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Brian Sollit was a real-life Willy Wonka, one of Britain's most eminent chocolatiers. In a career spanning over 50 years at Rowntree's in York, he created some of the nation's best loved snacks including Lion Bars, Drifters, Matchmakers and the Yorkie, but his crowning glory was the creation of the After Eight Mint. Launched in 1962, it was an instant success, becoming the must-have confectionery for "posh" after-dinner treats. It went on to sell in over 50 countries and had famous devotees such as the Queen Mother.

Milk chocolate wins a reprieve from Brussels

THERE is fresh news from the front in the Great Chocolate War - traditional British milk chocolate has been saved by the Brussels bureaucrats.

The Weasel:

Spotting the steaming ladle poised in her hand, I deemed it wise to avoid any criticism

Solution to chewing gum's sticky problem

NON-STICK chewing gum could be on the streets - not literally you understand - within the next five years, a leading manufacturer said yesterday.

Gates gets a pasting from the custard pie champion

One of the world's richest man received an unexpected pasting yesterday, as unidentified pranksters in Brussels hurled a pie at Bill Gates.

Jazz: Getting hip with the Habsburgs

Vienna is not the first place one associates with jazz, but, enthuses Phil Johnson, some work compares favourably with America.

RIGHT TO THE BITTER END

It's time to stop demonising chocolate and start enjoying it, says Michael Bateman, who suggests a variety of ways to deal with the cocoa bean

All because the lady loves vegetable fat...

Britain's chocolate is under threat from rival confectioners on the Continent who argue that our product is not pure enough to merit the name. As the British scored an important victory this week, Amanda Kelly tries to discover what makes a 'real' bar of chocolate.

Cinema: When breaking in is hard to do

A Group of small-time crooks plan a heist; it goes badly wrong. If I had a vanilla slice for every post-Tarantino film I've seen with that synopsis, I could open my own cake shop. Alan Taylor's Palookaville (15) employs a plot, an environment and an idiolect familiar from a gaggle of recent low to mid-budget thrillers, but thankfully, this film isn't just a lot of gunfights punctuated by fastidious conversations about fast food. Instead, it's a po-mo crime caper with a social conscience, in which three New Jersey deadenders turn to crime to make ends meet. And here's the twist: Taylor's gang of three don't blow anyone's brains out or double- cross each other; they don't even get hubristic on anyone's ass. They're just too nice for that. So nice, in fact, that some of the film's events have the nostalgic, optimistic warmth of Ealing comedy. Imagine if Charles Crichton had directed Reservoir Dogs, and you've a fair idea of what sort of a place Palookaville is.

Cheesed off

Letter from a low country

Travel rail journeys: More than just England's prettiest railway

The Settle to Carlisle line passes through some of northern England's most beautiful scenery. But don't forget, says Mike Gerrard, it took the lives of more than 200 navvies

Confectioners get set for sweet talking

The continuing power of such brands as Mars, Kit-Kat and Smarties demonstrates the essentially conservative nature of the confectionery business. However, according to the organisers of an international conference taking place early next month (2-3 June), this situation is changing.

Alcoholic ice lollies recalled

Kwik Save supermarket chain yesterday ordered the recall of a faulty batch of ice lollipops which ferment into alcohol, after a mother gave them to her two young children.

High street stays subdued in February

Shopping was subdued last month, according to the latest survey from the UK's leading employers' association. The Confederation of British Industry's monthly Distributive Trades Survey showed retailers reporting lower sales than expected in February, with only a few sectors experiencing strong growth. Companies have also revised their price expectations downwards.

You shall go to the ball

THE BROADER PICTURE

Knead a new-look house?

Not content with redesigning their favourite bakers shop, Azman Owens Architects ripped out the innards of a dilapidated Georgian house for cake king Gerhard Jenne. Marcus Field visited the serene home created on London's South Bank serene home in the shadow of Waterloo station
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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 15 May 2015
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

Berlusconi's world of sleaze

The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

Could gaming arcades be revived?

The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

Heard the one about menstruation?

Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage