News A live frog intended to be eaten, in a Singapore market.

The unnamed New Yorker found the amphibian sprawled in her lunch.

INSIDE PARLIAMENT / Hurd disdains role of `appeaser'

n Labour MPs find echoes of `Munich' in Bosnia Tory rebel votes with Labour over fishing policy

Cuttings: Weekend work

FALLEN leaves should not be allowed to lie long on lawns. Rake them up and pack them into a wire-netting clamp or into polythene sacks, where they will rot into an excellent leafmould mulch; burning is a waste. Then rake and spike the grass, and give it what may be its last cut of the year. Leaves are bad for garden pools, too - the water becomes dank and starves fish of air - so catch leaves on netting stretched over the pond.

The endive's trendier cousin

HAVING been concerned of late with food-stuffs that have disappeared, it struck me that life has not been all loss on the gastronomic front. Alongside the many invented fruits (mainly hybrids) that have been introduced in my lifetime, there is also radicchio which, had it been asked for in my middle age, would have caused puzzlement.

Turning over an old leaf: The tobacco industry in Britain is in decline and under fire, from health campaigners, passive smokers and those seeking compensation for smoking-related diseases. But many people still depend on manufacturing and marketing cigarettes. How do they feel about making a living from something now seen as a lethal poison?

A FEW WEEKS ago outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, George Michael walked through the photographers and television crews while arranging his features in a way that suggested the downright injustice of earning a zillion pounds a year. People shouted his name, but this noise did not quite reach Court One. Here, the public seats were mostly empty, the press seats mostly empty. Under a high ceiling, Michael Beloff QC stood and talked of 'Bundle A' and 'Bundle B', of 'generic issues', 'victimless tort' and 'regrettable collisions of recollection'.

GARDENING / Slugging it out in earnest: The slimy pests have met their Waterloo, in a small slab of clay. Michael Leapman sows nemesis by nematode on his allotment

A WET spring and a warm summer are usually good news for vegetable gardeners, and it has been a prolific year so far on my south London allotment. Almost the only thing I and my neighbours can find to complain about, apart from the odd shed break-in, is the time we have to spend directing the hose on to our plots. The bonus is that the ground is so baked that we have a fine excuse to lay off any digging for a few weeks.

Grosvenor builds on profits after payoffs

GROSVENOR Inns, the Slug & Lettuce independent pub and wine bar operator, increased pre- tax profits by 12 per cent to pounds 854,000 in the year to 31 May, after a pounds 159,000 exceptional charge to cover compensation for loss of office to two former directors, writes Terence Wilkinson.

Lettuce led to illness

ICEBERG lettuce, believed to have been imported from Spain, caused an outbreak of a mild form of dysentery last month, writes Rosie Waterhouse.

TRIED & TESTED / Worst thing since ..: In our test of ready-made sandwiches, dry ham, cloying mayonnaise and limp lettuce were an insult to the bread they came on - and that wasn't great

WHEN the members of our panel prepared to munch their way through rounds of ready-made ham sandwiches, they expected to find that the mission of the past few years to improve British mass catering would have had some effect on quality. They were to be disappointed. With one exception, the ham turned out to be cheap, processed stuff and pretty tasteless. The other ingredients, including soggy bread and limp lettuce, were frequently little better. In the view of Piero Passet, a member of our panel, the perfect ham sandwich doesn't necessarily have to have fancy garnishes, but good basic ingredients. To judge by our results, the good quality gospel, despite innumerable repetitions, has yet to filter through to supermarkets and other big retailers. Read on, to find how the panel rated individual brands.

FOOD & DRINK / A taste beyond brown rice: Sunday lunch with Terence Stamp: When your guests are allergic to just about everything else, what do you cook? Good food, naturally. Michael Bateman finds out how

BEFORE he goes out to eat, Terence Stamp often has something to eat. Experience has taught him that hosts, and more frequently restaurants, often fail to provide anything that he is able to eat. 'I have a wide range of intolerances,' he admits. 'I don't eat meat or cows' milk or wheat or sugar, coffee, tea, alcohol.'

Where shall we meet?: The Slug and Lettuce, Islington

From the street the Slug and Lettuce looks like any of a thousand London pubs: long room, dim lighting, yobs in suits elbowing women away from the bar. Its whole character changes when you mount the stairs, however. The first floor is more like a run-down gentleman's club, only more lively, with book-lined walls, half the floorspace taken up by squashy leather sofas and the other half by stripped pine tables. The atmosphere, too, is utterly different: perhaps a tad too cool to be completely comfortable, but a relief from the hubbub below. Directly over the road from the Screen on the Green.

London lives: Where shall we meet? The ICA cafe: The ICA bar

The ICA, Carlton House Terrace, The Mall, SW1 (071-930 3647)

FOOD & DRINK / On the Shelf: Tinned anchovies

CONTINUING our series on ways of using up ingredients bought for a special dish which have been left on the shelf, we turn to tinned anchovies. You bought several tins, as a garnish for a pizza, but only used one because the children complained they were too strong. What to do with them?

FOOD / How to cook up a perfect salad: With summer on the horizon, our cookery writer serves up some rich, chilled dishes made with cooked vegetables

One slant of early summer sunshine and the potato salad suddenly becomes essential eating. Within a month or so, I bet that every rain-free weekend lunchtime will see thousands of shivering Brits tucking into something with a potato salad, as they try to convince themselves that the great British barbecue is a pleasant thing.

Health Update: Unmacho lettuce

ADOLESCENT boys eat junk foods rather than salads to impress their friends how macho they are, according to a survey of children's eating habits from the Institute of Food Research in Reading. Richard Shepherd, co-ordinator of the survey, says that for boys eating unhealthy foods was rather like riding motorbikes; rebelliousness did not include eating salads. 'Ringleaders', who are key opinion formers, might be the best targets for dietary advice he suggests in New Scientist.

Letter: Cowcumbers of 1707

Sir: The real salad days (Letters, 16 March) were c1707, when Henry Wise, who was laying out the kitchen garden at Blenheim, billed the Duke of Marlborough for seeds of: cresses, lop lettuce, cos lettuce, cabbage lettuce, Silesia lettuce, brown Dutch lettuce, corn salad, rocket, succory, hartshorn (swine's cress), Good King Henry, scorzonera, purslane, radish (a peck), black Spanish radish, celery and early cowcumber (sic).
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

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