevent him being treated for brain tumour

Sally Roberts sparked a nationwide search when she disappeared with seven-year-old Neon

Winter Wonderland

From a drive-in to a hot tub cinema: Outdoor screenings don’t have to stop for the cold

Francesca Steele finds some startling alternatives to the multiplex

The best Christmas gifts for the foodie

Main image: hand tray by Fornasetti, £175, Liberty; macarons, from a selection, Laduree

Sarah Brown has been made a non-executive director at Harrods

Sarah Brown, wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, appointed director of Harrods

Sarah Brown joined the Qatari-owned retailer on September 1, The Independent has learned, in a move that is likely to raise eyebrows across the political and business worlds

Seasonal cheer: Christmas needn't be stressful with these indulgent breaks

The family feuds have started. The John Lewis advert has aired. Christmas is coming. But if you've already lost patience with the approach of Advent, remember: the end of the year is really just a chance to spoil yourself (and those around you). So shop in style, slump beside a crackling fire or see out 2012 at a Scottish castle. These seasonal escapes should help to make the festive period suitably splendid.

This Christmas nobody has more front than Harrods

Fans of the BBC period drama The Paradise, or indeed of Emile Zola's 1883 novel The Ladies' Paradise, on which the series is based, will know that presenting a fantasy to customers is half the luxury retail battle.

Front man: Julius Francis poses with the youthful cast of Ring Envy

Boxing: From sole man to star turn in Othello

Julius Francis once got flattened by Mike Tyson – now he's treading the boards. Isn't life strange?

Rupert Everett's Wilde gets West End transfer

Rupert Everett's acclaimed performance as Oscar Wilde is to transfer to the West End.

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsSchool leaver's YouTube video features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
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Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
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peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain