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

Cruise ship has alleged close call in Venice

The row over the presence of giant cruise ships in Venice’s lagoon was reignited this weekend after claims that a huge vessel belonging to the same company as the wrecked Costa Concordia sailed dangerously close to St Mark’s Square.

More headlines

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.