Property

In the middle of the night, hidden beneath the covers, I start laughing at the idea of anyone else finding out what I'm Googling. No, I'm not funding the dark web, I'm not streaming illegal stuff of any kind, I'm not even shopping for kittens; I'm soothing my troubled insomniac brow on frenchclick.co.uk, gazing at things formerly only purchasable in French supermarkets, now brought all the way across the Channel to my London front door – with no delivery charge on orders of more than £35. (More than £35? Pah. I can spend over £35 on biscuits alone in a French supermarket.)

Sea trout and samphire salad

Serves 4

Summer blues fail to wilt salad greens

You have to admire Vincent McKevitt, this year's recipient of the Courvoisier 'Future 500' One to Watch award, though few of us will be green with envy. Still in his salad days, the 28-year-old entrepreneur is defying the economic downturn and the washout of the British summer in his bid to become the king of healthy fast food – taking on the likes of Pret a Manger with his chain of salad bars, Tossed.

Salad of raw asparagus, celery, anchovy and mint dressing

Small dishes with big impact – these starters make the most of seasonal ingredients at their best and are easily made for casual barbecues or to open a summer dinner party

Mackerel with grapefruit salad

Serves 4

Mackerel is a great value fish – but make sure it's ultra-fresh. You can cook the mackerel whole, just as they are, or split them by cutting them through the belly with a sharp knife towards the back bone either side of the main bone structure then just snipping the bones and fins off with a pair of scissors to form a butterfly, like a kipper.

Fennel, green bean and chicory salad

Serves 4

This is a nice simple salad to go with any barbecued meat or fish, or to simply serve as a starter. You can buy both red and white chicory – or Belgium endive as it is sometimes known; use a mixture, or stick with one colour.

Mark Hix: Come on, you grillers

Flaming gorgeous: now is the time to dust down that barbecue and cook up sublime summer feasts

Bowled over: There's nothing sluggish about Charles Dowding's home-grown salads

No guilt-inducing food miles, no nasty chemicals – what's not to love about freshly grown leaves straight from the garden? Well, there is one thing actually...

Chicory salad with gorgonzola and walnuts

Serves 4

Crispy duck and watercress salad

Serves 6-8 as a starter

Know your salad dodger from your tart fuel? Then you must be Australian

Gentlemen: isn't it time to take care of the "manscaping"? Singletons: why not break out and try a spot of "read dating"? And parents: just admit that the "kippers" are getting on your nerves.

No-entry plan for cars on Rodeo Drive splits Beverly Hills

In spite of its name, it has been a very long time since there were hitching posts on Rodeo Drive, the four-block mecca of luxury shopping in Beverly Hills. Where horses may have clip-clopped up and down it 99 years ago - the street was first laid out in 1907 - today there is only the pretentious purr of Bentleys, Porsches and Ferraris.

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