News Mourners visit the home of Margaret Thatcher in April 2013; her Belgravia house will go on sale after major refurbishment

A development company has bought the property and is getting it ready to sell on

Metallics make your interiors shine

From copper cushions to silver sinks

You write the reviews: Benefit for Macmillan Nurses and Multiple Sclerosis Society, Comedy Store, London

There was a 10 per cent drop in ticket sales at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival box office, possibly due to a lack of public interest or thriftiness as recession looms. But this gig at central London's world-famous Comedy Store was sold out.

The Investment Column: Carpet distributor Headlam floored by downturn

Goals Soccer Centres; RCG Holdings

Raymond Snoddy on Broadcasting: Could the big fish at ITV learn a lesson or two from the minnows?

Two commercial broadcasting minnows from the Celtic fringe, SMG and UTV, have just reported financial results, and guess what? They have done much better than their old mother ship ITV plc in recessionary times.

Family life à la mode: At home with fashion designer Sara Berman

Style queen Sara Berman may have two young children, but that doesn't mean her London house isn't packed full of gloriously grown-up glamour

Observations: Weaving a new thread

Tapestry often seems banished to a no man's land between art, craft and design. But with the opening of a stunning new creative centre and a home for Dovecot – which houses Scotland's Dovecot Studios of tapestry weavers and rug tufters – this ancient art is coming out of the shadows. The premises, which opened last week, combine a centre for craft and design allied to a working studio making it the world's top place for tapestry. This gallery and workspace, created out of the shell of Edinburgh's Infirmary Street Baths, looks set to create quite a splash.

Design: It's all in the details

Kate Watson-Smyth reveals a range of quick and easy ways to update your interiors without breaking the bank

Carpetright adds to retail gloom as sales fall through the floor

Carpetright added its name to the growing list of retailers reporting deepening gloom on the high street, warning yesterday that its sales have fallen by more than 15 per cent in the UK and Ireland during the past three months.

Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Carol Smillie

'Academically, I didn't shine'

Harris warns year ahead is 'toughest' faced in half century

Lord Harris, the chairman and chief executive of Carpetright, warned that next year would be one of the toughest in his 50-year career, although he forecast that the carpet retailer's fortunes would improve in the second half of 2009.

Album: Jackie DeShannon, Her Own Kind of Light (EMI Zonophone)

Like Carole King, DeShannon bridged the Tin Pan Alley model of post-war pro songwriting and the singer-songwriter culture that superseded it: she was a technical songwriter who could come out front and sing.

Miles Kington Remembered: Five apparently useless things you'd be mad to chuck out

Today I want to turn my attention to the urgent question of what to do with all those things around the home that have reached the end of their useful life but which you haven't got the heart to throw away.

Economic slowdown hits home at John Lewis with fall in sales

Sales at John Lewis took a hit last week, providing further evidence of a slowdown on the high street as consumers tighten their belts.

You Write The Reviews: Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Komedia, Brighton

When Sam Duckworth – better known as Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. – sidled, suited and booted, on to this Brighton stage, it was for the first time in 11 months. Duckworth has been busy writing and recording his new album, Searching for the Hows and Whys, and putting the legwork in to his own fledgling recording company, Mannequin Republic. The lack of recent live performances proved a stumbling block for Duckworth, as he scrabbled his way through the first few songs of his UK tour.

Sophie Heawood: A pillowcase is not posterity, Ms Minogue

Another week, another tragic story about Brave Kylie. No, not the cancer, which is firmly in remission, and it is nothing to do with mean, malingering ex-boyfriends either.

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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
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

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'