Sayonara, spaghetti

Food Stuff

Eating: Britain's cooks turn to convenient option

Despite the popularity of television chefs, Britain has become a nation of convenience eaters. A recent survey showed that 95 per cent of the country uses ready-made meals. Kate Watson-Smyth reports on the rise of pre-prepared food.


This morning The Independent has changed. It has changed because The Independent exists not only to be newsy and entertaining, but also to be challenging and innovative. When we first launched, 11 years ago, we changed the broadsheet market, bringing fresh ideas and attitudes. We aim to do the same again, by creating a paper that is accessible and easy to read while being serious and responsible; that meets the needs of modern readers, and enables us to give you the best writing and the best pictures in the format that most suits you. For that reason we have spent many months testing this new paper with you, our readers, and with readers of other papers. We are confident that you will find it a vast improvement.

Letter: Blair's boar

Letter: Blair's boar

Eat, drink and steer clear of an Italian art attack

Bologna's food is legendary. So, says Toby Follett, let's eat. But whatever you do, don't ask for spaghetti you-know-what

'Joan gave a ghastly smile before pushing the helm further'

In this extract from The Art of Coarse Sailing, Michael Green's classic account of a disastrous sailing holiday on the Norfolk Broads, the narrator Mike, crewing the boat Merryweather with his friend Beaver, is monitoring the progress of holiday companions Joan, Dennis and Arthur on another yacht, Quiet Dawn...

Enjoying a little murder at dinner

Chris Maslanka reveals the shocking truth about no-holds-barred, murder mystery, fancy-dress dinner parties

Italy: a country where a man may beat his wife but cannot flog fishy pasta; ROME DAYS

It's all right to beat your wife to a pulp, just as long as you don't do it too often. Should your battered wife then divorce you, you're still OK because you can skip your alimony payments without risk of criminal prosecution. You can say as many rude things as you like in public about the Virgin Mary, just as long as you leave the Lord God's name out of it. Oh, and should your line of business ever tempt you to off-load cans of food that are way past their sell-by date, go right on ahead. In Italy, it's all perfectly legal.

Whitbread eyes pounds 40m BrightReasons sites

Whitbread is in talks to acquire the sites owned by BrightReasons, the Pizzaland and Bella Pasta group which has 180 outlets. The price is expected to be pounds 40m-pounds 50m, far lower than previous estimates. Whitbread is undertaking its due diligence process so the deal is unlikely to be announced with half-year results next Tuesday.

Anger sweeps Belgium over child-sex ring

Palaces in Antwerp and Hasselt with stones; there was a bomb scare at the Vilvoorde home of Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene; and demonstrators in Turhout with pasta in their hair gave the public prosecutor dried spaghetti.

Mine's a duck and plum ravioli

Spag bol was once the height of exotic Italian cooking for the average Briton. But now that everyone knows their tortellini from their tagliatelle, simple linguine is no longer good enough, unless it's flavoured with chocolate and can be cooked al dente within five minutes.

another scary thing about loch ness

I was in a restaurant last week when the waiter appeared, poured half a glass of wine, and lingered at my elbow. I tried to resume my conversation, but his presence gnawed at my concentration, and after a few seconds I'd had enough. "What is it?" I snapped, voice unexpectedly high. "You're not a hotel porter, you know. If I decide to give you a tip, it'll be at the end of the meal and not before, you scrounger!"

Weightlifting: Noodle power lifts Zhan


creativity: worms turning to new pursuits

Worm Awareness Week has just begun, with no one more aware of them than our creative readers. "Can them," advises Mollie Caird, "and give them, with a tin-opener, to Sir Richard Scott." Celia Coleman uses them at night, instead of water in her water-bed, to give an all-night massage. During the day, they serve as hair-extensions for the Medusa look.


Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments