News

Former staff of a development quango were sent for patchwork, pottery and jewellery-making lessons at taxpayers’ expense, an investigation has found.

A warming winter mixture

Shopping list

Something is stirring in the drinks cabinet

Forget straight gin-and-tonic; the Martini is in, and being quaffed in smart bars across Britain and the States. Even "three-Martini-lunches" are enjoying a revival. But sloshing together a sophisticated cocktail in a simple jug doesn't have the same eclat as creating one using authentic accessories. To create the mood, we offer a selection of equipment for the home bar, from cheap and cheery novelties to refined bar-top paraphernalia. Then rent a copy of Cocktail and model your mixing on Tom Cruise's technique.

Every wardrobe in the land contains a lesson in humility

Serena Mackesy casts a shop-worn eye over a seasonal obsession

MP accuses Blair staffer of dirty tricks

A member of Tony Blair's staff has been accused of assisting in a "poisonous" dirty-ricks operation against a Labour MP. The charge was made by Brian Sedgemore, MP for Hackney south and Shoreditch, falsely identified by a member of the Blair press team as "Cassandra", who attacked Mr Blair in the left-wing Tribune.

I defy you not to buy anything

Sitting in her design oasis, safely sectioned off from the peeling white brick walls of the Freemans mail order building where she is based, Polly Dickens throws down the gauntlet. "I defy anyone to go into The Source and not to buy anything."

Shopocalypse now

Superstores have developed sophisticated tactics to turn 'grazers' into spenders. Serena Mackesy scents a conspiracy in the mall

Virginia boasts of her selfless availability

The standards of the parties have been raised, and over the months ahead the country will resound to the clash of steel, the whirr of cannon- balls and the cries of civil strife. On the right (by their own accounts) is the party of Merrie England, of tradition, fun and laughter. Opposing them from the left, are the forces of Puritanism, of clean thought and of reform.

Lakeside takes the credit

One of the UK's biggest shopping centres, Lakeside, announced yesterday that it is to become the first to launch its own credit card.

The Investment Column: Retail revival boosts CSC

A bullish results statement from Capital Shopping Centres, the leading retail property landlord, underlines two trends in UK retailing. The first is that consumer spending is rising strongly, with sales in some of CSC's centres 14 per cent ahead of the same period last year. The second is that, try as the Government might to clamp down on large out-of-town shopping developments, the public still likes shopping in them.

Morgan leaps to top of the class

Simon Turnbull attends the nurturing school of Britain's finest athletic talents

Pressure grows to hold shadow cabinet election

Labour pains: MPs cynical about moves that would safeguard future of Harriet Harman

Too much for a lady in super-Poppins mode

Sharply dressed know-all makes Virginia an offer to refuse

Lingerie firm takes on M&S

THE Alternative Investment Market is set to gain its first national retailer, in the shape of lingerie and nightwear specialist La Senza.

THE INVESTMENT COLUMN : Quality pays for Capital Shopping

Capital Shopping Centres, the property group ultimately owned by Liberty Life of South Africa, has proved a bumpy ride for investors. The flotation nearly two years ago was marred by concerns that it was over-priced and at the small number of shares being sold. As a result, the shares have only recently broken through the 230p placing price.

'Negligence' led to decapitation

ROS WYNNE-JONES
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
News
i100
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies looks set to be a dramatic conclusion to Peter Jackson's trilogy
film
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?