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

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

Geest cashes in on decadence: The Investment Column

Now Geest has stopped slipping up on banana skins it is turning into rather an interesting company. Underlying growth of 69 per cent in profits from the continuing chilled foods operations showed what a fantastic niche it finds itself in and, having finally found itself a new executive chairman, it is well placed to add to those businesses by using the pounds 28m that remains in the balance sheet since Fyffes took the banana business off its hands in January.

Drunk on success

The new pub millionaires are refreshing the drinkers that the big breweries want to reach

Books: The Woodlanders (1887) by Thomas Hardy

All you need to know about the books you meant to read

Rowing out to win after a quiet winter with the lettuces

The Ann Glanville sets out to sea in one of the toughest and fastest- growing sports in the world - pilot-gig racing.

Questionable performance by the Diva from Hell

This is a story of a row. Not a row as in fight or struggle - but a row of seats. To be precise the third row up, below the gangway on the government side of the Chamber. And it's a story of the men who sit there.

FOOD & DRINK; TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF

Lollo rosso and radicchio are passe. Chefs are turning instead to jaba, mizuna, tatsai and gold orach. Michael Bateman on a greens revolution

The family plot

Springtime for fruit and vegetables. Anna Pavord, The Independent's gardening writer, says their decorative uses are undervalued

Bites: Bruno's book

Kitchen French gains a new dimension with the publication of Bruno Loubet's first cookbook, Bistrot Bruno, Cooking from L'Odeon (Macmillan, pounds 20). Allow me to deconstruct the title. Mr Loubet is the former chef of the Four Seasons hotel, who several years ago sacrificed his Michelin star to open Bistrot Bruno in Soho. L'Odeon is the new restaurant, set in the former offices of British Airways overlooking Regent Street, that Bruno is opening with his partner, Pierre Condou.

Warning shots from Lloyds

THE INVESTMWENT COLUMN

Lettuce link to US inflation rate

The price of lettuces in the US more than doubled in April, making one of the biggest contributions to an unexpectedly big increase in consumer prices.

By any other Name

LETTERS FROM LONDON:1990-1995 by Julian Barnes, Picador £6.99

Comedy: Maria Falzone

Maria Falzone (below) is from the East Coast of America - and doesn't she like to tell you about it. Imagine a "broad'' in a bar in GoodFellas, and double the volume.

Over the fells to foie gras: Eating out

Grasmere, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9RP. Tel: 05394 35496

How I came to love the chicory family

Endives are good in salads, but they are pretty damn fantastic when coo ked, says Simon Hopkinson

Cold? It's freezing

What can you grow in an unheated greenhouse in winter? In her Workshop series, Anna Pavord advises the Smiths from Scotland My vision of them happily cropping vegetables all winter shattered
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'