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.  

The 10 Best storage jars

Clean up the clutter, put things in order and seal in the goodness with a selection of stylish containers...

The 10 Best vegetable boxes

From carrots and spuds to more exotic selections, bypass the supermarket and get the best veg delivered to your door

Arnaud Bignon

My life in food... Arnaud Bignon

'After a long day tasting, I eat yoghurt to freshen my palate'

Tomato and basil tarts and courgette and feta tarts

Tomato and basil tarts

Serves about 10

Roots' famous Reggae Reggae sauce took off after an investment from Dragon's Den entrepreneurs Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh

My Life In Food: Levi Roots

Roots first started selling his Reggae Reggae sauce in 1991 at the Notting Hill Carnival. Sixteen years later, after an investment from Dragon's Den entrepreneurs Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh, it hit the shelves in Sainsbury's. Since then, Roots has written six cookbooks, including his latest, Sweet (Conran Octopus £18.99). His proudest moment remains, however, singing happy birthday to Nelson Mandela when he visited Britain in 1996.

Under pressure: Chinese food and pizza are the worst offenders

'Change the law to cut salt in our takeaways'

Study of popular fast foods shows levels of sodium that far exceed recommended limits

Mackerel broth with tomatoes and coriander

Mackerel broth with tomatoes and coriander

Serves 4

Weekend Work: Time to prune wistarias

What to do

Anthony Hilton: Ramsay the right recipe to save euro? Dream on

This week's most imaginative plan for the eurozone came from Lombard Street Research, a City economics consultancy. It suggested Gordon Ramsay, the chef who sorts out troubled restaurants, should give it the Hell's Kitchen treatment.

Angela Neustatter: You can be a feminist and be happy at home

I never said women should return to the 1950s, but that should not mean that the home gets overlooked

The defending champion reacts to his woeful opening day

Gallows humour for Clarke but horror 76 is no laughing matter

The last time Darren Clarke strolled up the 18th fairway at the Open, he knew he was about to claim the Claret Jug and be crowned champion golfer of the year. The memory of that glorious St George's coronation last July came flooding back yesterday as Clarke completed the first round of the defence of his title. What was he thinking? "How the bleep did I ever manage to win this last year," Clarke said with a shrug and a chuckle. It was gallows humour. His six-over-par 76 was no laughing matter.

Bloody Black Cow tomatoes

Bloody Black Cow tomatoes

Serves 4-6

Caponata with mozzarella

Caponata with mozzarella

Serves 4-6

Donostia, 10 Seymour Place, London W1

As holidaymakers know, Donostia is the Basque name for San Sebastian, the lovely, sun-drenched municipality on the north coast of Spain that's capital of the Basque country. Tourists spill into it every year to, um, bask in the Bay of Biscay, to drink txakoli and nibble pungent snacks in the tiny bars of the Parte Vieja (or 'Old Part of Town') or sample the classier cuisine of the Michelin-starred Arzak restaurant.

Raw lasagne from 42°Raw

On The Menu: 42°Raw lasagne; Standard Hotel; The Mall Tavern; Greenhalgh's crumpet loaf

This week I've been eating... raw lasagne

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick