John Salt, 131 Upper Street, London N1

It's easy, when reporting on restaurants rather than, say, politics, to get a false perspective on what makes a big story. Apart from the adventures of a few telly chefs, our 'news' seems fairly parochial stuff to the wider world. A restaurateur poaching a prized site from under a rival's nose won't generally push global events off the front page, though it might just make it if a chef were to cut off a rival's nose and poach it.

The war story that inspired Birdsong

More than two decades ago, Sebastian Faulks wrote for The Independent about a group of First World War veterans searching for the burial places of their fallen comrades. The experience lingered – and ultimately led him to write a novel beloved of millions, now a major BBC drama. This is the piece that inspired a modern classic

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Love at first bite: Mark Hix cooks with peaches and nectarines

My daily stroll through Berwick Street Market in Soho provides me with the occasional flash of inspiration. Sadly, the market isn't quite what it was when I first moved to London in the Eighties – back then Berwick Street was flourishing, with a couple of butchers and a dozen or so fruit and veg traders. Now, the stalls are thinner on the ground. But the other week a couple of the remaining stands were selling doughnut or flat peaches; there must be an abundance this year as I keep seeing them everywhere all over London. There were also delicious large golden apricots and nectarines and peaches, so I thought I would devote this week's column to these delicious fruits.