Eating Out: A jewel in middle England


ETCETERA / Design Dinosaurs: 12 The Hostess Trolley (CORRECTED)


Number One looks after you


CLASSICAL MUSIC / Baroque on a positive roll

THERE ARE good historic precedents for governmental neglect of the arts, and they include the fact that in the late 17th century there were English court musicians living destitute because their salaries were four years in arrears.

FOOD & DRINK/ Eating Out: Where to find a famous Belgian

THERE were not one but two celebs eating supper on tables near mine at Belgo last week. I got two celebs, a full belly, a couple of glasses of delicious ale, an incredibly small bill and loadsalarfs with the fancy-dress waiters - all in the space of one happy evening. What an amazing place.

Travel: Starved in France

WHEN does service at a restaurant cease to be merely relaxed and become downright slow? And when do you decide it is time to write the whole thing off?

Bottom Line: JM and Cookson prepare a joint tonic

TO JUDGE from the smells wafting from the kitchen, something is cooking in the metals and materials sector between Johnson Matthey and Cookson.

Strippagrams are a bare-faced cheek: In a restaurant or at a party, the atmosphere is suddenly ruined. Andrea Adams objects

UNLIKE Lucky, the alsatian reported to have wagged his tail in delight when a curvy blonde stripped down to sexy undies for his birthday treat, I am still reeling with a sense of outrage after my first exposure to somebody else's strippagram. What I object to most is being compromised.

OPERA / Arias a la carte: Rosie Millard reports from Arundel on a company that caters to tune-starved commuters

'IT'S THE combination of opera and eating, I think,' says Elaine Holden, manager of First Act Opera Company. 'I thought it was the most brilliant idea when I joined the company. I still do.' In the words of one of its fans, First Act Opera equals 'Classic FM with food'. Performing an unashamedly populist programme of opera hits at pizzerias, brasseries and private functions, it aims to bring some of the ambience of Covent Garden to Network SouthEast land, converting hundreds of pizza- munching commuters into opera buffs as it goes.

THEATRE / A flightless bird

Elizabeth Egloff's The Swan at the Traverse is a desperate plea for romantic love from the snow-covered wastes of modern Nebraska. Egloff couches her message in the idiom of the contemporary adult fairy-tale, a device which in this instance creaks more and more loudly as the play's activity increases.

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold: Trollope: lost genius

NO DOUBT I was out at the ungodly hour at which the literary editor of this youthful newspaper chose to telephone, but he - or she (]]]) - failed to get hold of me to ask me to contribute my list to the annual 'Books of the Year' feature. It is not for me to say, of course, but it seemed to me that my absence left something of a gaping hole in the feature. To my mind one can have a little too much of the book choices of what one might call the Blue Stockings - of both sexes]]] - who comprise today's literati.

MUSIC / Proms: BBC Welsh SO / Hickox - Royal Albert Hall

Once upon a time, new music was the bitter pill to swallow before the main course, but for this Prom the audience grappled with Beethoven before arriving at the sweet certainties of John Tavener's We Shall See Him As He Is. This year Tavener is every music festival's sine qua non: is the originality waning, or is originality the wrong concept? As the opening cello phrases struggled to emerge from the Albert Hall silence, this felt like Return of the Protecting Veil. Richard Hickox kept the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra on course throughout a piece which at every instant threatened to lose momentum. As ever, banks of strings provide a shimmering surface, punctured by clangorous trumpet fanfares, swelling organ, thumping percussion and massed choral interjections. Of three vocal soloists, John Mark Ainsley had most work, his classical technique contorting to accommodate Levantine microtones and elaborate melismas - a fine performance. The piece lasted an hour. It could have been five minutes or five hours, since the original idea - devotion - is the only idea. I refuse to share Tavener's humility before the divine, but then his music has its own hubris as it repeatedly tries to outdo nature's beauty. Critics and composers, addicted to complexity, throw up their arms in dismay while Tavener cowers in serenity, his cocoon of faith rendering him immune to criticism.
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before