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.  

Barbecue-style salmon belly with roast cherry vine tomatoes
Per Mertesacker of Arsenal FC poses dressed as a Samurai Warrior in the Urawa Royal Pines Hotel in Japan

In pictures: Arsenal players dress up as Samurai Warriors and make sushi on pre-season tour in Japan

Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker wield swords on pre-season tour

Winning combination: Tomato, cumin and coriander soup

Tomato, cumin and coriander soup

Serves 4-6

Beagle: a zippy little restaurant with a short unencumbered menu and snappy attentive staff

On the Menu: Aubergine with chickpea and labnah; Trongs; Joseph Joseph; Percy Pigs; Moet champagne

This week I've been eating...Aubergine with chickpea and labnah

You can tempt kids to try fish with Mark's Big Mack

Big Mack

Serves 4

Tagliolini with mackerel and chilli

Tagliolini with mackerel and chilli

Serves 4

Lamb sweetbreads and prawn curry

Serves 4

Tomato and cumin salad

Tomato and cumin salad

Serves 4

Sunny and share: Mark Hix creates four light, crowd-pleasing dishes

There are some big old manly meals on other pages of our summer food special, so I thought I would avoid the barbecue and go a bit light and mezze-like.

It's a fruit - not a veg

Millions of Britons can't distinguish between common fruit and vegetables - and some are trickier than you think.

Only 51 per cent think a tomato is a fruit, while 99 per cent incorrectly identify peas in a pod as veg.

Eat shoots and leaves: Mark Hix gets creative with fresh peas, mangetouts and sugar snaps

English peas and their offsprings, such as mangetouts and sugar snaps, and of course pea shoots and tendrils, are great tossed into a salad. I plant a member of the pea family most years – and end up using more of the shoots and leaves than the actual vegetable itself.

Sugar snap curry makes a lovely spring or summer vegetable accompaniment, starter or part of a cold buffet

Sugar snap curry

Serves 4

Feast in the East: a sushi bar in the Japanese capital

My life in travel: Yotam Ottolenghi

'In Tokyo, I spent nights sitting in bars, eating noodles, raw fish and fried foods'

Tomatoes and crab on toast

Tomatoes and crab on toast

Serves 4

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
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Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
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