Gone 'glamping'

Camping with hair tongs and designer kit is fast becoming a national pastime - especially in these hard times, pitches Annie Deakin

Showdown at the crossroads of the world

The city of Kashgar is a melting pot of nationalities where East and West meet. But its rich heritage is being crushed by Beijing's brutal attempt to impose Chinese culture on an unruly imperial outpost.

Michael Martin 'to stand down' as Speaker in June

The Speaker of the House of Commons today said he would step down in June after criticism of his handling of a scandal over MPs expenses that has badly tarnished the reputation of the "Mother of Parliaments."

Joan Smith: Country life is not all sex and Labradors, Liz

Elizabeth Hurley eats pets. Don't take my word for it: the piglet she hand-reared in the laundry of her country mansion last year is now in her freezer, she says, waiting to be roasted. The revelation appears in an article she's written for a glossy magazine, extolling the joys of country living, although it has to be said that Ms Hurley doesn't seem to have quite grasped some essentials.

Fashionable bedtime stories: Pyjamas have their moment

Usually consigned to the bedroom, pyjamas are having their moment in the sun thanks to the attentions of Dolce & Gabbana. Susannah Frankel reports on a sleep sensation

Andromaque, Silk Street Theatre, Barbican, London<br>Alphabetical Order, Hampstead Theatre, London<br>Nocturnal, Gate Theatre, London

A classical tragedy with subtitles is gripping, while a 1970s British farce is showing its age

First Ladies of fashion are outsmarted by latest model

A history of the American presidency, as foretold by the wives' wardrobes

Playing poverty: The book in middle-class make-believe

As the economy nosedives, handbooks on cheap and simple pleasures thrive. Susan Jeffreys reads the new literature of atonement

20 great green designs

A celebration of wit, vision and craft. As chosen by the eco-design expert Marcus Fairs

McQueen weaves some animal magic in a show of natural delight

The audience was met by a menagerie of animals – everything from an elephant and a panther to an armadillo and a polar bear – at Alexander McQueen's show in Paris last night. Above them hung a projection of the globe.

Stella's very grown-up collection

A seven-metre high, 14-metre wide Fuzzy-Felt backdrop courtesy of the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman greeted guests at Stella McCartney's spring/summer show in Paris yesterday. Rainbow-coloured rabbits, giraffes and a particularly anxious ladybird all made for suitably cute viewing.

Belles and Whistles

Jane Shepherdson made Topshop hot - can she do the same for Whistles?

Luxury goods brand Herm&egrave;s defies gloom

The French luxury goods brand Hermès posted a set of credit-crunch-defying revenues for its second quarter yesterday, boosted by soaring sales of its trademark leather goods, silk and perfumes.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?