A hidden trail to the silent valley

Emma Haughton finds a rare sense of tranquillity beyond the Dorset village of Powerstock

Restaurants: Bites - That's entertainment

From Wilma the singing waitress to the `deadly duo': more musical accompaniments

THE 50 BEST PLACES TO EAT OUT IN BRITAIN

Which are the best restaurants for gourmet food in London and around the country? Which are the best places to eat out on a budget? In association with The Good Food Guide, Britain's most respected restaurant guide, The Information unveils the foodies' 50 favourites

Diners urged to revolt over tips

THE MOMENT was approaching at last. On the table, by the drained cups of coffee and roll crumbs, lay a bill for pounds 72.68. In my hands was pounds 64 - all I was going to offer. I placed the money on the bill.

Football: Now it's a game for both halves

Trevor Haylett discusses how football can gain a bigger squad for its distaff side

Outlook: Ed Wallis pulls it off

THE ONLY nose out of joint after yesterday's East Midlands Electricity deal appears to be that of PowerGen's former managing director, Deryk King. He will not be slipping into Ed Wallis's chief executive shoes after all. Never mind: three months' gardening leave and a pounds 400,000 pay-off should soften the blow.

Cries & Whispers

ON MONDAY, I spent 40 minutes watching the video of summer blockbuster trailers that comes with this month's Empire magazine. Look, it was the Bank Holiday, and - what can I tell you? - I've always been a trailer fan. Handing over pounds 9 to peer at a screen not much larger than my TV probably has something to do with it, but up until now I've always felt cheated if I didn't get into the cinema auditorium as soon as the doors opened. Never mind the 20 minutes of irritations that awaited me: moving to let "latecomers" take their seats, enduring commercials I'd seen far too many times already. (Does anyone else scream when they hear the words "Reef Radio"? And who are those people who go to the cinema so rarely that they still laugh at the punchline, "Say bollocks to it, and enjoy the sunshine while you still can"?) The trailers made it all worthwhile. I could never tuck into the main course of the Feature Presentation without the hors d'oeuvres of the Coming Attractions.

Sheep rustlers' takeaway

Sheep rustlers' takeaway

Taking Control: Go on - think the unthinkable ...

For some, the idea of a Lonely Hearts column is beyond the pale. But in the third part of our series on getting a grip on life, Lynne Wallis, thirty-something and far-too-single, discovers the secret of changing things for the better by changing the way you think

Enjoy Sunday lunch at Mezzo for pounds 10

The Independent and Independent on Sunday are giving you the opportunity to enjoy Sunday lunch at Mezzo. From just pounds 10 you can enjoy a 2 course lunch, or for pounds 17.50 a 2 course dinner. Every Independent diner will also receive a complementary glass of Champagne.

Some of Britain's best Italians

Walnut Tree Inn, Llandewi Skirrid, Abergavenny (01873 852797) Almost everyone's favourite Italian. Mediterranean dishes sit happily on the menu alongside Oriental influences and Welsh Llanover salt duck. Main courses from pounds 7.

Bluff should get them off the bit

Racing

Eating Out: Simply Heathcotes - Up north and mad fer it

SIMPLY HEATHCOTES Jacksons Row, Manchester M2 5WD. Tel: 0161 835 3536. Open Mon-Sat 11.45am-2.30pm and 6-11pm. Sundays 11.45am-9pm. Set lunch, two courses pounds 10.50, three courses pounds 12.50. Average a la carte price, pounds 25. Major credit cards accepted

PASSED/FAILED: Jennifer Paterson

Jennifer Paterson rides the motorbike on the BBC2 mobile cookery programme `Two Fat Ladies'. She worked on `Candid Camera' for several years and has two sentences in the forthcoming movie `What Rats Won't Do'. Having cooked lunches at `The Spectator' she began writing its cookery column, a selection from which has been published as `Feast Days'. The next `Fat Ladies' series and book, both with co-cook Clarissa Dickson Wright, will be launched in October.

Good for starters, but we need the main course

Budget Comment
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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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

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Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
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Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect