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.

This is where we begin

London is a great and fascinating city, full of interest and opportunities for enjoyment; London is gruelling and frustrating city where simply getting from place to place can be a trial. London is one of the centres of civilisation in Europe, excelling in music and theatre, boasting a pantheon of cultural giants. And yet it makes a very poor fist at educating most of its children.
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor