The Ape & Bird: Restaurant review - Polpo's Russell Norman has pushed

While using the Polpo cookbook the other day, I had a moment to think about why the book was one of last year's biggest successes. Perhaps because it has an innovative spine that allows it to lie flat; perhaps because it looks beautiful and the recipes work; perhaps because it is true to one, quite specific cuisine – the Venetian cicchetti (little plates).

The Big Six: Manhattan hotels

Art Deco glamour, dusky hues, Prohibition-style tea room, personal attachés, Jack Kerouac, and sophisticated retreats

Venice Film Festival: A very British affair

Daniel Radcliffe's turn as Allen Ginsberg was one of the highlights of the 70th Venice Film Festival, where Britain made up for its near-invisibility at Cannes, says Geoffrey Macnab

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Travel in 2013: Holidays for couples

What better reason do you need to take your loved one to the romantic city of Venice than to revel in the spruced-up interiors of the Gritti Palace (00 39 041 2961 2222; star, due to reopen in February after a major refurbishment?

De Pavant retires from Vendée Globe after colliding with trawler

Kito de Pavant became the second to retire from the Vendée Globe singlehanded non-stop round the world race in the opening 48 hours after colliding with a fishing trawler 45 miles off the coast of Portugal. It was the second time he has been forced to withdraw from a race notorious for the rate of attrition.