News Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and ex-wife Mariam Aziz, pictured in 1999

A former international badminton player who became a bodyguard and close friend to the ex-wife of the Sultan of Brunei abused her position to steal diamonds worth £11.6m from her “extremely wealthy” employer, a court heard yesterday.

HS2 the high-speed rail from London to Manchester will be nice, but it won't do much for the North

A one-hour journey time to the North could put Stockport in the capital's commuter belt. Whatever happened to investing in neglected Northern towns?

Save the Royal Institution! Why selling this historic Mayfair building would be a betrayal of our heritage

This neoclassical temple on Albermarle Street hosted Michael Faraday - as the picture below testifies. Will we really let it be converted into a vile jewellers or luxury flats?

Hotels face hard 2013 as supply outstrips demand

London's hotel sector is set to suffer an Olympic-sized hangover this year amid a glut of new hotel rooms and slumping demand, a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers warns.

J.W. Anderson creations are presented at the London Collections: Men yesterday

Scots invade the catwalk as men's designers enjoy a final fling in London

Lambswool and tartan featured as fashion week wraps up

Spooky-couture: the fashion show from hell, via Fantich & Young

If Satan sported Oxford Shoes, they'd probably look something like this - that is, polished enough to reflect the sufferings of the damned, with 1,050 teeth grafted into the soles for good measure. The shoes, pictured above, are included in a collection of nightmarish objects by designers Fantich and Young. Interested in spooky-couture? Look no further.

Tube station cleaners stage strike

Workers who clean London Underground stations are striking over the new year in a dispute over pay.

Fears grow for missing 15-year-old girl and her baby son

Concerns are growing for a 15-year-old girl and her baby son who have been missing for five days.

David Hockney: A Bigger Splash 1967

Review of 2012: Visual Arts

The Big Six: Miami beach retreats

The Freehand, Indian Creek Drive

This hip hostel comes from the Sydell Group, notable for The NoMad and The Ace hotels in New York. Once again, they've drafted in Roman & Williams for the interiors (responsible for the industrial-chic look at the Ace), so low rates won't equate to a style compromise. At The Freehand, they've opted for a beach cabin feel, with wooden floors and nautical hues in the dorms and doubles. There's a tropical pool, a Broken Shaker cocktail bar and a new restaurant, The House, to come in March.

The Freehand, 2727 Indian Creek Drive (001 305 531 2727; thefreehand.com). Dorm beds start at $30 (£19), room only.

Matthew Norman: The unignorable Mr Farage

Some things in life, you put off and put off. The source of the procrastination may be tedium (all those red utility bills yellowing on the doormat), or fear about a medical problem such as tinnitus, which is probably no more than a whooshy noise in the ear, but might prove a symptom of a benign tumour (acoustic neuroma) if you took it to the doctor.

The toughest question for Cameron come 2015: how to solve a problem like Ukip?

The Prime Minister can no longer ignore Nigel Farage and his party

The Ritz, one of London’s best hotels, faces BBC allegations of not paying corporation tax

How do guests at The Ritz feel about it not paying corporation tax?

The Ritz, perhaps Britain’s most instantly recognisable hotel, is facing the prospect of being targeted by protest groups as early as next month over revelations that it has not paid any corporation tax in the last 17 years.

Barclay brothers drawn into tax controversy over Ritz

A delayed Panorama investigation into the billionaire Barclay brothers will claim that London's Ritz hotel - one of the jewels in the crown of the twins' property portfolio – has not paid any corporation tax since it was acquired by them 17 years ago.

An investigation will claim that the Ritz hotel – owned by reclusive Channel island tycoons David and Frederick Barclay – has incurred no corporation tax since the pair acquired it in the mid-1990s

Barclay brothers drawn into tax controversy over Ritz investment

A delayed Panorama investigation into the billionaire Barclay brothers will claim that London's Ritz hotel – one of the jewels in the crown of the twins' property portfolio – has not paid any corporation tax since it was acquired by them 17 years ago.

Ahead of his time: The 1840 letter and a sketch of the accused, to be auctioned this week

Vital clue ignored for 50 years

Letter shows Scotland Yard might have nailed Jack the Ripper on fingerprints, had it heeded a humble country surgeon

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own