News TK Maxx store on Kensington High Street

TK Maxx was to blame for my worst outfits while growing up near the Lewisham branch. Miles of cut-price "designer" clobber by unheard-of labels, where every other Wetherspoon's-ready shirt seemed to be made by Lambretta, who I thought did scooters.

The sound of silence

Helen Rumbelow knew bliss when her sister introduced her to earplugs

Tourism: Guide takes `honest' look at Britain

Britain has some of the ugliest buildings in the world and is inhabited by unwashed people with strange accents, according to a new guide published yesterday.

The kiss at Piccadilly Circus ...

A new lovers' guide to Paris has been published. London needs one too, writes Hester Lacey

Leslau cashes in pounds 5m Burford share options

Nick Leslau, the 36-year-old chief executive of the Burford and Trocadero property groups, cashed in share options worth more than pounds 5m yesterday to pay off personal tax and debts. Following the deal he still retains Burford shares worth another pounds 5m and a further 2.8 million options.

Forte seeks Lillywhites sale lifeline

FORTE, the besieged hotel and restaurant group, yesterday said it has sold its Lillywhites sporting goods division to a Portuguese retailer for pounds 28.5m in a move that will bolster its hopes of remaining independent.

A modest proposal for our cheats and scroungers

DON'T YOU just love this idea of booting all the scum out of sight? All the drunks and whackos, the inadequates, the sociopaths and the addicts? Yes? So do I! And to hell with where they go, or what happens to them when they get there, or what drove them to it in the first place. Nuts to them all! I love it! You'd have thought it was a Tory idea, but it turns out to be the other lot who started it - the caring, soulful, wealth-redistributing, young ones - and now they're all in the same boat, pulling together, and there's hope yet for the ship of state...

IN BRIEF: Burford buys London Pavilion

Burford buys London Pavilion

Star caste

Star caste

Riding high on speed

Riding high on speed

THINKING BOOKS

LONDON's Golden Square, tucked behind Piccadilly Circus, has always seemed a strangely enchanted address, entirely appropriate to a new bookshop dedicated to philosophy and things of the spirit. "It's a feeling around these days that materialism has reached its limit," says spokeswoman Emanuela Ferrari Osborne, who is aiming "to make available the sacred texts of the world's great teachers at affordable prices".

Curator's Choice: Museum of London

My curator's choice is a Palaeolithic hand axe (above) found in Glasshouse St, by Piccadilly Circus, London WC2. It is between 400,000 and 70,000 years old and was discovered in about 1913 during building works in the area. The reason I like it is that it fits fantastically well into the hand and, when holding it, you have an instant sympathy with the person who used it.

Best-sellers: Top 10 London Underground stations

1 Kings Cross 2 Victoria 3 Oxford Circus 4 Liverpool Street 5 Euston 6 Piccadilly Circus 7 Embankment 8 Hammersmith 9 Holborn 10 Leicester Square

etc ..Five naff things to do in London

1. Have your portrait sketched. Takes 20 mins, costs pounds 15. A caricature takes five mins and costs pounds 3. Try the lower ground floor of the Trocadero, Piccadilly Circus, WC1.

REVIEW / Will the real Mrs Antrobus step forward?

IN 1991, Eynsford was the Best Kept Village in Kent, and in 1992 it was the Best Kept Large Village in West Kent. I spent quite a lot of Twenty Miles from Piccadilly Circus (ITV, London only) trying to work out whether they had gone down in the world or up into the big league. (Is large village just a euphemism for dormitory town or is it what every little village aspires to? Where does West Kent stop and is it bigger than East Kent?) I had to shelve the problem when the tension of the Britain in Bloom judging reached fever pitch.

24 hours in Piccadilly: Peter Popham spends an all-human-life day at the circus (Eros is not what he was)

I arrive as the Tube opens up and commence loitering. The brass-topped 'heritage' rails cordoning off Eros - or the Angel of Christian Charity, as he is more properly addressed - make luxurious leaning.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert