Voices

To buy a ticket for a hotly tipped play, within seconds of booking opening, requires perseverance and nerve as websites falter, payments vanish and a confirmation finally limps through. The goal is to see a top cast, whose fluency and fluidity is testament to years of determination – getting to drama school, being noticed at the end-of-year shows, getting an audition, getting a part and nailing it.  

Serve the sauce over the chips and scatter the cheese on top

Mark Hix recipe: A Hot Norfolk Broad

Serves 4-6

Restaurant review: Gordon Ramsay's Union Street Café is a terrific Italian but what's the Beckham connection?

Union Street Café is not a café, and isn't strictly in Union Street (see address below) but it's certainly the most talked-about new restaurant of the autumn. This, you'll doubtless know, is because it was rumoured that its owner, Gordon Ramsay, the former footballer who once had a trial with Rangers, was going into partnership with David Beckham, the well-known foodie.

Screw Stoptober - smoking is cool

Smoking is the hazy fug of a 1930s jazz club, the deadline mist of a 1970s newsroom and the chocolate-wood smell of my granddad’s lounge circa 1988

Paperback review: Point Your Face at This, By Demetri Martin

This insanely enjoyable collection of drawings and cartoons by the comedian Demetri Martin was passed around my whole family. I kept finding it in different rooms of the house.

Blind date: Istanbullux’s stylish interiors are shielded from the sun by a wooden shell

B&B and Beyond: Istanbullux Suites, Turkey

Galata is a thriving area with a sleek collection of suites in a building that's cool ... in every way. Sarah Gilbert checks in

You say tomato, I say potato: the TomTato

The TomTato: Plant which produces both potatoes and tomatoes launched in UK

Plant can grow sweet cherry tomatoes while producing white potatoes

Raj minimalism: Downstairs there's a second dining room and a cosy bar with a nice, speakeasy feel

Restaurant review: Gymkhana, 42 Albemarle Street, London

Five years ago, Trishna opened near Baker Street specialising in upmarket (and expensive) Indian cuisine. It was the brainchild of Karam Sethi and his brother Jyotin, both born in London, and specialised in the cooking of south-west India. The memory of its Isle of Shuna mussels and its coastal lamb curry has remained with me ever since, and I wasn't surprised when the place picked up a Michelin star last October.

Well-feathered: The exotic open-plan salon at the Peacock Pavilions

B&B and Beyond: Peacock Pavilions, Morocco

The globetrotting owner of this tranquil retreat outside the medina has an eclectic eye for interiors. Sarah Gilbert checks in

Bit of spice: Partridge tagine with olives

Partridge tagine with olives

Serves 4-6

Hamburger with club sauce

Serves 4

Deer steak burger with green peppercorn sauce

Serves 4

Branching out: Mark Hix gets creative with olives

People now have a great choice of olives in all sizes and brines for snacking on and cooking with. Long may it last, says our chef...

Red mullet with tomatoes and black olives

Red mullet with tomatoes and black olives

Serves 4

Participants run in front of bulls during the annual San Fermin festival, held every July in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona

Americans grab Spanish life by the horns and import bull running for US tour

Cobbled alleyways of Pamplona replaced by tracks in California, Florida and Texas

Upwardly mobile: Mark Hix cooks with salmon

Around Britain, the salmon fishing season is in full swing, so cast out and enjoy our chef's delicious recipes

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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
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