Travel

The journey home – 'home' still being the word I instinctively use for the house I grew up in, atop of wild Welsh hillside, even if today it's where I go to escape everyday life – begins with bustle. The battle on the Tube with a case, the dash around Euston juggling handbag-paper-coffee-lunch. It's wise to stock up: the journey to Pen-y-Bont takes over four hours, via Crewe and Shrewsbury. It's very much not the route a crow would fly...

Thirsty Work: The coffee shop as office

Coffee shops are the unofficial offices of an army of modern workers thanks to free wi-fi, good company and caffeine on tap. But, says David Crookes, cafes have been places of business for centuries

Business Diary: Johnson chokes on his coffee

Luke Johnson, the private equity mogul, might want to check staff aren't spitting in his latte next time he pops into Starbucks for a pick-me-up. Johnson is less than complimentary about the coffee chain in the latest issue of Management Today – and particularly its chairman Howard Schulz. The Starbucks founder's latest tome, How Starbucks Fought for its Life Without Losing its Soul, is on sale in the chain's coffee shops. "This book is 350 pages of self-indulgent claptrap," Johnson says.

Pint of bitter and a juicy murder story, please, librarian

As libraries close, their books may be moved into pubs, shops, and even doctors' surgeries

Walmart sets up London team to lead European drive

The retail giant seeks takeover targets on the continent, as sales stagnate in Britain and America

Adams' tenure ended by Sheffield United

Sheffield United have parted company with their manager, Micky Adams.

How I came, had coffee, and conquered: Starbucks boss publishes secrets of success

Apparently starved of options at the counter, customers at Starbucks can now buy a new book by the firm's billionaire chief executive, in which he boasts how he rescued the company before building it into a global giant.

Starbucks UK enjoys frothy sales thanks to March heatwave

Starbucks UK served up strong sales growth in the UK in its second quarter after the "exceptionally" warm weather in March helped it enjoy soaring sales of frappucinos.

Widow weeps at G20 death footage

Family members of Ian Tomlinson were in tears today as an inquest jury was shown harrowing new video of the newspaper seller dying at the G20 protests.

Do bookshops have a future?

To survive, Waterstone's is planning to copy the very independent stores it put out of business. Will it work in the age of Amazon? All customers want is the personal touch, argues Tim Walker

In Kind Direct calls for charity tax change

Charities are missing out on millions of pounds because the UK's tax regime does not offer companies an incentive to donate their surplus goods, according to In Kind Direct. The UK corporate charity, founded by the Prince of Wales, is calling on the Government to introduce a more favourable tax system in the forthcoming Budget, to bring it in line with the US. It said such a similar regime would treble donations of excess goods.

Cooper Brown: Lesbian sticker lady

Had a big run-in with Lesbian sticker lady this morning. I’d just got up and the new Nespresso machine had broken because I’d made about a hundred coffees last night and was more wired than Charlie Sheen on prime time. I slipped out of the flat in my housecoat to go to Starbucks.

Starbucks warns of 'tougher' UK trading climate

Starbucks UK has become the latest big high-street chain to warn of a slowdown in consumer spending, as the coffee shop giant unveiled the first shop with its new look and logo in London yesterday.

Christopher Isherwood: A singular talent laid bare

Doctor Who star Matt Smith is going back in time to Thirties Berlin to play the novelist Christopher Isherwood. Gerard Gilbert hears about his journey

Letter from the editor: Few certainties in life

There used to be a few certainties we could all believe in beyond death and taxes.

Starbucks is banking on our new love affair with top-notch filter coffee to stay ahead of the game

In a smart basement cafe off London's Berkeley Square, a secret ceremony is taking place. Screened from the view of punters sipping their lattes and Flat Whites, coffee master Laurence Winch is brewing up something much more rarefied. He takes beans – grown on a far-flung Indonesian island – which have been aged and cosseted for five years and roasted until the beans pop twice. After grinding them on the spot, he moistens them in a paper-lined ceramic cone with water calibrated at just below boiling point, in order not to scald the grounds.

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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
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)