White chocolate cheesecake

Album: Handel, Organ Concertos Opus 7 / Egarr (Harmonia Mundi)

Those who favour understated phrasing should avoid this highly-spiced recording.

Michael McCarthy: Singing the praises of a humble plum

Nature Notebook: In France it is prized, as one of the supreme fruits of high summer

Spoofs? Don't make us laugh

The latest crop of parody films has marred the genre

Rhod Gilbert and the Cat that looked like Nicholas Lyndhurst, Pleasance Courtyard

Not only is Rhod Gilbert a fantastic comedian, he's a fantastical one. He lives and dies by weaving a fictional tapestry, the weight of which could drag him under at any moment. Once, his intricate illusion went by the name of the made-up town of Llanbobl, but for the last two years he has asked us to inhabit a new world, one of pain in the face of the trials of everyday existence, the comedy equivalent of Portmeirion in The Prisoner.

The wild brunch: Skye Gyngell's hearty mid-morning meals

Fresh fruit, simple, natural produce - and soft, fluffy pancakes...

David Randall: Our raspberry response to all the other po-faced months

The silly season is upon us, and promises to live up to expectations of daftness

Shore thing: Mark Hix's simple, sensational recipes will make your beach picnic go with a swing

Beach picnics can be fun if you make sure that you are reasonably organised about your preparation and packing – the first priority, of course, being a decent cool box with plenty of ice packs. Another good tip is to freeze down lots of soft drinks in advance, such as smoothies or fruit crushes in plastic bottles, and then pack them in among your picnic to keep other items cool – with the added benefit of having ice-cold drinks on hand, too.

Ripe for the picking: Skye Gyngell makes the most of plump, summer fruits

The hottest June for years has given us an abundance of summer fruits – and there’s no more refreshing way to consume them than in a thirst-quenching cordial or a sweetly fragrant jam

Raspberry cordial

Makes just over 1 litre

Extravagant, escapist and extremely expensive

As the recession bites into even the biggest budgets, John Galliano revisits Dior's heritage for post-War glamour. Carola Long reports

Rose syrup Prosecco

This is a lovely summer aperitif – it looks elegant, tastes delicate and is a lovely way to begin a meal.

Raspberry ripple ice-cream with rose syrup

I love ice-creams that contain a fruit ripple, it is old-fashioned and nostalgic to me. To ensure an ice-cream that really ripples, make sure that both the custard and raspberry purée are well chilled.

Just add flower: Skye Gyngell's summer dishes with the delicate flavour of roses

One flower captures the scent of the season better than any other – and for Skye Gyngell, roses are also perfect for delicately flavouring summer drinks and dishes
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
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Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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